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All about Rebekka and the everts of Denmark

Bent Overgaard has written to tell us about Rebekka of Fano, an historic evert of Denmark.

“The evert Rebekka of Fanø, is an historic vessel, originally built in 1921, on the Rebekka of Fano, evert of Denmarknorthern Wadden Sea island ‘Fanø’.   In 1996 she was thoroughly renovated by the present owner, the association: “Foreningen Everten Rebekka af Fanø”.   Her basic characteristics are: LOA 14.92 meters, B 4.75 meters, maximum draft fully loaded 1.48 meters and BT 16.1.

“The ship type ‘evert’ is one of the types of vessel which have been in use during the longest period of time, probably for close to 1000 years, until the 1940s.   It is a small vessel and is closely related to the Thames sailing barge, with a low draft, a flat bottom and leeboards, designed to carry relatively heavy loads in low depth tidal areas.   During low tide the evert, like the Thames sailing barge, is constructed to stand on its flat bottom on the beach without heeling over, making it approachable for cargo handling directly from shore.   This enables virtual door-to-door transport throughout the Wadden Sea and connected rivers, deltas and inland waterways.   As late as 1900 thousands of Thames sailing barges would perform similar services in the UK.

“The capabilities of the evert were crucial to the population and development of the south-eastern shores of the North Sea, along the Wadden Sea coast of Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands.    Thus, a city like Hamburg could not have thrived and grown had it not been for the evert’s unique ability to deliver food, building materials and other necessities to the growing city from the fertile tidal areas of the vast Elbe delta, and bringing manure back from the city.

“After having been one of the most numerous and important types of vessel along the entire Wadden Sea, only a few have been spared.   Rebekka is one of only three everts left in Denmark, and she is the only one still sailing.

“The purpose of the association Everten Rebekka af Fanø is to preserve the Rebekka as a sailing and fully functioning vessel, in order to convey this part of our cultural and maritime heritage, by making it possible to experience the vessel in its original environment.   At the same time, we provide a unique access to the Wadden Sea National Park.   Since June 2014 the park has constituted the Danish part of the UNESCO’s Wadden Sea World Heritage Site. “

For further information and membership: http://www.rebekkafanoe.dk

or e-mail:     EvertenRebekka@gmail.com