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The “Museo Navigante”: an interesting experience regarding maritime museums and heritage in Italy

by Davide Gnola – Director of Museo della Marineria of Cesenatico, Italy

In the first months of 2018 an interesting project took place around the coasts of Italy: the “Museo Navigante” (“Sailing Museum”). The idea come out the year before during the Cesenatico meeting of traditional boats, and it was simple: sailing around Italy with stops in the cities where there is a maritime museum or any other situation or experience with regard to maritime heritage. The promoters were the association “Nave di carta”, owner of the schooner “Oloferne”, and in particular its experienced skipper Marco Tibiletti and his wife Lorenza Sala, simply the best regarding press office and communication, toghether with the Museo della Marineria di Cesenatico; but they decided immediately to associate in the project the Galata Museo del Mare of Genoa – the largest and most important maritime museum in Italy – and also to ask for the patronage of AMMM – Association of Mediterranean Maritime Museums.

The project were further defined in the next months, and at January, 7th, after a press conference held the day before in Rome, Oloferne started his navigation from Cesenatico. The original idea was been developed with two other important elements: a travelling exhibition about Italian maritime heritage to show in every harbour; and the partecipation on board as a part of the crew of groups of students coming from Italian nautical secondary schools, to whom Oloferne gave the opportunity to improve what they learnt at school with the skills of a real sailing.
In the three months of sailing, in a period (from January to March) not so easy to sail also in Mediterranean, Oloferne touched many harbours and met very much and very interesting and passionate people and situation: museums were more than we can expect before, but moreover they founded various and interesting experiences and “best practices” that needed to be more known and shown to a larger public.

“It was very important to share this project in the framework of the Association of Mediterranean Maritime Museums – underlines Maria Paola Profumo, AMMM President – because we think that any project held in our countries have a special value also for the entire network”.
“The most important result achieved by the project – says Davide Gnola, Director of Cesenatico maritime musem – was the awareness that Italy in effect have got an important asset in safeguarding maritime heritage, despite of the fact that there are isolated and not linked in a network, and so not adequately known by the public and public institutions.”
“Anyway – continues Lorenza Sala, communication manager of Museo Navigante – this is a richness where we can count on for further projects about we are since now working on, especially to learn to museum directors and others a better way to communicate their activities, and about education for young people and schools.”
“We have also the idea to continue our navigation, maybe to explore other coasts to met and know other maritime museums, heritage boats and vessels, and so on – says Marco Tibiletti, skipper of Oloferne – keep in touch with us.”
The “Museo Navigante” stopped its trip at the end of March in Escale a Séte, becoming so the official vessel of the Italian delegation at the French festival composed also by Museo della Marineria di Cesenatico together with the association “Mariegola” and AVEV – Associazione Vele d’Epoca Verbano, the very dynamic association of classic boats of the lake Maggiore, but very active with its President Paolo Sivelli also at sea, that parcecipated in the last maritime festival of Brest 2016 and Semain du Golfe 2017. The Museo Navigante and Oloferne was a great opportunity to show to the French very interested people what people are doing in Italy in the field of maritime museums and heritage.

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Safety Rules for historical Ships

In October this year new safety rules for historical ships on Europe’s inland waters will enter into force. It is a major step in the right direction. It first of all is the recognition of the fact that historical ships exist, are operational, deserve a future as operational ships and therefore need to be addressed by modern safety regulations. EMH has invested heavily in getting a chapter for historical ships in European law and keep them from forcefully being phased out.

The new chapter for historical ships will be included in ES—TRIN 2017. The new rules will apply to ships that fall within the scope of Directive 2006/87/ec.

The idea is firstly that a (restoration plan for a) ship must be judged by a national independent expert as a traditional ship. A traditional under the directive does not have to comply with all technical requirements for passenger ships or ships above 20 meters, but only for as far as possible. The technical requirements the ship cannot comply with without doing harm to the historical character of the ship, must be compensated for by equivalent technical or operational measurements to accomplish the same level of safety.
The next step is that European Member States must appoint national independent experts on historical ships that are assigned to judge whether ships or plans for ships can be seen as historical ships under the directive. Once the new rules have entered in to force, ship owners must present their plans to their national authorities. EMH invites all ship owners to share information on new projects and attempts to bring historical ships under the European Directive.

Find official text in your language

Two Danish EMH pioneers passed away

Jørgen Josephsen (1935-2018) died unexpectedly after a routine operation on Saturday 5 May. By coincidence his longtime friend and colleague Arne Gotved (1939-2018) died the day after on Sunday 6 May after a battle with cancer.

Arne was chairman of the Danish Wooden Ship’s Association from 1986 to 1998, and again from 2002 to 2006, and as such he shaped and developed the organization from being a “loose” gathering of traditional ship lovers to becoming a political player on the Danish cultural scene. He was also one of the founders of EMH, and as chairman of the EMH Cultural Council he was the driving force behind the creation of the Barcelona Charter.

Jørgen was for many years vice chairman of the Danish Wooden Ship’s Association, and often he said that his duties were to bring out toasts at dinners and gatherings, and to yell “RE-ELECTION” when the chairman was up for re-election. But Jørgen did so much more than that. For years he was the Danish national representative to EMH, and both EMH and the Danish Wooden Ships Association benefitted from his knowledge and experience.

Arne and Jørgen was an inseparable team both on the Danish traditional ships scene and within the EMH, and when they retired from EMH in 2008 they were both named honorary members of the EMH.

By coincidence they passed away only one day after each other which in a very strange way served to underline their inseparability.

They will be missed in EMH and on the Danish traditional ships scene, and our thoughts and compassion go out to their wives and families.

John Robinson (1943-2018) passed away

This is to bring you the very sad news that our very gently and great friend, John Robinson, died last Saturday 28 April after a battle with cancer and the last few weeks in hospitals in London and Gloucester and latterly a care home near his home in Stonehouse.

John has contributed in EMH from the beginning in a very friendly and constructive way. He has shown and shared his knowledge of both maritime and industrial heritage in a very respectful and friendly manner to many friends. He was one of the pillars of EMH, had a good pen and he produced many interesting articles to show the importance of the common maritime heritage in the world.

John was an active member of Heritage Afloat / Maritime Heritage Trust and since years he was the representative for the UK in EMH. Many years he was member of the Executive Committee as Minute Secretary and later as Honorary Treasurer. In 2017 he became honorary member of EMH.
He contributed in the World Ship Trust, National Historic Ships UK, Hermitage Community Mooring, the European Federation of Associations of Industrial and Technical Heritage and many other organisations.

We lost a very amiable man and we remember the loss for his wife and family.

Read here the tribute on the website of the Maritime Heritage Trust

Historic British excursion vessel faces uncertain future

Nearly seventy years ago, a new motor ship called Balmoral was delivered from John Thornycroft’s Woolston yard to the Red Funnel Line for its Southampton to Cowes ferry service. The new vessel replaced two paddle steamers lost in hostilities, and was additionally used for coastal cruising from Southampton during the summer season. After twenty years in those roles, the ship changed her livery when chartered by P & A Campbell for excursions in the Bristol Channel in its White Funnel fleet. But changes in holiday habits and cheap flights  eventually brought an end to that role in 1980.Five years later the charity that operates the paddle steamer Waverley purchased Balmoral as a consort, and she ran excursions on the south and west coasts of England. A combination of bad weather and mechanical defects adversely affected her programme in 2017 and debts were incurred.

Her hull has been repeatedly repaired over the years by ‘doubling’, where new steel plates are welded onto the exterior of the hull to cover existing plates which were judged defective. The Maritime & Coastguard Agency which oversees all aspects of maritime safety in the UK has recently tightened the regulations for such vessels , recognising the difficulty of monitoring the current condition of hull plates that may have been doubled many years ago. Previously the vessel might have benefitted from ‘grandfather rights’, where an old rule continues to apply to existing situations whereas a new rule will apply to newly-surveyed ships. The extent of work required to bring Balmoral into full compliance with current structural standards  is estimated to cost £3.75 million; this will include enhancement of fire suppression measures.

The charity that operates the ship M V Balmoral Fund Ltd, will continue to care for the ship in her home port of Bristol, where she will be available for hire for weddings and social functions. If an application for support from the Heritage Lottery Fund is successful, it is hoped to have Balmoral back in seagoing service in 2019.

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Royal support for maritime heritage in UK

National Historic Ships UK is a non-governmental organisation (NGO) responsible for advising British Government Departments and funding agencies on historic ship preservation and leading on policies in this sphere. As part of its programme of widening the public appeal of floating heritage, it co-ordinates an annual photographic competition. In 2017 the competition attracted hundreds of entries from both amateur and professional photographers, and judges had a difficult task in selecting winners in each of five separate categories.

At a ceremony on 1 November 2017at the London headquarters of Trinity House, a charitable organisation which since 1514 has worked to safeguard seafarers  and shipping in UK waters, the winners of  the photographic competition were announced in the presence of Her Royal Highness Princess Anne, who is currently Master of the Corporation of Trinity House. The overall winner was Teresa Fuller for her evocative photograph of an English canal narrow boat Ilford under way early on a September morning. The international appeal of the competition was underlined by the inclusion of at least two Dutch photographers among the award winners. The Princess also presented Marsh Volunteer awards to Bob Irvine, who has worked for many years supporting the preservation of the wooden frigate HMS Unicorn in Dundee, and a team award to those who keep two historic cargo-carrying narrow boats, President and Kildare, in action touring Britain’s waterways.

Princess Anne is an accomplished recreational sailor, and married to a retired Vice Admiral in the Royal Navy, Sir Timothy Laurence. In her address to guests (who included Thedo Fruithof and John Robinson from EMH) , the Princess  strongly endorsed the educational and cultural values enshrined in historic ship preservation, and provided powerful words of encouragement to the wide community of volunteers who restore historic vessels and keep alive the skills required to operate them safely and in accordance with authentic practice. Her detailed knowledge of the sector impressed her audience, and her speech was roundly applauded. NHS UK, who organised the event, has recently become an Associate member of EMH, and took pride in the Royal approval for maritime heritage policies such as those which EMH has championed since its foundation two decades ago.

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EMH present at “Dia da Marinha do Tejo” in Lisbon

EMH was invited as official guest to be present at the Portuguese “Dia da Marinha do Tejo” on the 17th of June in Lisbon. On that festive day tens of beautifully decorated wooden sailing ships sailed to Lisbon and dropped their anchor. The skippers and crew were brought ashore to the Market Place to meet the official guests: the mayors of the rivertowns alongside the Tagus and – not in the least – the president of Portugal: Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa. He also greeted the EMH with a warm welcome.

EMH was witness to a beautiful and impressive ceremony, very carefully organized by Professor Fernando Carvalho Rodrigues and his team. But most of all the meeting of the skippers, their crew and the official guests, the mayors and even the president of the republic, showed a firm sense of togetherness by the mutual promise to help each other.  Only when we all work together we can really safeguard our joint maritime heritage, and hand it over to younger generations safely. This festival not only consolidated the ties between Portugal and the EMH, but also taught us valuable lessons about organizing heritage events. And on top of that, about elaborating an intelligent strategy to safeguard maritime heritage for future generations.

Read more about the ceremony and the valuable lessons in this article, which will also appear in the Portuguese maritime magazine Revista de Marinha.

Go to the site Marinha do Tejo

New Rules and a new Board for EMH

There is a change of the guard. Not only a new board is now in place, its members will march to new rules too. Hendrik Boland (NL) has stepped down as president and handed responsibilities over to David Morgan (UK). Hendrik oversaw the work that lead to the New Rules and the reorganisation of EMH. EMH from a platform organisation now is a recognized association, a much stronger organisational structure which, among others, opens up possibilities for EU funding.
Apart from Hendrik, John Robinson, Pablo Carrera Lopez (Galicia) and Holger Bellgardt (Baltic Sail) stepped down from the board. All served in the board for many years and contributed tremendously to the advancement of the interest of EMH and traditional ships in operation.
Lars Palm (SE) and Thomas Hoppe (GE) are new appointed board members.

Honorary members

Thirty years ago Thedo Fruithof and Wim Bloemberg planted the first seed for what was to become EMH. Funding was found for an inquiry among European maritime museums and traditional ships associations. The survey was carried out by Henk Dessens of the Scheepvaartmuseum in Amsterdam. As a spin off, a congress was organized, 25 years ago today.  At the following congress three years later the Maritime Museums called for owners of traditional ships in operations to continue the good work and pick up the baton. And so they have. EMH was founded and to this day the Maritime Museums remained connected to EMH as  advisory members.
Thedo, John Robinson (UK) and Hendrik (members of ship owners associations, at that time) were key players in the founding or establishing of EMH and now are rewarded for their good work and appointed Honorary Life Members.
Thedo will still form part of the EMH board, Hendrik and John, as mentioned, have stepped down.

Go to the new General Board

EU regulations - EMH informed EU Rapporteurs

The EMH motto “No income, no upkeep” makes us struggle with the regulations for passenger ships for already many years. We estimate their number above 1000 ships, all complying with national safety regulations.

In this field the EU directive 2009/45 is leading in Europe. As a revision of this directive is feasible EMH tries to influence this process. Two members of the EMH Safety Council have visited recently mrs Aiuto and mr Facioni of the European Parliament in Strasbourg. Their intention is to plea for a definition of ‘traditional ship’ as in EU directive 2002/59 in the new Passenger Ship Directive. As soon as a definition has been accepted it will be possible to combine this definition with special rules for traditional ships.

Both mrs Aiuto and mr Facioni were impressed by the contribution of EMH and promised to bring the information forward to the Council and the Commission.

Read more in the attached letter.

Report of the 9th EMH-Congress "CHARTING COURSES"

Errenteria/Pasaia, Basque Country in Spain, 22-24 September 2016.

The 9th EMH-Congress was a very lively and inspiring congress, and so is the report of this congress. It is not as usual written down in a booklet, but it is a digital report. The report contains links to all the presentations and pitches of maritime projects that came by during the congress, placed on the map of Europe. The links give access to further information about the projects.

The main theme of the congress was about the development in the approach of heritage in general and maritime heritage in particular.
The keynote speaker, Eva Stegmeijer from the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands, showed that there are three main approaches, which complement each other: the Sector-, the Factor- and the Vector-approach.  Firstly, there was the Sector-approach, targeting on protection and collectioning. Then the Factor-approach developed, which uses heritage to revitalize and reuse spatial plans. Lately, heritage and also maritime heritage is seen more and more as a Vector, as a barer of stories and significance. Maritime heritage is not only something we want to value and safeguard, but also a valuable occasion to create new values. Heritage is not only about the fear of losing, but also about the joy of gaining value.

A perfect example of the Vector-approach was the amazing project of the building of the San Juan Whaleship in Pasaia, Spain, the host of the congress. This boatbuilding project is not only about discovering the history of whalehunting and working together at boatbuilding and sailing, but also about community building and raising awareness and pride of valuable skills.
The report of the EMH-congress “Charting Courses” shows exciting examples of creating value with maritime heritage.

Read the whole report.

Bridge versus Boat

The Ironbridge International Institute for Cultural Heritage at the University of Birmingham. currently organise an international heritage conference and is looking for contributors.

The conference (to take place in 2017) is called BRIDGE: The Heritages of Connecting Places and Cultures. The conference seeks to engage in an open multi-disciplinary analysis of the heritage of bridges –not only as physical structures connecting places and cultures but also as symbolic and metaphorical markers in the landscape. It seeks to explore the relationships that places, cultures and communities develop with bridges and to discuss how and why societies value bridges as an integral part of their heritages. The organisers wish to examine the full range of meanings we ascribe to the bridge in social and cultural life. The conference welcomes academics from the widest range of disciplines and wishes to act as a forum for exchange between the sciences, social sciences and the humanities. The conference will draw from anthropology, archaeology, art history, architecture, engineering, ethnology, heritage studies, history, geography, landscape studies, literature, linguistics, museum studies, sociology, tourism studies etc.. Indicative themes of interest to the conference include alternative bridge crossings such as tunnels and ferries. And that’s where EMH members come in. Bridges form a threat to boats. They take you out of business, form a navigational threat or a delay at best. Or is there more to say about the relationship between bridges and boats? Think it over.

The conference will take place at the World Heritage Site of Ironbridge Gorge – the birthplace of the industrial revolution and the home of the World’s first iron bridge.

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Forbundet KYSTEN new advisor to UNESCO

The Sixth session of UNESCO general assembly for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in Paris decided to accredit Forbundet KYSTEN as non-governmental organization and consequently as an advisor to UNESCO.

The association Forbundet KYSTEN was founded in 1979. At the end of 2014, the Association with its 126 local branches has about 10 000 members throughout Norway and abroad. The objective of the association is to strengthen the identity of coastal people, to maintain, transfer and develop traditional knowledge and practical skills (crafts, seamanship etc.) and to protect coastal culture. The local branches rally people from their communities to restore or build replicas of boats that are representative for particular areas. The initial intent was to fix or build boats. But the focus has widened. Working with the local character of a given area, the local branches strive to create coastal cultural centres where one can experience the foundations of the coastal community; the food, the work - the life. And at the centre of it all, of course, are the boats.

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AMMM annual conference

For several years, EMH has enjoyed reciprocal membership facilities and friendly relations with the Association of Mediterranean Maritime Museums (AMMM). Two members of our Executive, Thedo Fruithof and John Robinson, were privileged to address the annual AMMM Forum in Genoa.

The conference was devoted this year to Museums and Cultural Seascapes. In a session devoted to ‘Networks’, Thedo described the role of EMH as a working interface between the owners/operators of traditional vessels in European waters, and the maritime museums and heritage centres responsible for interpreting maritime history to a wider public. He described the role of the Barcelona Charter in promoting ‘best practice’ in the restoration and safe operation of vessels with historic significance. The Charter has been translated into fifteen languages, including Chinese, and is gradually gaining acceptance well beyond the frontiers of Europe. John followed with an account of the International Historic Ships Panel, which works under the aegis of the International Congress of Maritime Museums (ICMM) to harmonise best practices for ship preservation on a worldwide basis. He stressed the importance of email contacts in providing a fast-acting network of advice and mutual support for those who consult the Panel. The Forum itself provided an opportunity to create fresh links between the seven nations represented there (Croatia, France, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Turkey and United Kingdom).We hope to welcome some of those new friends to our Congress in Pasaia in September 2016

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New wooden clinker fishing boat build in Denmark

At the boatbuilding yard in Slettestrand (North Jutland) in Denmark, boatbuilders have started constructing a new clinker, costal fishing boat to the small-scale fishermen in Thorupstrand. It is the first wooden, clinker-build, (professional) fishing boat build in Denmark in the last 14 years as nearly all new fishing vessels in Denmark are made from steel and fiber glass.

In Thorupstrand the boats are hauled up on the beach after a day of fishing, and because of this practice of ‘landing at the beach’ the clinker method is crucial as it makes the hull flexible and strong at the same time. The new boat is 14 meters long and about 5,5 meters wide. It has been designed in a collaborative process between fishermen, boatbuilders and ship engineers in order to make the many considerations come together. The plan is to launch it at Slettestrand around new years 2016/2017.

The boatbuilding yard will be open every day until the 8th of August and thereafter the first Saturday in every month, letting visitors see the work and follow the building of the new fishing boat closely. At Slettestrand, they are hoping that this boat will encourage more small-scale fishermen in Denmark to consider ordering a wooden boat the next time they are looking for a new fishing boat.

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Change of Chairmen for Cultural Council

When the EMH Working Group met on 16 April 2016 at the maritime museum at Cesenatico on Italy’s Adriatic coast, members expressed their gratitude to Nis-Edwin List-Petersen for his Chairmanship of our Cultural Council over a period of five years. During that time Nis-Edwin, a former Chairman of the Danish traditional boat organisation Traeskibs Sammenslutningen, led the CC in collecting information from EMH member nation on the current state of their historic fleets and the problems currently facing them. The responses have been valuable in shaping priorities for our organisation’s future work.

When Dunkirk had to withdraw its candidacy to host our triennial Congress in 2013, Nis-Edwin offered to host the Congress in the German/Danish border region. He hosted a succession of planning meetings at his home near Aabenraa and aboard his traditional sailing boat Solvang.His role as head of the Library Service in Aabenraa and with the local maritime community ensured widespread support  for the Congress, venues for which were shared between Aabenra and Flensburg in North Germany. There were visits to the Danish square-rigger Georg Stage  and an excursion in the Flensburg bay aboard the Russian replica sailing frigate Shtandart.Participants were also entertained by the shanty choir which Nis-Edwin conducts.

At the Cesenatico meeting, Hendrik Boland, president of EMH thanked Nis-Edwin for his convivial and imaginative service to the Cultural Council and to EMH in general, and presented him with a small retirement gift.The chair vacated by Nis-Edwin will filled by Martine van Lier from the Netherlands.

Pasaia, the old whale port in the Basque Country, host the triennial EMH Congress in September 2016


Significance for owners.    

If you look at an old ship, for the owner it may be a treasure, but for others it could be a piece of junk. When you tell people that it is a former fishing vessel called 'Zeesboote' from the bays around Stralsund it becomes a bit more interesting. The story that this type of ship was rescued from scrapping by the former Eastern Germany authorities by converting them to a special class of racing yachts makes you will never forget it.

Similar stories can be told about the San Juan, the whaler replica giving back the Bask society its identity in whaling, or the Halve Maen, reliving the discovery of the Hudson Bay and River by the Dutch.
Replica's get another value. Reconversion is more obvious and charter vessels as a part of heritage is more clear: it enables story telling for long time.

Significance for the public.   

In maritime heritage most people involved cherish their object but it is a hard job against regulations and lack of money. From marketing point of view the experience of the public/society must become the central theme. Put the objects in their environment again (ensembles) and create support via emotions and enforcing identity.

Sector, factor, vector.   

In Dutch wording: we are a 'sector'  now, we claim our own position and like to get support for our 'hobby'. The next step is to become a 'factor', economically for tourism and housing for example, but also the ensemble value in spatial planning and landscape. And the ultimate step would be becoming a 'vector', a vehicle for society emotions like identity and historical awareness.
Being a vector makes it easier to defend against regulations and to raise funding.

Got to conference page of this site

International Conference Maritime Traditions in European waters - best practice of building and operating replicas -

Preserving our maritime heritage is not only the objective of maritime museums. More than 200 old-time sailing vessels and about two million visitors can be counted every year during maritime events in the Baltic Sea Region. Many of those festivals are organized by Baltic Sail member cities: Gdansk (Poland), Guldborgsund Kommune (Denmark), Klaipeda (Lithuania), Karlskrona (Sweden), Riga (Latvia) and Rostock (Germany). Their common goal is to save and promote traditional shipping as a major part of our common maritime heritage. Traditional vessels are in the centre of interest, presenting themselves as ambassadors of their countries and their regional maritime heritage. Maritime Museums as scientific, professional and public protectors of our maritime heritage are members of Baltic Sail as well.

European Maritime Heritage is the association of traditional ships in operation. Its task is to safeguard traditional ships and all the skills belonging to shipping. In the European Maritime Policy it is acknowledged that traditional shipping has become economically important and can also raise public awareness towards ports and traditional shipping, to stimulate young people to start a career in seafaring and to revive and disseminate traditional maritime skills.

Opportunities and best practice examples of these merits of traditional shipping will be discussed by delegates of cities or institutions representing world maritime heritage sites, organizers of harbour festivals, owners, agents or operators of traditional sailing ships, scientists of maritime and naval museums, national shipping authorities, associations or private persons interested in maintaining or simply displaying the maritime cultural heritage of Europe and especially the Baltic Sea Region.
You’re very welcome to join the International Conference Maritime Traditions in European waters - best practice of building and operating replicas -.

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ECOMUSEUM BATANA Candidate for UNESCO’s Register of Best safeguarding Practices

In 2015 the Ministry of Culture of The Republic of Croatia initiated the inscription of   the Ecomuseum Batana as a community project safeguarding the local intangible maritime heritage to the UNESCO Register of Best safeguarding practices. The decision of the inscription is expected during 2016.

The Batana Ecomuseum is a unique museum dedicated to the traditional wooden boat known as the batana and to the community which has chosen it as its symbol. The project was started thanks to the enthusiasm of several individuals from the Rovinj local community still using the batana boat but also aware of its sensitive nature amplified with decreasing fishing activities and introduction of new (plastic) types of boats. Nevertheless, the project at the very beginning assembled a large group of locals concerned with their cultural heritage who started to act as a non-profit association - the House of Batana in this form managing the Ecomuseum.

Thanks to successful accompanying programs and activities, the Ecomuseum strongly asserts its role in safeguarding Rovinj’s intangible heritage. The activities are manifold each empowering one specific characteristic of the intangible heritage connected with the batana boat. The Ecomuseum’s mission and main goals are thus conveyed and implemented through its principal elements:
The House of Batana, local title muòstra, the central interpretation and documentation centre with a permanent exhibition; Spacio Matika, local title spàcio, the place to experience the tastes and smells of the local Mediterranean cuisine;
Mali Škver (Little Shipyard), local title peîcio squèro, the place to celebrate the skills needed for the batana’s construction; Rovinj’s regatta (known simply as Regata) of traditional wooden boats with mainly lateen sails, Rovinj’s main celebration of boats, the sea and sailors; The Batana Way from the Mail Mol (Little Pier) to Spacio Matika and Rovinj’s waterfront, two thematic routes – the first by sea accompanied by barkarioli (boatmen), and the second a stroll along the waterfront, where visitors learn about and experience Rovinj from the ‘batana perspective’. From 2014 a strong accent has been put on education and transmission of local skills and traditional knowledge for youngsters organizing shipbuilding workshops, sailing and rowing with batana and documenting intangible heritage with new technologies.

Further, one of the many objectives of the Batana Ecomuseum is raising the awareness of the role of the batana boat as an important conveyor of intercultural dialogue with which the community of Rovinj is connected with the large family of traditional vessels and related local communities in the Adriatic and Mediterranean. In the concretization of this goal the Batana Ecomuseum became a regular member of the Association of Mediterranean Maritime Museums constantly, since 2010 the Ecomuseum has been twinned with Museo della marineria Washington Patrignani in Pesaro, and participates regularly in historic regattas throughout Europe.

Finally the inhabitants of Rovinj along with their numerous friends and guests contributing to the development of the Ecomuseum are proud and thankful for the acknowledgement of their work and effort in safeguarding the local maritime heritage and its intangible culture.

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Resolutions about the Dutch Heritage Act

The Dutch government seeks to harmonise existing laws and regulations about heritage. Until recently, there was no overview of the current legislation, because regulations about heritage are embodied in different laws and procedures. To end this fragmentation the Ministry of Culture designed a new integral Heritage Act for the safeguarding and maintenance of heritage of all sorts, such as monuments, archaeological heritage and museum collections. The new Heritage Act will be operative on 1-1-2016.

Our strategy

First we wrote a pamphlet and mobilized the private and the professional heritage field to communicate their opinions to the Ministry of Culture. We made appointments with the spokes(wo)men of the political parties and we wrote an alarming article in the newspapers. And we composed suggestions for Resolutions and talked about that with heritage civil servants and politicians. During the debate about the Heritage Act in the Parliament these two resolutions were accepted by a great majority of the political parties. And finally we succeeded! From now on the Minister of Culture has to take care of the mobile heritage too.

First resolution

The first resolution was brought forward by a coalition party. It says:
• noting that our country has a lot of mobile heritage such as historical valuable ships, trains, vehicles and airplanes that are often still in use;
• knowing that this mobile heritage tells a living history;
• noting that the Mobile Heritage Foundation has a Register which is not yet complete;
• noting that the consequences of new regulations for the possession and maintenance of mobile heritage are not always considered consciously;
• requests the government to promote the actualisation, expansion and digital access to the Mobile Heritage Register by the Department of Cultural  Heritage and to make a list of paragons of mobile heritage;
• requests the Minister of Culture also to bring bottlenecks in regulations, that hinder the property and use of mobile heritage, actively under the attention of her colleagues and if possible solve them, and to ensure that the interests of owners of mobile heritage in future will be considered during decisions of the Parliament, and to report on that.

Second resolution

The second resolution was brought forward by an opposition party. It says:
• noting that modifications have to be made regularly on mobile heritage to be able to cope with laws and regulations, about the environment, working conditions and safety;
• knowing that these laws are in the first instance developed for modern means of transport;
• knowing that many owners of mobile heritage are not or hardly capable of complying to all these laws, with the result that mobile heritage sometimes is being sold to foreign countries;
• requests the government to stand firm for the Dutch mobile heritage and let the Minister of Culture extend the coordination to defend the interests of the mobile heritage on a structural basis towards other departments, to search proactively for possibilities to preserve the mobile heritage and thereby also to plead for exceptional measures in cases where laws have evidently unreasonable effects on mobile heritage.

Mathilde Højrup EMH representative for Denmark

Mathilde Højrup grew up in a small fishing village in North Jutland and has been sailing traditional wooden boats since her childhood. In spring 2015, she joined the board of Træskibs Sammenslutningen, the Danish national organisation for traditional boats and maritime heritage.

She holds a master's degree in Social Anthropology and Ethnography from Aarhus University, she has worked at museums and is currently employed at Aarhus University in a Bioscience-Anthropology research project focused on climate change, landscapes, and industrial ruins. She is interested in environmental issues, small-scale fishing, fishing policies and maritime heritage.

Go to website TS

Happy new year

Dear all, members of EMH and friends of all maritime heritage,
On behalf of EMH’s board I would like to wish you all a happy new year.
I would like to thank all dedicated members and friends for their enthusiasm and support in the past year. Good progress was made on several issues. Promising steps for example were taken in the regulatory field that will hopefully lead to concrete results in 2016. And a new triennial congress is due to take place in September 2016 in Basque country and an interesting workshop about building of replica’s, to be held in Gdansk end of June, is under construction.

We share our love for maritime heritage and we love to share our knowledge about maritime heritage. This must lead to a successful 2016, a year in which I hope to meet you all again and in good health.We share our love for maritime heritage and we love to share our knowledge about maritime heritage. This must lead to a successful 2016, a year in which I hope to meet you all again and in good health.

Best regards,
Hendrik Boland, president.

UNESCO recognition for San Juan

“The project to reconstruct an accurate rendition of a 16th Century whaling ship is consistent with the priorities of the Organization aimed at protecting cultural heritage and, more particularly, underwater cultural heritage”, according to UNESCO.
The 70 ft long original San Juan belonged to the first transoceanic ships that set sail from the Basque Country to Newfoundland. It sank off the coast of Canada, in Red Bay in 1565. The wreck was found in 1978, at a depth of 10 meters, under a thick layer of sediment. The wood, thanks to the silt and cold of the seabed, had been preserved in surprising good condition. After bringing her timbers to the surface, retrieving precious and revealing artefacts from her carcass, and measuring, photographing and recording her, everything was returned to the preservative environment of the seabed. The information gathered is now being used to build an exact replica.

With the building of historical boats as its main activity, Albaola The Sea Factory of the Basques is an innovative environment where nautical craftsmanship and technology is recovered and showcased. The Factory is open to public and is characterized by its dynamism, the diversity of its activities and its international outreach.

UNESCO’s full support for the project means that the factory is authorized to use the Organization’s logo, together with the emblem of the 2001 Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage. It is seen as a recognition of the good work done by Alboala but it also helps in getting more public attention for the project.
More information on the project can be found on the very informative website.

Go to website Albaola

EMH enthousiastic about EC's initiative

The initiative of the European Commission's to more clearly exempt traditional ships and sailing ships from the European Directive for passenger ships (also known as EuroSolas) is a positive development. EMH member countries discussed the EC's initiative in Tallinn, Estonia.

Thomas Hoppe, chairman of EMH's safety council: "It is clear to most people that, from a technical point of view, traditional ships are different from modern day cruise ships and therefore need different rules and regulations. Not less safe rules but just different rules". The European Directive for passenger ships was not very specific about what ships fell under its scope and what ships didn't. It was interpreted differently by different Member States. "We understand the Commission now is preparing a proposal", Thomas Hoppe said, "to put an end to the uncertainty and make clear that the passenger ship directive is meant for the vast majority of passenger ships, the new build ships, and that traditional ships need to be dealt with by dedicated national rules. It is good news for all those people trying to preserve their traditional ships, keep them operative and safe." EMH thinks a revised Directive opens up new possibilities for the Memorandum of Understanding on the certification of Traditional Ship, better known as the 'Wilhelmshaven MoU'.

The MoU is an agreement between twelve national shipping inspectorates to accept each others national safety certificates for traditional ships. The MoU came under threat as some signatory states came to believe there no longer was a use for the agreement because traditional ships should comply with the passenger ship directive.

Coastal federation Norway reaches 10.000 member milestone

Oslo, Norway - The  Forbundet KYSTEN passed the number of 10 000 members and 125 local branches along the whole Norwegian coast.

The 10.000 member milestone was reached shortly after UNESCO decided to recommend the accreditation of Forbundet KYSTEN as a non-governmental organization within the UNESCO ICH system. The final decision will be made at the Sixth session of general assembly for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in Paris in june 2016.

Local branches of the coastal federation are active in a wide variety of fields: preservation and use of historical boats, from small rowing and sailing boats to historically significant sailing ships and steamers, the practice and passing on of traditional handicrafts and skills such as boatbuilding, sail making, rope making and rope work and textile traditions, restoration, maintenance and construction of vessels and buildings such as lighthouse stations, harbour buildings, boathouses and historically significant shipyards and boatyards, traditional seamanship and navigation, sailing, rowing, knowledge about coastal waterways and landmarks, songs and musical traditions from the coast.

UNESCO accreditation

Traditional ships are not ordinary passenger ships

The Directive for passenger ships on domestic voyages 2009/45/ec is the modern safety standard. It derives from the SOLAS passenger ship convention and largely shares its scope and definitions.
From the technical requirements it quickly becomes clear that modern ships and not traditional ships are addressed. There is no mentioning of rigging, sails or stability under sail. There no mentioning of paddle wheels either.
The Commission at various occasions stated that traditional ships fall outside the scope of the Directive. All European Member States with traditional ships have national safety regulations for traditional ships. But when it comes to foreign ships, some authorities do not recognize the visiting ship to be exempted from the Directive or SOLAS by their own flag.
Root of the problem may well be that the grounds for exemption mentioned in SOLAS and the Directive are not very clear.

According to the Dutch government, sailing vessels are meant when the Directive exempts "ships not propelled by mechanical means". Others disagree.
Denmark claims that their sailing vessels belong to the exempted category of "original, and individual replicas of, historical passenger ships designed before 1965, built predominantly with the original materials". Others do not concur.

The EC has no intentions of drafting new rules dedicated to traditional sailing ships (a solution that would solve the problem) because it lacks mandate. The Commission however is willing to try to more specifically exempt traditional ships from the existing DR 2009/49 and so improve chances for bilateral agreements between Member States on the national certification of traditional ships. Off course Member States must approve of the intentions of the Commission.

EMH will ask the Commission to convincingly make the case for the exemption of our ships from the directive. It would help the acceptance of national and dedicated safety regimes for traditional ships.

European project results demonstrate cultural heritage counts for sustainable development

Europa Nostra and the partners of the EU-funded project 'Cultural Heritage Counts for Europe' (CHCFE) have revealed main findings and strategic recommendations for tapping into heritage’s full potential by providing compelling evidence of the value of cultural heritage and its impact on Europe’s economy, culture, society and the environment. Key findings show how adopting a holistic approach is an added value when measuring the impact of cultural heritage on employment, identity, regional attractiveness, creativity and innovation, economic contribution, climate change, quality of life, education and lifelong learning, and social cohesion.
In the report’s Executive Summary and Strategic Recommendations, the CHCFE Steering Committee asks EU Institutions and its Member States at all levels of governance to integrate the care, protection and proper use of heritage in all related policies, programmes and actions and to include all stakeholders and civil society in developing strategies and policies for cultural heritage. It also calls for the recognition of heritage’s positive contribution to regional and local sustainable development in the context of the mid-term review of the Structural Funds (in 2016-2017) and the preparation for the next generation of Structural Funds beyond 2020.
“All available evidence confirms that heritage is a strategic resource for a sustainable Europe. We need to enhance our policy action at all levels. It is time to develop a truly integrated approach to heritage, maximising the impact of heritage policies on the local economy and society. This is one of my priorities,” said Tibor Navracsics, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport speaking at the launch of the CHCFE’s final report.

In addition to the key findings and strategic recommendations, the nearly 300-page report provides a snapshot in time of the currently available and accessible data within EU Members States on the wide-ranging impacts of cultural heritage in Europe. The report’s publication release builds on the momentum of policy makers recognizing the potential of Europe’s cultural heritage, most recently with the 6th Conference of Ministers responsible for Heritage organised under the Belgian Chairmanship of the Council of Europe (April 2015), but also the Horizon 2020 Expert Group on Cultural Heritage report Getting Cultural Heritage to Work (April 2015), the Conclusions on Participatory Governance of Cultural Heritage (November 2014) the Communication Towards on Integrated Approach to Cultural Heritage for Europe (July 2014), and the Conclusions on Cultural Heritage as a Strategic Resource for a Sustainable Europe (May 2014).
“The CHCfE consortium began this project to address the absence of readily accessible data on cultural heritage and of a comprehensive overview of its value and relevance on the European level which is so crucial for sound policy making. We are all pleased to see the enhanced interest which cultural heritage has generated at the EU and international level and truly hope that important body of work will contribute to strengthening the dialogue between civil society and decision makers with a view to realising the full potential of cultural heritage as a strategic resource for Europe’s future sustainable development,” states Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailović, Secretary General of Europa Nostra, on behalf of the CHCFE Steering Committee.

The project’s findings and final report were revealed at the CHCfE concluding conference held today at the University of Oslo and organised in conjunction with the Europa Nostra’s Annual Congress 2015. Keynote speakers including Tibor Navracsics, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, Ingvild Stub, State Secretary of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Maxime Prévot, Vice-President and Minister of Wallonia’s Government. CHCFE project partners and heritage experts were also invited to present results and implications for evidence-based policy making in Europe to an audience of cultural heritage professionals, academics, researchers, and distinguished European political figures

The executive summary and full report are available for free download here.

New European Committee for inland navigation rules launched

The creation of the new working body, CESNI (Comité Européen pour l’Élaboration de Standards dans le Domaine de Navigation Intérieure - CESNI), is “in line with the desire of the CCNR, shared by the European Union, to reinforce governance at the European level, particularly in the field of regulations governing inland navigation”.

`The purpose of the new committee is to bring together experts from the Member States of the European Union and the CCNR and representatives of international organisations with an interest in inland navigation. The various stakeholders and professions in navigation in Europe will be represented. In creating the committee, the European Commission – as well as the CCNR – is looking to simplify procedures in the field of regulating inland navigation, so that the experience acquired by the CCNR can be made fully available to all the institutional partners and stakeholders concerned.
The CESNI will be involved in drawing up standards for the technical requirements for inland navigation vessels and the demands made of crew members, and in the various implementing measures in the regulatory fields concerned. The regulatory frameworks of the European Union - new directives are currently been discussed - and of the CCNR - the Rhine Vessel Inspection Regulations and the Regulations for Rhine navigation personnel - will in future refer to the standards developed by the CESNI.

The inaugural meeting of this new CESNI committee took place on 17th June 2015, in Strasbourg. The functioning of the committee and it procedures will be assessed before the end of 2017.

Go to website CCR

Cesenatico: traditional boats ten years displayed in canal designed by da Vinci

Forty years ago the ancient town of Cesenatico was facing significant change as road transport threatened its historic role as a haven for Adriatic coasting vessels. Its harbour had been established in 1314 to serve the town of Cesena several kilometres further inland, and Leonardo da Vinci was commissioned in 1502 to plan a canal linking the two settlements, which however was never completed. By the early 1970s Cesenatico was becoming known as a holiday destination, like its larger neighbour Rimini. Tall buildings were appearing along the shoreline to accommodate the influx of holidaymakers. The town faced the prospect that its historic identity might be submerged under new concrete.

The traditional way of life of the old Cesenatico fishing families was under threat , and the boats from which they fished under sail were being ousted by modern power trawlers. A conference convened in Cesenatico in 1977 acknowledged  the threat that the town might lose sight of its cultural heritage as its local economy changed to meet new circumstances. From that conference emerged a publication ‘La marineria romagnola, l’uomo,l’ambiente’ (‘Seafaring in Romagna: man and environment’). The Emilia Romagna region subsequently pledged its support for the development of a museum devoted to the maritime history of Cesenatico, and an existing building was adapted and extended to accommodate full-size examples of typical local sailing vessels such as the bragozzo and trabaccolo. Adjacent displays show the history of fishing, boatbuilding and the origins of the seaside holiday.

Ten years ago the Museo della Marineria embarked on an ambitious programme of displaying traditional Adriatic sailing vessels afloat in the canal in front of the museum, and keeping alive the skills of operating them with regular trips to sea under volunteer crews. The colourful sails of these vessels are raised each day in summer, and at Christmas the boats are floodlit with dressed Nativity figures on board. Their distinctive triangular sails have been adopted as the emblem for Cesenatico in its marketing literature and websites. When the town won the premier award in 2014 in the ‘Memoire des Ports de Mediterranee ‘ competition run by the FPMM, the jury recognised  the Museum as the most powerful and effective agency in keeping alive Cesenatico’s fishing and boatbuilding heritage.

The Museum’s Director, Davide Gnola, invited friends and supporters to gather in Cesenatico on 29 May to celebrate ten years of the Museum’s floating displays. Three of its exhibits took guests on a short sail around the bay, and at a subsequent public meeting Giovanni Panella and John Robinson were among those invited to speak in support of the Museum’s achievements. The day ended with an al fresco dinner of grilled sardines and a concert of maritime music and poetry on the quayside.

Watch the video

Raise the Maritime-Day Flag

The Museu Maritim de Barcelona has launched the idea that all heritage organisations, associations, entities, and heritage vessels' owners, celebrate the European Maritime Day by hoisting the Maritime Day flag.
In a letter to all European maritime museums deputy director Elvira Mata proposes her plan.

Letter from Museu Maritim de Barcelona
Download pennant

What is a Traditional Ship (under 45 meters)?

What indeed is a traditional ship? How is it defined in Sweden, France or Denmark? Do all these Member States have a definition to begin with and are all definitions the same?

And why are these questions so important?

Well, starting june 1st 2015, ships sailing to European ports, must send their pre-arrival notification digitally to the port authorities. European Directive 2010/65/EU establishes that European Member States shall accept the fulfilment of reporting formalities in electronic format and their transmission via a single window no later than that date. The single window shall be the place where all information is reported once and made available to various competent authorities and other Member States.

There are some difficulties with the new laws though. First of all: how are you going to log in on an internet based portal to fulfil your obligations if you don't have the proper equipment? That may be a bit difficult when you are still at sea.

Secondly: the above mentioned Directive for the application refers to another European Directive, 2002/59/EU where is stated that ships under 300 tons and 'traditional ships of less than 45 meters in length' are exempted (as well as war ships). So traditional ships are of the hook and that sounds good. Now you may be convinced that your ship is very traditional but since there is no common definition, chances are the Port State Control officers may hold a different view.

And to make thing just a little bit more complex (difficulty number 3), the Paris MoU on Port State Control seems to require that all ships (irrespective of size and shape and history) are to notify the port authorities 24 hours before the expected time of arrival.

That is quite different from the scope and application of the Directive.

The new European Directive serves a good purpose. It is meant to simplify communications with port authorities. But if a ships don't have the means to log in to an internet based reporting portal and as long as the explanation of the term 'traditional ship' is up for grabs, it may cause (expensive) problems.

A fantastic sight

The organizing was done through a website where skippers and crew could get all relevant information. The result was overwhelming and the two (already overworked) employees were able to organize more than 100 boats sailing down the Norwegian longstreched coastline. Because of the variety of different vessels joining, the speed was set to 6-7 knot.
There were festivities and activities in all the larger ports along the coast as the convoy came sailing in. Local enthusiasts prepared food and entertainment, and media covered the happenings.
The 17th of July all the ships met at the mouth of the Oslo fjord to sail together in to the harbour of Oslo. With the speed of 3-4 knot the first boats were to arrive at 3 pm and the last was expected to make fast at 6 pm. They all had their pre-arranged place in the harbour. The royal steam longboat ”Stjernen” had the honour of leading the convoy, followed by former prime minister Michelsens  (1857 -1925 ) yacht “Faun”, and then the WWII wooden submarine chaser KNM “Hitra”. After these more than a 100 boats followed in a more or less perfect line. The boats stayed in Oslo for the weekend where a large maritime heritage festivals vas held with thousands of visitors every day.

Secretary General Hedda Lombardo from the Norwegian Ship Preservation Association thought it was an enormous success. “I am awfully thankful for the participation of all the members and for all the people along the coast that made the convoy possible. It was a fantastic sight and we will definitely use this in promoting the Norwegian maritime heritage for a long in to the future.”

The Norwegian Ship Preservation Association, Norsk Forening for Fartoyvern, is an NGO for historic vessels. The main purpose of the organisation is to promote the preservation of historic ships as part of our cultural heritage, encourage the co-operation between owners and co-ordinate the work toward the authorities.

Go to website Grunnlovskonvoien 2014

Circum navigators awarded EZS Medal of Honour

The Lugger Tecla, the Bark Europa and the Schooner Oosterschelde completed their global circum navigation last year. The three historical ships started their voyage in 2012 and sailed close to 50.000 nautical miles around the world, following the old Dutch trade routes and rounding three capes in the process.

Jet Sluik was on board for the complete voyage. In her acceptance speech she struggled to pick the most beautiful or most memorable moment of all, but failed. "Each time you think: 'nothing can top this', the rounding of Cape Horn for example, another fabulous memory will pop up. Like our visit to a volcanic island or the reception we got on the island of Mauritius. There are so many memorable moments that I simply can't single out just one of them." Jet Sluik, speaking before a packed crowd at the Enkhuizen Wester church of nautical college graduates, teachers, government officials and others, said that the adventure all graduates are now to embark on, is something very special and something to be cherished: "Whether you are rounding the Cape of Good Hope or sailing from the island of Terschelling to Ameland: Enjoy it. Live it. And realize how fortunate you are."

The EZS awards the EZS Medal of Honour annually to those who have been important for the sail charter trade sector. Among the laureates are ship captains, politicians and entrepreneurs.

The EZS is a Dutch nautical college preparing students for a professional career at sea or the inland waterways on traditional sailing ships. Courses in Dutch and English attract students from all around the world.

More information:

Go to website EZS

Fifth festival of the navy of Camoli-Recco

From 12 to 14 June 2015, at the Ligurian town of Camogli and Recco, near Genoa, Italy, the fifth Festival della Marineria will be held, this year names “The Sea Unites Us”. According to the chief editor, Paolo Maccione, of the Italian magazine Barche d’Epoca e Classiche, it will be an ‘impressive fleet’ of vintage boats,

classic and traditional will enliven an event to which all are invited to participate: ship lovers and owners, fans of historical seafaring and/or gastronomy and of

local history. That surely must include all EMH Newsletter readers.
The event is organised by the Magazine Barche d’Epoca e Classiche

Go to website

European Maritime Day in Pireaus

The European Maritime Day Conference this year will be held in the Peace and Friendship Stadium in Piraeus (Greece) on 28 and 29 May 2015. The Conference will focus on ports and coasts as engines for Blue Growth.

The European Maritime Day is celebrated annually in Europe on 20 May. This annual platform welcomes Europe's growing maritime community joining policy makers to discuss, debate and exchange best practices. The seas and oceans, and the opportunities they offer, are at the heart of the discussions. Host port Piraeus will also celebrate its maritime community on 30 and 31 May. According to the Commissions website, high level sessions and stakeholder workshops will be organised, as well as exhibitions, public happenings and networking events. To get actively involved follow the link below.
One day the main the focus of the congress will be on Maritime Heritage.

Go to website

Lessons to be learned from sinking Astrid

In 2013 the Astrid ran ashore on the Irish coast and sank shortly afterwards. No lives were lost, no injuries occurred but the Astrid couldn't be saved. Human errors and a lack of procedures caused the loss of the ship according to the report.
The Dutch professional sailing community was shocked by the accident and seeks to learn lessons from it. Paul van Ommen, director of the Netherlands Sail Charter Trade Association, says that, although the report is still under evaluation, it is fair to say that there was an atmosphere of neglect and a lack of respect for rules and regulations on board the Astrid. "Not one crew member was properly qualified for the job, expired certificates, no procedures. It's simply unacceptable."

Van Ommen also is critical of the MCIB report. "It left out important information and therefore offers limited help in thoroughly assessing the accident", he says. "Instead of elaborating on the procedural and technical details, the MCIB has spent more time at arguing that the ship should have been certificated as a SOLAS passenger ship. MCIB apparently wanted to get that message across more than anything else. But, without making clear what technical requirements could have prevented the accident, be it SOLAS requirements or others, it sort of misses the point."

Van Ommen does not want the Association or the sector to be distracted by the political statement the MCIB wanted to make. "Instead we must focus on what can be learned from the accident to prevent another one. And the ship owners association, together with the nautical college and classification society in the Netherlands are studying the accident to do just that".

Download report

Got to report on MCIB site

European Year of Industrial and Technical Heritage.

The idea of studying the physical and archival remains of past industries has a long history, and the term ‘industrial archaeology’ first appeared in print more than 50 years ago. In the ensuing decades this pursuit has earned a wide amateur following and many thousands of enthusiastic supporters have researched the origins of industrial activity in their area and published their findings, In some cases, their efforts have been instrumental in securing the preservation of sites and monuments that would otherwise have been swept away to make way for new developments. In 1990 the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe issued its  Recommendations for the Protection and Conservation  of Industrial, Technical and Civil Engineering Heritage in Europe [CoE Rec (90) 20].   But the notion of industrial archaeology as a legitimate topic for serious academic study is only slowly gaining acceptance.

The European Federation of Associations of Industrial & Technical Heritage (E-FAITH) is a voluntary network of Individuals and associations throughout Europe, sharing expertise and encouraging co-operation in identifying and protecting evidence of the industries and technology of previous generations. In 2012 this lively organisation ( ) began campaigning for a year-long Europe-wide recognition of the importance of industrial activity in the history that we all share. This campaign achieved success exactly 50 years after we had observed 1975 as European Architectural Heritage Year.

The year 2015 has been declared the European Year of Industrial and Technical Heritage.  Endorsements for this event have come from 19 countries, and an extensive list of the organisations which have pledged their support can be viewed at  .The nations with the most numerous supporters are the Netherlands and Belgium where E-FAITH has its Secretariat (address on the website mentioned above).  Discussion groups have been set up on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter and news of events organised under the banner of E-FAITH will be announced there. We hope that this Europe-wide initiative will generate wider public support for protecting our industrial and engineering heritage (for which Europa Nostra set up a specialist Committee when it met in Newcastle on Tyne in 2008). You can expect to hear more of this promotion as the New year progresses.

Go to website

EU compares skipper qualifications

Currently, professional qualifications of individual Member States within the SCV (Small Commercial Vessel) sector are not mutually accepted between Member States. Skippers who hold for example a commercial UK Yachtmaster qualification can only work on vessels with British flag, the same is the case for skippers with the equivalent Spanish or German qualifications: they can only work on vessels flagged by the country corresponding to their qualification. In boating hot spots like the western Mediterranean, where boats from many different European countries are based, this has severe effects on the work flexibility and mobility of skippers who are even restricted from driving identical vessels due to the different country flag. This situation effects charter boat skippers, marine service staff who move boats professionally in or between ports, delivery skippers and dive boat skippers who ferry their customers to and from diving spots.

With the objective of finding a solution to this problem the project “TRECVET Core Curriculum for Skippers of Small Commercial Vessels” (in short TCC-SCV ) will analyse six professional SCV skipper qualifications from UK, France, Spain, Germany, Slovenia and Croatia by breaking them into their smallest parts called Fundamental Elements and thereby offering objective comparability.
The project gathers ten partners from nine EU countries who have been selected for their expertise in maritime qualifications and their knowledge of the qualifications in the Small Commercial Vessel sector. The partners were chosen for their operational diversity to ensure different viewpoints and strengths and for their position within the SCV sector. The consortium is therefore comprised of one European association, four National associations, two maritime universities and three sea schools operating in the SCV sector.

Go to website

Enkhuizen Nautical School

In 1978 a specialist nautical academy was established at Enkhuizen in the Netherlands to offer formal instruction in all aspects of traditional seamanship. Each year since then the School has turned out graduates who have found employment in traditional  vessels in the charter trade or in large yachts, both in European waters and further afield. The reputation of the Enkhuizen Nautical School has spread such that now up to 100 students are  accepted to study there each year, and an increasing proportion come from outside the Netherlands. Hitherto, most of the instruction has been in the Dutch language, and all students have required a knowledge of that language to complete their examinations. As a move to make its facilities more accessible to non-Dutch speakers, courses will now be offered in English.

The courses are principally at two levels. The ‘Kleine Zeilvaart’ course trains students to become a Watch Officer (all sailing vessels, worldwide) or a captain of sailing vessels (restricted area of operation) up to 500 GT.
The ‘Grote Zeilvaart’ takes that training to an advanced level, equipping students to command any commercial sailing vessel worldwide. For qualified merchant marine officers, there is a route to KZV or GZV endorsement by a short winter course between January & March. The School also offers a practical course for Bosuns which can be combined with the KZV course.
The syllabus takes account of the requirements of the UK MCA (Maritime and Coastguard Agency) for professional qualification.

Go to website

Dutch transport minister will speak with Danish counterpart

Root of the six year long debate between the Netherlands and Denmark is the question whether ships carrying more than twelve passengers may be nationally certificated or must be, as Denmark demanded, SOLAS certificated. The European Commission has taken the position that within the European Union ships may travel freely with national certificates since there is no European measure laying down harmonised rules for the certification of ships engaged on international voyages. Member States are in principle free to impose the safety rules they see fit on these ships, within the limits of European law.

Host States, Denmark (in this particular case) may however, in a case by case situation, demand additional requirements if there are overriding reasons of public interest (safety) and if that interest is not already safeguarded by the rules of the Flag State. If Demark is to imposed extra requirements they also must be appropriate and proportionate and non- discriminatory.
Denmark and the Netherlands have been negotiating a solution for the problem. Although Denmark with its proposal accepts the Dutch national certificates, it for some ships demands additional technical requirements or operational restrictions. Outside the 20 NM zone all ships still must have a SOLAS certificate.
The Dutch ship owners could not agree with the latest Danish proposal, arguing that they were not proportionate and discriminatory.  Mrs. Schulz will now discuss the matter at a ministerial level in a final attempt to negotiate an agreement.

Commission organises workshop on coastal tourism

The workshop is one of the actions that follows from the EU’s Blue Groth Strategy. The Commission has identified 14 actions which can help the sector grow sustainably and provide added impetus to Europe's coastal regions. For example, the Commission proposes to develop an online guide to the main funding opportunities available for the sector and to support the development of trans-national and interregional partnerships, networks, clusters and smart specialisation strategies in coastal and maritime tourism. The Commission will work with Member States, regional and local authorities and the industry to implement these actions.

Aim of the workshop is also to explore cluster-driven linkages between the sector and with other related industries: creative industries, marine and maritime heritage and, fishing activities.

The workshop will be held in Brussels on the 20th of january 2015
More about the workshop and the EC’s policys go to

Go to website

EMH officers to meet in Norway

Hosted by Norsk Forening for Fartøyvern (The Norwegian Ship Preservation Association) members of the EMH Executive Committee, the Working Group as well as the Cultural, Safety, and Inland Waterways Councils will meet in Oslo, Norway, 22-23 November 2014.
Several difficult subjects are on the agenda such as changing the EMH constitution and formulating action plans for the coming three years for the organization as such as well as for the councils.

Changing the EMH Constitution will serve to change EMH from being an informal network into a formal organization.  This to enable EMH to act as a legal entity in order to be able to join for example EU projects, and to free the executive committee member for their present personal liability for EMH.
Technically it is not possible just to change EMH from informal to formal; the informal association will have to be dissolved, and a new formal association must be founded.

Norwegian Ship Preservation Association

News from the board

In a few days representatives of members will meet in Oslo for the autumn meeting of the EMH Working Group. On the agenda is the EMH organisation itself. The objective is to make the organisation more resolute.  The working group will continue the good work started in Barcelona in January and will discuss the organisational changes needed to make EMH more effective.

Both the Safety Council and the Cultural Council will also meet in Oslo. On the agenda of the first is the revision of the Memorandum of Understanding. The council will also be working on an inventory of European safety regulations for traditional ships.
The Cultural Council will be working on the revision of the Barcelona Charter. The idea is to include intangible heritage.

Working Group and councils are guests of the Norsk Forening for Fartøyvern (Norwegian Ship Preservation Association) and its General Secretary Hedda Lombardo.
We are looking forward to welcome as many members as possible and to have fruitful discussions.

Hendrik Boland, president of EMH.

[picture: Hedda Loambardo]

MCA Proposal for Reclassification of Lapsed Class Vessels

The British Maritime Heritage Trust (MHT) is working to safeguard affected vessels so that a new passenger certificate can be obtained. Essentially, this was the issue facing paddle steamer Waverley in 1997 when applying for a major rebuild. Negotiation between Heritage Afloat, MCA and the Paddle Steamer Preservation Society secured a happy outcome on that occasion.  MHT shares concerns MCA may hold regarding owners of ‘old boats’ jumping on this bandwagon to simplify compliance. Other issues apply though. Operators of more modern vessels may resist favourable terms being offered to operators of historic craft as they could see this as giving them financial advantage. Defining ‘Historic Vessel’ could assist but the subject has been discussed by over many years without any concensus being reached. A solution could be for any such vessel to have to be on the National Register of Historic Vessels, operated by National Historic Ships UK. Discussion is on-going on this point.

The Maritime Heritage Trust

EMH Event Workshop in Workum

The festivities in Workum in October were the reason to organise an EMH workshop about Maritime events. Twelve nationalities came together in the tiny city of Workum in the Netherlands. Event organisers and related experts discussed all aspects of maritime events and their meaning for the traditional fleet in Europe. Experiences from event organisers in, among others, Switzerland, Spain, Croatia and Norway were shared and discussed.

The workshop will result in a guideline for maritime events for traditional ships. A full report soon can be found on our website.

More will follow in a next EMH E-news.

Workum event

Learn to sail a traditional boat

Among the events hosted by the city of Marseilles in 2013 to mark its distinction as the European Capital of Culture was a week-long festival in November to publicise the Memoire des Ports de Mediterranee competition and select the winners. This international competition has been organised since 2011 by the Mediterranean Maritime Heritage Federation to encourage port administrations to value their cultural inheritance and make port activities better understood by the communities that live alongside them. The cultural history of the host city, Marseilles, is perhaps longer and richer than any other Mediterranean port, reaching back several thousand years to the Classical era when Greek and Roman vessels came to the ancient harbour of Massalia with cargoes from all over the known world.

An international jury worked through a list of 26 entries and drew up a list of fifteen finalists, each of which was invited to present its portfolio and demonstrate its commitment to maritime heritage and culture. There were two separate entries from different administrations in the host city, Marseilles. But the jury concluded that the Grand Prix should be awarded to the port of Cesenatico on Italy’s Adriatic coast. In a message read at the award ceremony on 23 November, the Mayor of Cesenatico, Roberto Buda, paid tribute to several organisations which had worked together to promote all aspects of maritime culture including seafood cookery  in and around Cesenatico. Foremost among these is the Museo della Marineria , the lively maritime museum close to the harbour where, in the summer months, no less than ten historic sailing vessels from the Venice lagoon and adjacent areas of the Northern Adriatic are displayed afloat and can be boarded by visitors. The Museum sent a strong team of volunteer supporters, led by its director Davide Gnola, to the River Loire Festival in Orleans in September 2013 where the Adriatic sailing boats they sailed on the river made a colourful contribution to Europe’s premier river festival.

The Museo della Marineria is unusual among maritime museums in its devotion to intangible aspects of maritime history and the transmission of traditional seafaring skills to rising generations. The jury in Marseilles particularly commented that Cesenatico already has an established record of public involvement in preserving maritime skills, whereas for other competitors this is still an aspiration for the future. From 12-14 June 2014 the museum will offer a three-day course in traditional seamanship, using two of its floating exhibits (a bragozzo from near Chioggia and a twin-masted trabaccolo sailing freighter). Some of the tuition will be based ashore, with the prospect of up to two days at sea if the weather permits, using traditional instruments for navigation. This will be the sixth such summer school, and only 18 participants can be accepted. The instruction will be led by naval historian and archaeologist Stefano Medas, President of the Italian Institute of Maritime Archaeology and Ethnology (ISTAEN). For those fortunate enough to be accepted the course fee will be €99. For further details, contact the museum at

VIAPORI Dockyard, a Bridge to the Future

The Viapori dockyard boasts almost three centuries of uninterrupted activity. Where warships were once built, ships with historical significance are now restored.
Every winter the dockyard shelters a fleet of traditional wooden sailing ships built in the aftermath of WWII for the coastal trade. They ensured the supply of building materials for the reconstruction of Helsinki, were meant to work hard and live short. Thanks to two generations of people who sailed and lovingly preserved them, a few of these ships survive.

Jacopo Brancati is a maritime photographer and author who works for diverse European museums and for the specialised press. In 2011 he started the "Viapori project" to arouse interest in the dockyard, the ships and so help preserve this precious but fragile part of Finland's heritage.
His pictures lead the visitor to discover life and work at the dockyard, where the mature and the young work side by side, sharing experiences, fatigue and laughter, freezing temperatures and warm sunny days, until the ships are ready to slip out of their winter cocoons and set sails again.

The exhibition soundtrack, by the kantele player and composer Arja Kastinen, is an evocative journey into the world of images through music, voices and sounds.

Press kit in English

Go to website

Barcelona Charter also translated in Hungarian

Mr. Gábor Csernussi - Chairman of the Technical Committee of the Hungarian Yachting Association - translated the Barecelona Charter in Hungarian.

It is not an official translation, but it is very nice that more and more the Barcelona Charter is to read in different languages.

Hungarian translatian

Go to all translations

Barcelona Charter available in Chinese (traditional and simplified).

Thanks to Patricia Huang the Barcelona Charter is translated in Chinese. A traditional  and a simplified version is available.

The Barcelona Charter is now readable for more people and EMH is proud to offer so many translations of this charter.

Traditional Chinese
Simplified Chinese
Go to all translations

IHTS panel meeting in Cascais during ICMM congress

In Cascais, Portugal EMH will meet other members op the IHTS panel.

See for IHTS the site of ICMM click on IHTS in the menu

STI met a small delegation from EMH during their spring meeting in Amsterdam

European Maritime Heritage encourages the transmission of traditional nautical skills from experienced seafarers to younger sailors who can keep these skills alive. Its triennial Congress in Portugal in 2010 was principally devoted to a series of debates on how these skills can be passed down to a new generation.

Sail Training International works throughout the world to promote opportunities for young people of all backgrounds to experience the value of sail training in developing life skills of self-reliance, personal initiative and teamwork. It has extensive experience in bringing together training ships for competitive and social events, where the public can enjoy the spectacle of traditional seamanship in action and share the experience of international understanding  practically demonstrated through crew exchanges.

Trustees from S T I met a small delegation from EMH in Amsterdam on 19 April 2013 to discuss how the two organizations might work more closely together. Close agreement was reached on a number of broad issues, and we resolved to work more closely together to sustain traditional seafaring as a repository of important life skills and a conduit for sharing the lessons which the sea can teach us.  (On the picture right Doug Prothero (Chairman) and left Per Jessing (President of EMH))

Go to STI website

Statement of Gdansk Congress

The Baltic Sail Association, represented by the Hanseatic City of Rostock in co-operation with the Polish Maritime Museum of Gdansk had organized under the patronage of Mayor of Gdansk City Mr. Pawel Adamowicz and in consultation with European Maritime Heritage (EMH) the international seminar "Maritime Traditions in European Waters"- Floating Culture - Protection, Reconstruction and Operation" on November 8th 2012.

The participants of the seminar entitled the signees to state five statements. (read the pdf  for all statements)

Read the whole text

New associate member from Russia

Russian NP Flagman-As has applied for associate member of EMH.

The NP Flagman_As is based in Moscow and there main goal is: preservation of the maritime heritage of  Russia, participation in international events related to the history of shipbuilding and navigation.

A Way Ahead for EMH

A Way Ahead for EMH
The world of and around maritime heritage in Europe is changing through time. This makes it necessary for European Maritime Heritage to re-establish its goals and policy at regular intervals. The Executive Committee (Excom) of EMH drafted a paper describing our background and policy. EMH invited all members and all other interested parties to join in a discussion about the future of EMH. At the Working Group meeting in Paris in March 2012 EMH came to the following conclusion.

As of today EMH is an umbrella organisation for the national and regional associations, museums and others that organise the heritage fleet in Europe still in operation including the skills in this connection. EMH is a bottom up organisation – we are what our members make us.
Ask “What can EMH do for you!

See for the whole text the link beneath

read the whole text

Proceedings of the 7th European Maritime Heritage Congress available

Poceedings of the 7th European Maritime Heritage Congress available.

The proceedings of the triennial congress in Seixal, September 2010 is printed and available at the office of EMH.
The title is: "Are we able to hand maritime heritage down to future generations?"
Portugese / English

The proceedings may be purchased from the EMH Office:
Dijkweg 222, 1619 JC Andijk, the Netherlands,
Tel/Fax 0031 228 593 136.
Email: thedo[at]
Price € 5,- + mailing costs

Lithuania new member of the MoU

The Lituanian Maritime Safety Administration joined the MoU.

The Chairman of the MoU, Per Nordström accepted Lituania as a new member and the signature on the application letter should be regarded as a signatory of the MoU. Welcome to Lithuania.

Got to MoU information

EC public consultation sea going vessels

The public consultation window is opened. Through this process the European Commission wants to learn the opinion of the general public on issues concerning the safety regulations for sea going passenger ships in the broadest sense. The subject is not limited to convention (SOLAS) passenger ships or ships now covered by Directive 2009/45 (formerly known as 98/18) but also concerns sailing ships, historical ships and ships other than steel ships.
The consultation is open to all EU citizens. The window will be open for three months. This will leave a good opportunity to first exchange ideas and opinions within your own organisation and secondly examine the possibilities to act together with other European representative organisations under the EMH umbrella before filling out the question forms of the European Commission.

An EMH delegation will travel to Brussels Tuesday 24th April to present the case of EMH in more abstract terms and to learn more about the procedure and how we can contribute to the success of it.

We will get back to you shortly afterwards and possibly with a suggestion for a plan of joint action.

The public consultation on the revision of Directive 2009/45/EC was launched this weekend and I invite you to provide your comments at the following webpage:

The stakeholder conference will take place on 24 April and the programme outline can be found at the bottom of the webpage :

For more information

Proteas, new regional member of EMH

A group of Greece traditional boat owners associated in Proteas joined EMH as regional member.

Their main mission is: preservation and dissemination of our maritime heritage.

The main activities are:
Research, understanding and rescue.
Recording all relevant available historical or scientific evidence.
The dissemination and promotion of Greek traditional shipbuilding and marine ideal.
The vision of the arts and craft of the sea - as a cultural product deliveries and their useas such, the cultural values of society.
Training, education and training to disseminate knowledge and acceptance, deployment and understanding of traditional shipbuilding - maritime art and tradition in Greece and abroad as a process of dissemination of culture, arts and general exchange of communication between peoples .
The preservation of historic vessels and the construction of representative types of traditional  vessels of the Hellenic archipelagos.

Go to the website of Proteus

Nis-Edwin List-Petersen from Denmark (TS) took over the chair of EMH Cultural Council.

Nis-Edwin List-Petersen from Denmark (TS) took over the chair of EMH Cultural. During the Executive Council meetinig in Sweden Nis-Edwin accepted the chair. He is owner of the Lofot-Cutter Solvang and active sailer and member of Træskibs Sammenslutningen (TS), the national Danish EMH member of Denmark.

Nis-Edwin succeed Per-Inge Lindqvist from Sweden who was on the helm since 2007.

Left Nis-Edwin together with EMH president Per Jessing (right).

Take a look at his website

ALBAOLA became a member of EMH

The Society of Basque Maritime Heritage started up some twenty years ago. They started to construct a replica of a nineteeth-century Basque fishing boat, a 'tainera', called Ameriketatik.  The boat was financed by Basque Clubs from America. This was a start for new activities in construction, sailing and attending different maritime events to show the rich maritime past of the Basques.

Nowadays the group preserve a former wharf and sheltered a collection of boats.

Maritime museums of Iceland support EMH

In many towns and localities on Iceland maritime heritage is part of the society. The Icelandic association of maritime museums preserve coastal, sailing and fishing heritage.

The interesting website of this association shows many places with museums about whaling, local and seagoing fishing and fishing culture, lighthouses and maritime heritage area's.

general site of icelandic maritime museums

About 150 participants from 20 countries attended last European Maritime Heritage congress.

Recommendation from the EMH congress in Seixal,
 September 23-24, 2010.

The attendance in Seixal was greater than at earlier congresses and we had representatives from 20 countries.

The theme of the congress was:

Are we able to hand over our maritime heritage to future generations?

In order to achieve this EMH should for the coming years give priority to:
• Encourage all initiatives to include young people „to get onboard“ and to learn the history, the intangibles and skills of our maritime heritage.

• Stimulate the exchange of best practices between the EMH membership in general and of how young people are engaged especially.

• To sell ourselves better to „political Europe“ and the general public and in particular to young people.

• To gain better recognition of the value added by our maritime heritage activities to environment, economy and education and obtain a larger economic share.

• Change the mindset of regulators so that safety, of course must be given priority, but safety can be obtained in different ways. Important is that the maritime heritage can be maintained and not threatened.

• Enhance the knowledge and understanding of the various interpretations and classifications of our maritime fleet and promote the discussion between our members without specifiying a definite EMH wording.

• Make sure that the traditional fleet is included in the minds of UNESCO, EU policy makers and IMO.

• Include the traditional fleet in DG MARE’s European Atlas of the Seas.

Seixal, September 24, 2010

Programm and abstracts

Registration for 7th EMH congres in Seixal (Portugal) open.

7th European Maritime Heritage Congress
Are we able to hand maritime heritage down to future generations?
Seixal, 23rd-25th September 2010

In recent years, institutions involved in heritage preservation and management, including museums, have engaged in reflection as to the means that might lead to the participation of young people in heritage protection and restoration processes. This question takes on still greater relevance when considering that these same individuals may simultaneously become the future visitors and/or users of heritage resources, future professionals in the technical and scientific fields related to heritage and, finally, the future custodians of heritage related testimonies and who would then in turn take on the mission to preserve and convey them for the generations to come.
Hence, there is a need to identify the means of fostering youth interest in heritage, ensuring their active participation in the definition of heritage related programs. Through interaction with young people, both museums and the many other heritage related institutions would be contributing towards the instruction of future societies.
The 7th European Maritime Heritage Congress correspondingly focuses upon these issues in relation to the field of maritime heritage. The host organisation, Seixal Municipal Ecomuseum, thereby hopes to nurture an exchange of experiences and boost the levels of cooperation between maritime museums and other entities involved in generating knowledge on safeguarding and promoting maritime heritage.

Registration form
Site of Ecomuseum in Seixal

Manifest in favour of the Floating Maritime Heritage of the Spanish State by Dr. Jaime Rodrigo de Larrucea

Manifesto in favour of the Floating Maritime Heritage of the Spanish State
Gijón Statement in the Framework of the European Maritime Day
20 May 2010, Dr. Jaime Rodrigo de Larrucea

The history of Europe is strongly related to the sea. Our past holds numerous crucial maritime episodes that have determined our process of development and our culture. This is a common culture to all the people of Europe, a culture which is both plural and rich in diversity. Its most visible materialization are the different vessels and ships that maintained the people of the coastline and offered them new prospects. This is an important heritage, as it is the expression of intangible traditional knowledge, sawyers, shipbuilders, seamen, fishermen, and many other occupations (activities) related to a territory and a natural landscape.

The European Union is aware of the value of such a legacy and is concerned
about the littoral and coastal ecosystem damages and the lack of marine location. The policies of the European Union promote the preservation of
marine environment and the recovery of activities related to the sea. The Green Paper - Towards a future of Maritime Policy for the Union : a European vision for the oceans and seas includes the chapter Reclaiming Europe’s Maritime Heritage and Reaffirming Europe’s Maritime Identity. This entails more active policies that give more visibility to maritime Europe, and the promotion of heritage, as well as the celebration of the European Maritime Day, due every May 20th. (See pdf for whole text.)

Read the whole text

News from the 'Black Flag' initiative

To the operators and lovers of traditional vessels.

It is one year since we launched our international ship operators’ campaign, so it seems appropriate to take stock now:
BLACKFLAG was primarily aimed at demonstrating to politicians and to the general public that there are serious flaws in the legal regime governing traditional vessels. Also, the campaign was about motivating people to actively contribute to finding solutions to our problems

Read the more in the last newsletter

Go for site

Report workshop Maritime Heritage European Maritime Heritage Day

• Traditional ships ("maritime heritage afloat") offer a lot of added value in terms of visibility, identification and economic activity. However, there is no single market for these vessels and boats and bureaucratic obstacles with regard to movement, certificates and operations persist. Recommendation 1468/2000 of the Council of Europe never received appropriate follow-up and the EU should act on this.

• For young people to keep up traditional skills and to make them interested in any kind of maritime employment we need to create a pan-European market for the traditional vessels still in operation. The upkeep of traditional ships also provides employment opportunities for people with specific skills and creates social networks.

• Problems faced by traditional ships are not limited to Europe. Networking, exchange of best practice and a joint approach with partners around the world are essential.

Download Summary of Per Jessinig

For the programm, pictures etc see

EMH present at the European Maritime Day, the Stakeholder Conference on 19 May in Gijón, Spain

There is a great value for the maritime heritage to sail around within EU, however there is no single market for our vessels and boats. For young people to keep up traditional skills we need to create a pan-European market for the traditional vessels still in operations

Download programm

Go for more information to the website

Canadian organisation joined EMH

The organisation Goëlette Grosse-Île from Quebec became member of EMH as a associate member.

They support EMH from Canada. The organisation restore the schooner Gross-Île, disseminate maritime culture in Quebec and operate the schooner for the benefit of the maritime tradition.

Go for more information to the website

Lithuanian Sea Museum became Advisory member of EMH

Main activities: Exposition of history of navigation, etnographic fisherman's Farmstead and also the Nerija fort, aquarium, dolphinarium, expositions of Sea birds and maamals and marine fauna. We operate traditional sailing ship of Coronian Lagoon "Süd1" and going to launch in the nearest future traditional fishing motor-baot (dore).

Go for more information to the website

Traditional ships sail to a spontaneous Event in Marstal, Denmark.

Tens of Dutch, German and Danish sailing ships altered their course to Marstal in Denmark.

It is a spontaneous action to ask attention for the ongoing problems for traditional vessels travelling in Denmark and Germany. The ships will arrive Wednesday afternoon the 16th of September. Thursday morning the mayor of Marstal will be given a petition with the request to try its utmost to realise that sailing vessels also in future without problems can call at port in Denmark.

Another message will be the continuation of the BLACKFLAG action and a token of appreciation to all the harbourmasters and other persons in Denmark that have supported the fleet in the last years.
EMH  at the same time plans to hand in an appeal to shipping authorities to change their recently very restrictive course in respect to traditional vessels.

There will be a shanty choir performing, representatives from press and television have shown their interest for this event.

At Wednesday 16th of September afternoon around 15:00 there leaves the dutch vessel “Catherina” from Kiel Holtenau to Marstal. There is some place for people interested in this event. “Catherina” will sail back to Kiel at Thursday around noon.

Further Information: Pieter Boot, tel.0031622701043."

Letter EMH

Go for more information of the Blackflag activities

Report available of the European Maritime Day.

The second workshop had as title: Raising awareness of common maritime heritage  as a cultural pillar of the integrated maritime policy.

Three key messages included on the reporting slide for the
last plenary session
• The variety of individual projects all over Europe proves
that there is a common maritime heritage which could be
used as the cultural pillar of an integrated maritime policy.
• However, only a small part of the projects are visibly
labelled as European and thus are not perceived by the
European public as a genuine European maritime heritage.
Others are either too specific or too specialised to be
perceived by a larger public as of general European
importance. Especially the latter deserve more and more
widespread recognition – a task which could be fulfilled by
European institutions.
• Taken into consideration that the European institutions
should not act normatively it seems reasonable to focus on
a few but carefully chosen projects related to our common
maritime heritage. Here the European Commission could
e.g. provide for a framework in which a network of projects
could be embedded. The projects accepted should be
carefully selected and fulfil certain criteria like quality,
European dimension, public interest to safeguard both
standard and sustainability.

See for Report

See for all presentations

New Associate member in Poland

Miejski Ośrodek Sportu i Rekreacji w Gdańsku owners of the General Zaruski new EMH associate member

The 25m long gaff rigged wooden ketch General Zaruski, intended for 30 persons, was meant to be the first of 10 sister vessels, on board of which the Maritime and Colonial League planned to carry out a large scale programme of maritime education of the Polish youth. In 1940’s, following the dissolution of the Maritime League, the yacht was taken over by the Friends of Soldiers League (Liga Przyjaciół Żołnierza) which was later on transformed into the League of State Defence. During the Stalin  regime, the yacht bore the name Młoda Gwardia.

The City of Gdansk  bought the ketch.  After thorough renovation works, the ketch will both promote the City and serve as a training yacht for young people.

Go for more information to the website

Blackflag campaign in Kiel

Currently, our operating radius is extremely limited as we are often not allowed to call at even the nearest foreign port. That is why we are flying the black flag with a question mark in it - we simply do not know how to keep going under the current interpretations of legal framework.

Increasingly, European countries are in disagreement about the mutual recognition of national provisions for traditional vessels and this is leading to some countries going it alone.

The very concept of traditional shipping is threatened if we are only allowed to operate within the national waters before our doorstep. Heavily restricting cross-national operation will effectively end maritime exchanges, preclude visits to maritime events in other countries and thus run counter to the endeavour of preserving traditional seamanship by organising long cruises.

European integration is increasingly based on legislation common to all member countries. National sets of rules for traditional vessels are a clear exception to this trend.

What we need is a reliable international legal framework for the operation of our vessels.

More information
Apeal to the vessels operators

Cooperation EMH and ESPO

Maritime Heritage a tool for ports to create awareness.
Modern ports are today out of reach for the general public. Security and modern techniques are the reason for this. It is however in the interest of each port to create awareness of its own activities and roots. There are several reasons for this and recruiting of future employees and better understanding about its activities in the city are two out of many reasons.
Maritime Heritage should play a central role in order to create awareness.
Most ports have centrally located areas that are not required for today’s port activities. In these parts of the port where the general public freely can enter heritage should be the given option to create awareness.
European Maritime Heritage (EMH)  - the association for traditional ships in operation  - have today agreed with European Seaports’ Organization (ESPO) to encourage its members to cooperate in order to achieve the following targets:

•ESPO should encourage ports to nominate a heritage officer responsible for the contacts with local heritage associations. EMH should help to identify the local EMH counterpart.
• Heritage associations should make sure that in exchange for premises given their ships and other equipments are accessible, tidy and welcoming for the general public.
• A heritage port could as well be used to display historic items from ports.
• Taditional craftsmanship, restoration and maintenance should also be given appropriate premises in the heritage port whenever possible.
• ESPO and EMH should encourage its members to co-operate for successful local and /or national festivals, events and similar.



ESPO site

First Regional EMH Membership: Galicia

The Galician Federation of Traditional Ships has decided to become Regional Member of EMH. The Federación Galega pola Cultura Marítima e Fluvial  (FGCMF) is the name in Spanish and their magizine is called Ardentía

Galicia has a very rich maritime culture and the most well known ship is the dorna. In many ports you can find these old or replicated wooden sailing boats. Museo do Mar, an important maritime musuem you will find in Vigo.
The FGCMF's main activities are organising a regata and tradional ships meeting (biannual), promting awereness about Galician Maritime Heritage, collaborate with other similar institutions either at national and international level, participate in several fora and to carry out exhibitions and editing books about Galician Maritime Heritage.

  EMH is very proud to welcome our new friends.

Have a look at the very nice and up-to-date website of FGCMF

Forbundet KYSTEN new Associate Member of EMH

The Norwegian coastal association Forbundet KYSTEN subscribed  as new Associate Member of EMH. This association, foundet in 1979, is set up to strenghten the identity as coastal people, to maintain, transfer and develop traditional knowledge and practical learning (crafts, seamanship etc.) and to improve the standards of protection of the Norwegian coastel culture.

At the end of 2008, the Association have about 9.000 members througout Norway and abroad and 110 local branches - Coastal Heritage Centres.
The local branches rally people from their communities to restore or build replicas of boats that are representative of the particular areas heritage. The original intent was to fix or build boats. But the focus has evolved. The scope of its activities has widened constantly. Working with the local character of a given area, the most ambitous of the kystlags strive to create nothing less than coastal cultural identity centers, where one can go to experience the very foundations of the coastal community; the food, the work - the life. And the center of it all, the boats.

EMH is glad to welcome this strong organisation from Norway.

Nis-Edwin List-Petersen the new representative for Denmark

Since last year two important people for the Danish as well as for the European maritime heritage takes formal leave of the EMH family Nis-Edwin List-Petersen is just pointed as their successor.

In October the Working group of EMH honoured Arne Gotved and Jørgen Josephsen for all they did for EMH since the start in 1992. Arne was the motor behind the Barcelona Charter and Jørgen was involved with Safety Rules and the EMH working process.

Nis-Edwin is vice-president of Traeskibs Sammenslutningen (TS) and a sailor with his Lofot Cutter Solvang (1930). He will be the representative for Denmark and also member of the Cultural Council.

Go for a picture of the EMH honorary members Arne Gotved (l) and Jørgen Josephsen (r ) .
And the ceremony October 2008 during the Conference in Rostock. From left to right: Per Jessing, Jørgen Jesepphsen, Arne Gotved, Michael vom Baur, Hendrik Boland, Thedo Fruithof, Jan Fock and John Robinson.
Go for site of Nis-Edwin's Solvang

Looking for partnership in EU Leonardo da Vinci programme

The A.K. Ilen Company is an Irish non-profit organisation that has as its primary objective the refitting of the Ilen- the only surviving example of an Irish wooden-built trading vessel (launched in 1926).
We have recently commenced a series of workshops to undertake the refit; these involve a number of participants working under the instruction of experienced shipwrights.

We intend to apply for funding towards our project from the European Commission under the Leonardo da Vinci (LdV) programme, which is the element of the Commission’s life Long Learning initiative concerned with vocational education and training (VET). One source of funding available under the programme is through the formation of partnerships with other institutions involved in VET and the purpose of this communication is to ascertain whether your organisation would be interested in becoming involved in such a partnership.

Benefits of participation in the proposed partnership include:
• Opportunity for exchange of best practice
•  Increasing co-operation between regions and sectors
• Increasing co-operation between schools and industry
• Strengthening of mutual learning
• Exposure to working in transnational partnership

The criteria for LdV Partnerships activities are quite broad and can include workshops, multilateral exchanges of staff and learners as well as more formal activities such as integration of theory and practice.

Each EU State has a National Agency responsible for administering the Leonardo da Vinci programme and each prospective partner organisation must apply for funding from its own Agency. Match funding is not a requirement of the partners and the E.U. contribution is based simply on the number of ‘mobilities’ i.e. visits to partners.

Other forms of co-operation, for example Transfer of Innovation, can attract more significant levels of LdV funding and we are also exploring the possibility of submitting an application to our National Agency under this heading. In this case the AK Ilen Company would be the co-ordinating partner and would be responsible for the funding for all partners.

Should you feel that involvement in an LdV project as outlined would be beneficial to (name of organisation), I would appreciate the opportunity to discuss the matter further. Please contact the undersigned via email in the first instance and I’ll be glad to provide further information on the proposal.

Yours sincerely,

Eugene Pratt

on behalf of the AK Ilen Company

Click for letter.

EMH sent the proposal for Chapter 19 of the EG 2006/97

The Inland Waterway Council of EMH presented a proposal  for the discussions in the EU Joint Working Group.

EMH is very pleased that the principle of traditional ships in operation is acknowledged in chapter 19 of EU 2006/87. EMH has attended the discussion in the JWG with interest and now likes to contribute to this discussion with a proposal for chapter 19 of the Directive 87/2006/EG on behalf of the organizations of owners of historical ships.

Start of European Heritage Legal Forum

The new European EHLF (European Heritage Legal Forum) consultation body recently had its first meeting in the prestigious embassy of the Free State of Bavaria near the European Union in Brussels, directly opposite the entrance to the building of the European Parliament.
The EHLF is composed of representatives of several European countries who investigate the effect of EU legislation on European cultural heritage. Although cultural heritage is a major economic factor for Europe, especially from a touristic point of view, the European Union has no direct say on this. This field is reserved for the individual member states themselves. However, legislation in other areas, on which Europe has a say, such as the environment, working conditions etc., increasingly affects the preservation of our monuments and landscapes. Of course, European legislation never purposely harms monuments, but there may often be harmful side effects resulting from a law or a measure, whose consequences could not be assessed sufficiently in advance.

Harmful side effects.   
Time and again such harmful side effects to cultural heritage have to be countered in individual countries by implementing exception clauses if and where possible. Since some countries fail to do this at all, and others do this in their own ways, a highly differentiated, hard to oversee landscape of legislation on the protection of cultural heritage has come into being in Europe.
For example, of course, paintings of old masters have to be restored with the same leadcontaining paint originally used by the old masters, despite the European ban on the use of paints which contain metals. Of course, the doors of our historic churches have to continue to open inwards as a sign of welcome, despite the European obligation that all doors of public buildings have to open outward for reasons of fire safety. And of course we must prevent all windows of historic buildings being replaced by lastic windows because they fail to comply with European environmental requirements.
In this respect, the EHLF aims to achieve that, in the future, all intended EU legislation is assessed in advance as to the harmful side effects which such measures may have for cultural heritage. Recommendations for exceptions or for developing alternatives can then be formulated at an early stage and may even already be integrated into the intended legislation.

European Heritage Heads Forum.  
The direct cause for creating the EHLF was a meeting in Copenhagen, earlier this year, of the European EHHF (European Heritage Heads Forum), an annual meeting of the directors of national government bodies on the preservation of cultural heritage of the European countries. It was here that the need to streamline European rules which negatively affect the preservation of cultural heritage was recognised.
The EHLF is the continuation of a former working committee, called ECHO (European Working Group on EU Directives and Cultural Heritage), which had been active in this field for some years.
The EHLF is managed by a secretariat on which representatives of Norway (Riksantikvaren, Directorate for Cultural Heritage), the UK (English Heritage), the Netherlands (Monumentenwacht Noord-Brabant), France (Ministry of Culture and Communication) and Finland (National Board of Antiquities) have a seat.

Click for Press Release

Go for site EHLF

EMH presented the Rostock Declaration during Baltic Sail conference

The Baltic Sail conference, in session on 10th October 2008, declares:
The concept of preserving traditional ships and craft for future generations by keeping them in operation has turned out to be very successful during the past three decades.
Maritime festivals and regattas frequently attract hundreds of thousands of spectators.
Major maritime festivals such as the Baltic Sail festivals and many others in various ports of Europe, testify that the public has a broad interest in the operating maritime heritage.
If we are to pass on this experience to our successors we must work together on a European level: by sharing expertise and resources among member states of the EU to ensure that this precious cultural heritage of maritime skills and traditions is not allowed to die from neglect.

Actions taken
During the last decades the following political initiatives have been taken in order to facilitate the
preservation and operation of traditional ships:
- In 2000 the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) asked the governments of Europe in its recommendation No 1468 to:
o Support and encourage private bodies which preserve historic vessels,
o Encourage the display of these vessels for the general public,
o Encourage further development of a system of mutual acceptability by the maritime authorities of nation states of standards for the safe operation of traditional vessels,
- In 2000 Denmark, Finland Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, and the UK signed the Memorandum of Understanding (“Wilhelmshaven MoU”), which mutually recognizes each
country’s national regulations for traditional ships in operation. Norway (2004) and Estonia (2005) have since then joined the MoU.
- In 2002 the Barcelona Charter was adopted, a guideline for conservation and restoration of traditional ships in operation
- In 2007 the participation in the green paper process for a future maritime policy in Europe with recommendations for a EU Maritime Policy regarding the support and safeguarding of
maritime heritage.

Actions to be taken
The acknowledgement must now be shared that traditional ships in operation do preserve the maritime heritage and address a significant public interest.
- National governments should acknowledge the concept of a traditional ship in their legislation in order to facilitate the registration and regulation of those vessels in accordance with their special status.
- An EU Maritime Policy should be drafted based on existing national regulations for traditional ships.

The Baltic sail conference calls on all responsble persons and authorities to,
- Use their influence to solve the problem of the acceptance of national regulations for traditional ships (on international voyages),
The Wilhelmshaven MoU provides a guideline for a common minimum standard for traditional ships in
operation which should be the base of an EU Maritime Policy
- Use their influence to urge governments to work together to establish a European Maritime
Policy for traditional ships.

Holger Bellgardt Chairman of the Baltic Sail Conference
Roland Methling Mayor of Hanseatic City of Rostock
Per Jessing Chairman of European Maritime Heritage

See for declaration in PDF

EMH sent a letter to the European Commission as a response to their consultation on reduced VAT rates.

In respons of the EU Consultation paper EMH sent their advice to the European Commission.

Click for the EU consultation paper.
Click for EMH letter

Proceedings Rotterdam Congress 'Sailing into Europe's future' available

The proceedings of the 6th EMH Congress is available and may be purchased from the EMH Office:

Dijkweg 222, 1619 JC Andijk, the Netherlands,
Tel/Fax 0031 228 593 136.
Email: thedo @

€ 15 + mailing costs

EMH response to European Green Paper

EMH sent the final version of the respons to the European Green Paper to the European Commission's Maritime Policy Task Force.

text EMH Response Green Paper

EMH presentation in Bremen

EMH was invited for the European consultation conference of the German Presidency and the Commission on the Maritime Policy Green Paper in Bremen. Hon.President Anders Berg showed the updated version of EMH policy: "Europe's Maritime Future is founded in Europe's Maritime Heritage"

text of Anders Bergs' presentation
pictures of the EMH presentation

EMH Triennial Congress in Rotterdam: great success

The sixth EMH Congress in Rotterdam hosted by the Havenmuseum was a great succes. The first day started with a harbour tour and the start of the "Race of the Classics" on a hot day in April. The congress was attended by participants of 15 countries and around 30 presentations about aspects of the maritime heritage were given. Most presentations where focussed on the European Commission’s year-long consultation process on its Green Paper entitled "Towards a future Maritime Policy for the Union: A European vision for the oceans and seas". The head of this EU Maritime Task Force Mr. John Richardson concluded with the words "maritime unity in diversity" expressing the main content of these congress.

opening speech of the president Michael vom Baur of the EMH Congress Rotterdam
text Rotterdam Declaration

Signing Memorandum of Understanding

News from the Safety Council.
In the House of the Royal Institution of Naval Architects in London maritime authorities signed the Memorandum of Understanding.  Representatives from Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom were in London to sign this renewed memorandum.
United kingdom is for 2005 and 2006 the Chair of the Committee of the Memorandum. Thanks to the active role of David W. Ralph this document is updated en revised.

Barcelona Charter available as booklet

The Barcelona Charter – European Charter for the Conservation and Restoration of Traditional Ships in Operation – is now available as a booklet.

The Barcelona Charter was created by European Maritime Heritage (EMH) as a code of best practice and minimum standard for conservation and restoration of vessels to be recognized as traditional ships in operation.

The creation of the Barcelona Charter was inspired by the Venice Charter of 1964, stating the principles for the conservation and restoration of monuments and sites ashore. The text of the preamble of the Venice Charter is fully valid also for vessels of historical significance, and it says:

Imbued with a message from the past, the historic monuments of generations of people remain to the present day as living witnesses of their age-old traditions. People are becoming more and more conscious of the unity of human values and regard ancient monuments as a common heritage. The common responsibility to safeguard them for future generations is recognized. It is our duty to hand them on in the full richness of their authenticity.

The Barcelona Charter may be ordered via your local book shop. Bibliographic information:
Heidbrink, Ingo (Ed.)
The “Barcelona Charter”
Publishing House: H. M. Hauschild Bremen.
ISBN 3-89757-253-2.
Price: € 3,- in Germany (€ 3,10 in other countries) + shipping and handling.

The Barcelona Charter may also be viewed on the EMH website.

The EMH is the European non-governmental organisation for owners of traditional ships in operation. Its members consist of national and regional associations of owners of traditional ships in operation, maritime museums, and other private bodies and organisations which support the preservation of the European maritime heritage.

The EMH may be contacted through the EMH Secretary’s office.

Anders Berg nominated as Honorary President

During the General Assembly, held in Karlskrona 31 July 2004 Arne Gotved paid tribute to the huge contribution to EMH made by Anders Berg, both as our Secretary from 1994 and more recently as President, from which position Anders had now retired. In the name of the General Assembly, Arne Gotved now invited Andere Berg to accept the position of Honorary President, adding that Jacques Chauveau, the first holder of that high office, would have been proud to see it occupied by Anders. Amid acclamation, Anders Berg accepted the office of Honorary President/President d’Honneur.

Anders Berg just after his nomination, a long time speechless before he could answer…

Signing Barcelona Charter

On board of the Frigate "Jylland" in Ebeltoft (Denmark) the President of EMH Anders Berg and the Chairman of the EMH Cultural Council Arne Gotved signed Sunday 30th March 2003 the official excepted  text of the  Barcelona Charter.

Anders Berg (left) and Arne Gotved (right).