About this project
Help us finish the interior of The Onrust, the first Dutch ship built in America in 1614. This floating museum and classroom will teach young and old.Being American! What does that mean? Much of the American way of life comes from our early 17th century Dutch roots in America. However that history is not being taught in most schools. The Onrust was the first trading ship built in America in 1614 after Captain Adriaen Block's ship, The Tyger, burned in New York Bay. The captain and crew had a choice - freeze to death or build a new ship. The Onrust (Dutch for Restless or Unrest) was built in four months and the crew spent the next three years exploring the Northeast Coast, trading with Native Americans for fur, creating lasting friendships, and creating the first two accurate maps of the Northeast. The Dutch are the only nation that honored their treaties with the Native Americans. We are building a replica of this first ship and it will become a floating museum and classroom teaching young and old alike about the Dutch contributions to North America, early ship building methods and maritime history.
The Onrust is being built using recently rediscovered 17th century Dutch ship building techniques, making this ship not merely a replica but an actual 17th century Dutch ship, built the same way Adriaen Block and his crew built the original one some 400 years ago.
So far, more than 250 volunteers worked on building the ship and many companies have donated products, equipment and time, which enabled the Onrust to participate in the New York Hudson 400 celebrations in 2009.
We are raising funding to finish the interior spaces below deck as a classroom-museum so that we can fulfill our mission and bring this important part of American history to thousands of people for many years to come.
You can follow this building project at
or view the history of the building of the project at
We very much want you to become part of the Onrust Project. Please support this invaluable project with your donation and we hope you will be able to sail with her in the near future.
THE ONRUST PROJECT IS A 501 C 3 NON PROFIT ORGANIZATION AND YOUR DONATION IS TAX DEDUCTIBLE!
It is a Dutch word that means "restless." The ship was named so by Captain Adriaen Block because they were stranded on Manhattan Island in the middle of winter of 1614 without a ship, so they were restless to build a ship and begin trading with the Native population.
The Onrust was the first fur trading vessel built in what is now the United States. While Henry Hudson sailed up the river that now bears his name in 1609, he was looking for a passage to the Orient and did not stay. On the other hand, the Onrust and its crew spent three years exploring the east coast starting in New York Bay up to Cape Cod (before the Pilgrims ever got there), founded the Connecticut River and Fort Good Hope which is now Hartford and sailed as far south as the Delaware Bay almost to Phily. They produced the first two accurate maps of the Northeast, locating all the known Native villages on it, and as a result were given a three year exclusive trading agreement and created New Netherland, the Dutch settlement that comprised parts of five states including all of New York. It was the beginning of Europeans settlements in the region.
Most replicas are built using modern tools and methods. The Onrust is the first "replica" to be built using rediscovered 17th century Dutch building techniques. It was in fact built the same way Block built his original. This was the result of more than 15 years of research by ship archeologists who examined many period ship wrecks and reversed engineering their construction. While we tell the public our Onrust is a replica, it is in fact an authentic Dutch yacht built the same way as the original 400 years ago.
When completed the Onrust will serve as a floating museum and classroom taking young and old and giving them a unqiue 17th century maritime experience, along with teaching the Dutch contributions to American history, for some many years forgotten. This includes the idea of tolerance and pluralism, the right to petition the court, and much of the experience of what it means to be an American today. It is no coincidence that our founding fathers chose red, white and blue for the color of our flag, based on the same colors of the flag of the United States of the Netherlands.
In 1889 the Mayor of NYC stated it well:
""The http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States of America have taken their name from the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dutch_Republic. We have learned from you only that 'in union there is strength'; that is an old lesson, but also, in large measure, how to make 'One out of many'. From you we have learned what we, at least, value, to separate Church and State; and from you we gather inspiration at all times in our devotion to learning, to religious liberty, and to individual and National freedom. These are some of the things for which we believe the American people owe no little gratitude to the Dutch; and these are the things for which today, speaking in the name of the American people, we venture to express their heartfelt thanks."
We built the Onrust with more than 250 volunteers and donations from many organizations, people, and even the Dutch Government. For a list of some of the donors go to http://www.theonrust.com/Sponsors.html. We could not have done this without the volunteers and donors who made it happen.
We are hoping to take the Onrust through the same route as the original, up to Cape Cod and down and up through the Delaware Bay. The year 2014 will mark the 400th anniversary of the building of the original Onrust and we hope to have our replica in finished condition with all necessary Coast Guard approvals so we can make and record a journey to perhaps Manhattan and Block Island, which Captain Block named for himself while passing the island in 1614.
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