|Naam attempts to save freight sloop|
|Thursday, 27 September 2012 16:06|
Naam attempts to save freight sloop
WILLEMSTAD — Freight sloop REX has been lying on the peninsula in the Schottegat between the Batipanja Bay and the Mansalina Bay since 1998. A start was made to clean the peninsula in August. The REX was at risk and Naam-volunteer François van der Hoeven had sounded the alarm.
The CPA made sure the REX was not bulldozed but now that the peninsula is completely clean the sloop will have to be moved sooner or later”, said Naam-director Richenel Ansano, who strives to save the sloop. Echi Kraane built the REX in Bonaire on the Playa of Kralendijk. The keel was laid in 1942 but it wasn’t until 1970 when the new owner, Ronnie Martilia, finished building the REX. He used the 11-meter long sloop to transport freight between the ABC-Islands for ten years. In 1980 the REX was equipped with an auxiliary engine and Ronnie Martilia continued to transport freight until 1988 when the sloop needed an overhaul. He then pulled the REX ashore at the Mansalina Bay in the Schottegat and put romp and deck in fiberglass.
“Ronnie wanted to install a powerful engine but this was never done. To install the engine he had removed the deckhouse, but fortunately kept the latter. He was able to keep an eye on the REX because he lived on the peninsula and had a workshop where he repaired diesel engines. Because of this and the protection of the fiberglass the historic sloop still exists. Ronnie Martilia passed away in 2009. The REX was left next to his quarters and nobody thought about it anymore”, said Naam.
However, Van der Hoeven had recorded the history of the REX through Ronnie Martilia, had taken pictures and taken down the lines plan. “The sloop can never be made seaworthy due to the poor condition of the timberwork, the rafters and the boards. The form stayed intact due to the fiberglass casing and that’s how the idea was conceived to give the ship a place as historic monument”, said Naam. The Curaçao Maritime Museum doesn’t have the space to exhibit the REX. Considering the ship was built on Bonaire, Naam decided to contact Boi Antoin of FuHiKuBo on Bonaire.
“To save the sloop attempts are made on Curaçao and Bonaire to find the next of kin of Ronnie Martilia. They will be asked to donate the historic sloop to the foundation on Bonaire. With the help of volunteers, Naam will replace the deckhouse and made the deck waterproof again. The REX will then be transported to Bonaire where it will become a monument of the local shipbuilding industry”, said Van der Hoeven.