Crowdfunding to rescue a unique piece of maritime heritage

This website is dedicated to the initiative to save the last remaining original coaster MV Noordborg, built in 1962 for the well known Dutch shipping company Wagenborg in Delfzijl in the far north of the Netherlands. The Noordborg, being one of 14 sister ships was built by N.V. Dok- & Scheepsbouw Maatschappij “Makkum in Makkum, on the banks of the central Dutch lake, the IJsselmeer. The wharf was a subsidiary of the Amels shipyard.

Both companies, Wagenborg, founded in 1888 and Amels, since 1918, are still big players in the Dutch maritime industry. Wagenborg nowadays as Royal Wagenborg ( and Amels ( as part of the Damen Shipyards Group.


The Noordborg was a coaster for the transport of sawn timber and other building materials trading in North Europe, England and the Scandinavian countries.

The ship was sold by Wagenborg in 1974; it stayed a merchant ship under different names, Azolla and Alk, and owners until 1992. The ship was purchased by Dick van der Kamp Shipsales BV , ( and was drydocked and upgraded and the vessel was sold to a Dutch couple  to make it their floating home and the intention to make worldwide voyages. The people lived on the ship a couple of years, but for various reasons they could not fullfill their plan and in 2006 the ship was again sold to Dick van der Kamp from Van der Kamp Shipsales. In 2009 he had it dry-docked in the historical Jan Blanken dock in Hellevoetsluis in Ridderkerk, near Rotterdam where the ship was hydroblasted to the bare metal and conserved as well as steel repairs etc.

Van der Kamp had a sharp eye for the historical and thus intrinsic value of the ship being a fine species of maritime heritage therefore an initiative had started to try and get the ship back to where her sailing life for Wagenborg started, Delfzijl. This has all to do with the engine that was in the ship, recently has been built out but ready for restauration and returning to the engine room too.

There is quiet some story to the engine as well as it is a Brons 4ED – 220 pk and Brons is pure Dutch brand, still running is various ships, vehicles and machines although production has stopped some decennia’s ago. It is a simple engine, just needs fuel, water , oil and love and care.

The story of Brons started in the very early 1900’s by Jan Brons, a carpenter who was also an inventor and engine builder in Wagenborgen, just up the road from Delfzijl. Here is the whole story:

After production of the Brons engines stopped, there was of course the need for spare parts and documentation as Brons engines will run for years and years to come. And there were also the archives. To separate the archives from the company that sold the parts the Brons Engine Museum Foundation was founded in 2005. In this museaum not only archives and some parts were shown, a  series of engines was on display, many of them still running.

But after the landlord of the museum decided in 2015 he wanted the buildings back in which the museum was housed, the museum is homeless since 2016. Archives and engines are in storage since.


And here the Noordborg and the Brons Engine Museum come together. The MS Noordborg Foundation wants to buy the ship, bring it back to Delfzijl and house much of the Brons collection in the hold.


Now finances pop up. The museum foundation does not have the budget to buy the ship. Van der Kamp will contribute taken his losses from the repairs and the time to keep the vessel for over the years . The minimum price is now Euro 100.000 as she is.


So the MS Noordborg Foundation has started a crowdfunding. If, after reading all of this you would like to donate to his good case, just press the crowdfunding button and follow the instructions. We hope you’ll join us and many thanks in advance.