The Voetboog

Between 1602 and 1795 the V.O.C Ships (Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie) sailed the sea connecting Europe and Eastern Asia. This Dutch company was the bigger and the most organized off his time in the trade area. It was a non-government, not centralized, formed by six chambers, each one with his own administration and shipyards.

The bigger chamber was the Amsterdan and it was financialy supported by private money.

The connections between Europe and Asia was maintain by a fleet of 100 armed merchant ships plus the same quantity of smaller vessels. The ships was nominated “East Indiamen” and divided in classes with regular dimensions. The construction of this fleet, from design to built was made by the VOC shipyards.

Throughout the route that this ships sailed, fortifications were built to protection and support. At VOC best times, there were some 250 fortifications. All this structure exists to maintain the supremacy of the company in trade with the Orient. The VOC ships were known to bring valuable cargo from Orient to Asia such as: Spices, sugar, silk, precious stones and pottery.

The returning route passed by the Northeast of Brazil and then they sail to Europe. One of these ships, the “Voetboog” sunk off Pernambuco in 1700. “Voetboog” was a Fluyt type ship of 595 tons, widely used by the Dutchs.

A “Fluyt” carried more cargo, less crew and was faster than a galleon. It could also carried a few cannons on the upper deck.

In January 21st, the “Voetboog” left Batavia bound to Holland. The captain was Adriaan de Ruiter and the ship was carrying a great cargo of pottery to the avid europeans buyers.At that time the cargo was avaliated in 233.251 florins. After 4 months voyage, the “Voetboog” was sailing off Pernambuco when a bad weather force the ship and it hit a reef and sunk.

Until today this ships has not been localized and his cargo will be a great prize to the dicoverer of the wreckage. The “Voetboog” and the “Santa Rosa” are two of the treasure ships that lie on Brazilian waters.

Rodrigo Coluccini
Criador e proprietário da Revista Deco Stop, foi um dos responsáveis pela divulgação em larga escala das informações sobre naufrágios no litoral brasileiro, fato antes restrito a poucos. É co-autor do manual de naufrágios da certificadora PDIC. Seu trabalho é citado em vários livros atuais sobre história maritima brasileira confirmando a importância de seu trabalho.