In 1875 was at Flushing, Netherlands a shipyard annex machine and boiler plant founded using the area former occupied by the Royal Dutch Navy as shipyard. The intention was to built ships included engines and boilers or to deliver at least engines and boilers for ships elsewhere built. Until the 4th quarter of the 20th century produced this shipyard Kon.Mij. De Schelde her boilers and engines. Since the 70’s is she the main shipyard of warships for the Royal Dutch Navy although there also warships built for other countries like Morocco and Indonesia.
The archives of the shipyard including more as 100.000 photo’s and several thousands of technical drawings dating from the period 1875-1970 were in the last few years handed over the municipality archive of Vlissingen.
In 2014 were all the preserved drawings of the machine and boiler plant described and digitized and presented to the internet as Open Culture Data project. This means that all over the world those high quality drawings can be downloaded and used for further historical research. Although the presentation is in Dutch can with the support of a translator the engines and boilers produced for a ship easily be found back. The link for this project is Machine and boiler plant Vlissingen
The shipyard was for her technical knowledge and innovations oriented op the United Kingdom. In fact was the main engineer of the machine boiler plant the Scottish born engineer William Hamilton Martin (born Glasgow, Scotland 1850-died at Rotterdam, Netherlands in 1917 but buried at Vlissingen). Being an orphan he moved to Rotterdam where he worked in the machine plant of his uncle. He was there specialized in steam engines for tugs and boilers. Just 25 years old he moved to Vlissingen where he was appointed as chief engineer at the machine and boiler plant introducing new techniques and tools. When the building was destroyed, he designed a new building with many windows for natural light and pillars which also were transportation steam. His technical knowledge was also used by the town of Vlissingen for instance for the problems with the steam tram connecting the town with Middelburg. In 1886 he even designed a walking pier, probably to be manufactured by the shipyard.
Under his supervision were many steam engines and boilers produced for war- and merchants ships. Orienting on United Kingdom were for instance water pipe boilers of the Yarrow kind and Parsons turbines produced. Of course there were triple expansion engines, but also quadruple en even at least one six triple engine.
The building designed by Martin
The main building with the shed shaped roofs was built between 1912 and 1919 nowadasy still exists although no loner used by the shipyard. Photo dated 8 July 2007
On 7 September 1887 received the shipyard the order to built for account of the river shipping company of Arie Smit (also the founder of the shipyard) at Slikkerveer, Netherlands to built for the steamship Thor VI a steam engine and a boiler for totally ƒ 10.500. The boiler had to have a heating surface of 35 square metres, a weight of 11.240 kilo and a pressure of 250 lbs. Actual costs were ƒ 4.898,62 (stores ƒ 2.703,60, wages ƒ 1.416,22 and 55% expenses ƒ 778,80). The engine had to be a sixtriple engine (7’8”, 9½”, 11¾”,15”, 20”) to deliver 130 ihp. Actual costs of the engine ƒ 12.474,50 (stores ƒ 5.880,13, wages ƒ 3.996,24 and 65% expenses ƒ 2.983,13). In fact became the building a disaster for the shipyard with a loss of ƒ 6.873,12! The engine served for many years and now the good news still exists nowadays! Fore many years it was stored in the hall of the main building until it was handed over to the Zeevaartschool at Vlissingen where future ships engineers started with the renovation of the engine with the intention to show in a later stadium with the using of an electric engine instead of steam to imitate her working.
The original drawings from 1887 are preserved with notes on it of those who built her. Due to the very worse condition the drawings can not be showed to the public but they will be digitized and probably are available mid January 2015.