Museum Werf Wolthuis Sappemeer

Publieksinrichting Permanente Tentoonstelling Museum Werf Wolthuis  Hoogezand Sappemeer Groningen WAT anders Harlingen Grafische-, Ruimtelijke- en Illustratieve Vormgeving

 Scheepswerf Wolthuis 

An old shipyard turned into a museum !

9 January 2013 - After months of sketching, designing, drawing and preparation work our mission to complete a permanent public exhibition in only 12 weeks is now completed! A challenge it was, with such limited time. Research, content, history, studying the ways to build steel tjalks and schooners, text, images, sounds, light and showcases for all original tools. Working with steel workers, printer, sound engineer, blacksmith and volunteers. With some 50 drawings and illustrations put into the designs with texts and old photographs on the information panels framed in steel we created a stalwart line to backbone the permanent exhibition with a real shipyard feeling.

Werf Smit (later Wolthuis) in 1905
Already in operation in the 17th century this little shipyard in Sappemeer, Groningen, now known as Werf Wolthuis, where different families of shipbuilders built hundreds of wooden and steel ships through the centuries, smaller ships that sailed with loads of peat and ships that crossed the ocean as far as South America, still exists today. With all machinery from 1880 in place, used in building steel ships and restoration until the present day the exhibition shows how it was done. Hard work. With hands of steel. With volition. With commitment!

Werf Wolthuis in 2012

Ship building tools in the smithy

The old machines

Building and preparing the steel line

Building and preparing the steel line

Building and preparing the steel line

First info panels with introduction

Info Panels with history and drawings of shups built at the


As there is only a little daylight through small windows 

we created info panels that lighten up in the dark

Red foot buttons are installed to activate the different 

sounds of the machines used in ship building 

 From above the visitors can look down on the machines below

Like this one, an old punch press, still in use today

Info panels with explanations and comments concerning the bending of steel

Info panels, old photograph and tool

Info panels with explanations and comments concerning ship building methods

Example of one of the showcases to display the original tools used in ship building

Panels covering the ship drawing and truss list used in building, schooners and how the bending of a truss was done