America's First Yacht
Between 1611 and 1613, Dutch Captain Adriaen Block explored the Northeast to establish a fur trading network with the Native Americans and to chart the coastal waters and rivers of the region Henry Hudson had surveyed for the Dutch in 1609.
While overwintering in New York Bay, his ship, the Tyger, caught fire and burned to the waterline. Working through the frigid winter, Block built a new ship from the salvaged remnants and named it the Onrust, Dutch for “Unrest” or “Restlessness”. It was the first yacht built in America and the first ship built in "New Netherland".
He and his associates mapped the coastal areas from Cape Cod to the Delaware Bay, including the major rivers and the locations of more than twenty significant Native American villages. Their voyages laid the basis for the future Dutch claim to the territory. On his 1614 map, Block named the region “New Netherland,” an area extending from Pennsylvania into current Connecticut, and named Block Island after himself. The same year he established the first fur trading post, Fort Nassau (1614), at the current site of Albany, which formed the basis for the first permanent European settlement in the Hudson Valley.
The keel of the Onrust was laid in 2006 and the ship was launched in 2009 for New York State’s Quadricentennial. It was built mainly by volunteers under the supervision of shipbuilding professionals. It is made out of white oak and uses recently re-discovered 17th century Dutch shipbuilding techniques. As with the original Onrust, it is designed as a “yacht” and the entire ship, including areas below deck, replicates an authentic Dutch sailing craft. The ship functions as a living history museum and a unique recreational vessel.
Since 2019 the Onrust has become a permanent fixture at the Connecticut River Museum
in Essex and has been operated by the Museum since 2021. It gives visitors the opportunity to reconnect with the Connecticut River and to reflect on its grandeur and splendor.
To experience firsthand the expert navigational features of this replicated yacht,
reserve your cruise or charter on the Museum's website.
For: Booking calendar of public cruises and charters
Public events calendar
Museum Exhibits and Collections
Summer and Vacation Programs
Adult Group Tours
Please consult the Museum's website directly from the Programs/Events link on the top of this Page, or go to
ONRUST IS A FULLY OPERATIONAL US COASTGUARD CERTIFIED VESSEL
Your donation helps support ongoing
maintenance and education programs!
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