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The Urka, which in Dutch is called "fluit" and in English, flute, was a ship designed chiefly for trading. In the Mediterranean there used to be a sailing ship with a displacement of some 100 tons which was called by the same name. As for the Dutch Urka, it was developed in 1595 as a result of the need to keep up with the considerable growth in sea trade.
The hull was noted for its large capacity, while the deck was comparatively narrow.
The chronicler in the city of Hoorn mentioned in his writings that the promoter of this vessel was Pieter Janz Liborne, who maintained a busy trading relationship with Italy.
In eight years, eighty Urkas were registered under the flag of the city of Hoorn, and they were engaged in international trade.
The vessel was built to a lightweight design, despite its appearance. lt bad a large cargo carrying capacity, and could be readily handled by a small crew.
The hull had a round stern and a very full stern. On the poop, there was a very long rudder hole to accomodate the tiller.
These ships were generally 33 metres in length, with a beam of 6.90 and a cargo capacity of 170 tons. The weapons they carried were many and varied. Round about 1683, they had six 4 pound guns and two 2 pounders, but sometimes they were fitted with up to 16 guns of different bores. They made many voyages to West Africa to the Shettland Islands in September 1691 using the longest route in order to avoid the French pirates in the English Channel
L'Urka, qui en hollandais porte le nom de "fluit" et en anglais "flute" était un bateau conçu pour le commerce. Un batiment du même nom se déplaçait dans la mer Méditerranée. Comme l'Urka, ce type de vaisseau fut développé en 1595 pour faire face à la croissance considérable des échanges par voie maritime.
La coque avait la particularité d'offrir une grande capacité de stockage comparativement à la largeur réduite du pont.
Un chroniqueur de la ville d'Hoorn soulignait dans ses ouvrages que l'armateur de ce vaisseau, Pieter Janz Liborne, entretenait des relations commerciales avec l'Italie.
En 8 ans, 80 Urkas ont été enregistrés sous le pavillon de la ville de Hoorn et pratiquaient le commerce international. Malgré son apparence massive, sa construction était baseé sur un concept de réduction du poids. Il possédait une grande capacité de stockage et pouvait être manié par une équipe réduite. L'étrave de la coque avait une forme arrondie et un beaupré y était fixé. Sur la poupe, on avait prévu un orifice important pour y ajuster la barre du gouvernail.