Ship the Noordland Lemmer


Gerben Bijlsma at the ship yard in 1903


Gerben Bijlsma was just 28 years old when he became the owner of the family business in Wartena in 1903. He became shipbuilder and owner of the shipyard and the buildings that his parents had left him behind. The shipyard consisted of a wooden shed, a few old houses and a yard.

1906 - 1914

In 1914 the first “skûtsje” was built, a small ship that weighed about 20 tonnes. It was named ‘The first of Wartena’ and was built for captain E. Bergsma from Wartena. Later on, the ‘Earnawâldster skûtsje’ was also built at the shipyard. This skûtsje still sails every year in the famous skûtsje-race in Friesland.

Skûtsje the Eersteling Wartena
Blueprints for a motor deck barge


Motor deck barge: blueprints
‘Back in the days, blueprints were used to make duplicates of technical drawings. Subsequently, these drawings were applied for construction or production of the drawing.

Nowadays, blueprints are not used anymore. Instead, other photocopying techniques are used. We use techniques such as computer aided design (CAD) to execute engineering activities. – wikipedia


First transversal launch

Aerial photo of Scheepswerf Bijlsma in 1951


For the first time, a ship was built under the supervision of the classification society Lloyds Register of Shipping. This was a huge step forward for the shipyard in Wartena.


The first aerial photograph of the shipyard, taken in 1951.
A lot has changed since 1903. A tugboat under construction is shown on the slope.


In 1952, a number of shipbuilders in Groningen and Friesland founded the association Combination Northern Schipbuilders (Conoship). Shipyard Bijlsma was one of the founding members.

Tower crane at Scheepswerf Bijlsma


A second-hand tower crane was acquired with a lifting capacity of three tonnes. This crane tower meant a big step forward for the shipyard.


In 1958 the first coaster was contracted,
this meant a great opportunity for the shipyard! The first real ocean going vessel built at the Shipyard in Wartena.

Coaster the Wartena
Self supporting dredger the Crinza III

1962 - 1978

The yard achieved success in building self supporting dredger. Between 1962 and 1978, a total of twenty ships of this type were built.

Self supporting dredger Anton Müsing


Anton Müsing, motor barge


Jana Weston, coaster

Coaster the Jana Weston
Coaster al Sultana


Al Sultana, coaster


The Bijlsma trader line was developed together with Wagenborg Shipping Delfzijl. This vessel is a cargo ship that transports dry cargo. All of the ships were sold to captain owners who were contracted by Wagenborg. The design of this ship resulted in a series of 17 ships.

Trader the Cito
Aerial photo of Scheepswerf Bijlsma in 1993


The latest development at the yard was the construction of a new office including a canteen, laundry and toilet facilities to facilitate the growing number of employees.

Ferry the Sier on its way to Ameland


De Sier, ferry to the Dutch island Ameland. A major project for the shipyard with innovative features. The Holwerd-Ameland route requested special features for the new ship, of which one of these was a larger capacity. During summer, due to the high number if tourists that visit the island, departures must be made every hour: alternating from Holwerd and Ameland. Sailing time is 45 minutes, which leaves a quarter of an hour for loading and unloading. These shifts must be able to sail in less favorable weather conditions: ice conditions, low and high tide and in strong winds. Lastly, the customer requested that the ship was equipped with a seat for each passenger; this was a first for the Netherlands.


The first ship for Acta Marine was built under the name Coastal Discovery. This vessel was followed by the Coastal Chariot and the Coastal Challenger.

Ship the Coastal Discovery
Ship the Beinn Fahda

2015 - 2017

During these years, six ships were built for Marine Harvest. The ships were built to execute various (fishery) activities in Scotland.
to execute various (fishery) activities in Scotland.

2017 - 2020

Three multi-purpose vessels were built for Rijkswaterstaat.
The Merwestroom is the first of the series of three vessels, which was launched in 2018.   The three vessels are used for various functions such as patrolling, waterway marking, measuring and fishery research in Dutch waters.

Ships the Merwestroom and the Waddenstroom
De Coastal Crown op open water


Coastal Crown for Acta Marine.


Aqua Delta for Dredging and Contracting Company Van der Kamp B.V.

Waterinjectievaartuig Aquadelta in Rotterdam


We look forward to establish global collaborations and challenging projects.
Full of craftsmanship, innovation and sustainability.