Maritime Restoration

Founder’s History.

Since his youth in the Netherlands, Frans Boetes has had an eye for restoration and conservation.

He began on land. Frans's first project was saving twelve historical farmhouses from demolition, and preserving the surrounding natural environment, in Gouda. To ensure the future of his work, he also founded the "Gouda Homesteads" (Goudse Hofsteden) NGO. After restoring several 18th century buildings around the Netherlands, he was elected to the Board of The National Preservation Society for Dutch Monuments (Stads Herstel).

But Frans soon combined his love of the sea with his passion for preservation. He began by restoring yachts, and over the years completed projects including building and launching the replica of the 18th century ship "Amsterdam". In 1990, he saved a 172 foot US Navy ocean minesweeper from being scraped and preserved it as the Hr. Ms. Mercuur, a floating Maritime Museum in the Hague.

In the US, Frans has replicated his experience with creating museum ships. He led Maritime Restoration in saving the USS Mohawk and USCG Ingham from the scrap yard and restoring it to working condition as the Maritime Museum of South Florida, established in 2006 in Key West.

Frans is a member of the Dade Heritage Trust of Miami, Florida; the Historical Naval Ships Association (HNSA); the US Naval Institute; the US Navy League; the US Navy Minesweeper Association; the Military Vehicle Preservation Association; and the Propeller Club of the United States.

back to top


U.S. Naval InstituteU.S. Navy LeagueNavy League of the United StatesThe Propeller Club of the United StatesMilitary Vehicle Preservation AssociationKey West Maritime Historical SocietyHistorical Naval Ships AssociationIngham Memorial MusuemNational Maritime Historical SocietySailors for the SeasNational Maritime AllianceBatavia LelystadCoast Guard FoundationNaval Historical Foundation