Dutch Boatmaker Johan Huibers Plans to Sail His Giant Noah’s Ark to Israel

Travel to Krimpen aan de Ijssel in the Netherlands and you might be able to set foot on a life-size version of Noah’s Ark, built by Johan Huibers following the description in the Book of Genesis.
Noah's Ark by boatmaker Johan Huibers 4 photos
Photo: Commons Wikimedia / Ceinturion
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Huibers actually finished his Ark in 2012 and it’s his second attempt at it. The first one was too small, so he sold it and started working on the second. This one took 4 years to build and the work of many volunteer, inexperienced builders. It can accommodate 5,000 people and animals.

The result, Huibers tells JTA, is that there are many “crooked” things about the boat but one this is certain: this is an exact “copy of God’s ship,” so he aims to sail it to God’s land, Israel.

“My preferred destination for the ark is Israel,” he says. “It may sound scary, but I believe everything written in this book [the Bible], cover to cover. This is a copy of God’s ship. It only makes sense to take it to God’s land.”

There is only one problem with that: while the boat can float, it does not have an engine to take it all the way to Israel. Sailing would have to be done by means of tugboats and renting as many as needed would cost over $1 million. Huibers made a fortune off constructing storage spaces, but he doesn’t say whether he intends to spend that kind of money to make the trip.

For the time being, the Ark is closed to visitors. The municipality of Krimpen aan de Ijssel is no longer allowing visitors on board, citing “adjustments” that would have to be made for security reasons. Huibers insists the boat is safe, insured and fitted with all the necessary equipment to extinguish fires.

Huibers believes the end of times is coming, even though people aren’t aware of it. He wants to get the Ark to Israel to sound off the alarm on that, to show that “God exists,” and to offer people the chance to see it first-hand.

For the record, this is the second planned trip for the Ark. Huibers previously made arrangements to take it to Brazil for the Olympics, but the journey was never made.

“The water is going to come. From the mountains, from the sea, through Germany. It sounds like doom and gloom, but I’m not afraid of it,” he says. Huibers has other, smaller boats at home. For when the end comes.
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About the author: Elena Gorgan
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Elena has been writing for a living since 2006 and, as a journalist, she has put her double major in English and Spanish to good use. She covers automotive and mobility topics like cars and bicycles, and she always knows the shows worth watching on Netflix and friends.
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