Rogier Mekel’s Nautical Parodies


When I was studying in Flensburg in 1994-5, I regularly went to a bar with a shipping and nautical theme. There was a big mural of sailors cavorting on an island beach with nubile natives in grass skirts. Reasonable, being a port town. Once a week they would boil a big bucket of bockwurst, and it was cheap beer night too. You could get a wurst, chunk of bread and dollop of mustard and a few beers for super cheap, so we went every week.

So, what I’m saying is there was a weekly sausage party at a bar frequented by sailors.

Anyway, I remember on the wall there was a big poster, showing a hyper-detailed comical cross-section of a ship. After a few Flens the level of detail would be overwhelming, and I would stand and look at it, noticing some new detail each time.

This image popped into my head again recently, and so I thought I’d track it down. A quick google didn’t disappoint. It turns out to have been created by Rogier Mekel, a Dutch seaman-turned-artist in 1967. I present the image below – just check out the details!

Ship cross-section cartoon
‘Das Schiff’ by Rogier Mekel (click for big)

See if you can spot:

  • The radio operator talking to a seagull (some say this was a self-portrait)
  • The backpacker in the hold
  • The Chief Rev Counter
  • The maids – which would you choose?
  • “Be wise – palletize!”
  • The position of the Plimsoll Line.
Categorized as "Misc"