Works in progress

I realise that the agreement proposed to my husband, being him maintaining the boat and I only the website, could lead to a marriage crisis. And on top, the impressive “extreme make-over” Jacob started with last year September means that we no longer have a boat available to spend the weekends and vacations on. You read from an earlier posting that we tried to find another way of traveling and spending 2 weeks in a camper unit while it was freezing outside. This was not entirely successful. But I have to spend 5 weeks of compensation leave before 31 May and this is a very welcome period to help Jacob with restoring our old police patrol vessel. She needs to be ready for our summer leave in August.


The rust fighter


The building of this boat started in 1940 and the story goes that during the second world war they sunk the hull for several years. This was done to avoid that the boat would be used for war purpose by the Germans. After the war they lifted the hull and installed the engine and equipment. Interesting is that our boat acted in a very famous Dutch movie, Soldier of Orange, where she served for the Germans.

Soldier of Orange is a 1977 Dutch movie directed and co-written by Paul Verhoeven and produced by Rob Houwer, starring Rutger Hauer and Jeroen Krabbé. The film is set around the German occupation of the Netherlands during World War II, and shows how individual students have different roles in the war. The story is based on the autobiographic book “Soldaat van Oranje by Erik Hazelhoff Roelfzema. The film had a budget of €2,300,000, at the time the most expensive Dutch movie ever. With 1,547,183 viewers, it was the most popular Dutch film of 1977. The film received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Foreign Language Film in 1980.

Soldaat van oranje

I have always been interested in old boats and the history of it. Old boats tell stories from a certain perspective. I lived and worked on an old sailing barge of 23 meters that was constructed in 1893 and in it I discovered a small door in the bulk head (a fore peak protection wall). With that kind of boats one would never make a door in a bulkhead as it makes the construction weaker. So I started to search for the reason why this was done. Apparently, the mate lived in the fore peak and entered via the deck. When that person would pass away the body should be brought in a vertical position to get it out of the fore peak. From religious point of view it was not good to bring a dead body in vertical position so the only solution was having a door in the bulk head. In that way, the body could be taken out via the cargo area lifting it horizontally.

Later on I worked on inland pushing units that are larger as some seagoing vessels, with a length up to 269 meters. The differences are enourmous.

My favourite tug and push boats


This is a link to one of my favourite documentary films about the period in history that these boats operated. Both aspects old and new are shown in this movie. It shows several subjects including the family life and role of a women in inland shipping in the past. Even if you don’t understand Dutch it’s very joyful as the music in the movie is just great. Take a glass of wine and enjoy!

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