You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Netherlands’ category.

Here are more photos from Aleksandr, taken on a canal between Middelburg and Vlissingen.    Ruurtje tows while


F-50 takes the stern as they move


the aluminum superstructure of a future Damen-built patrol craft on barge Risico 11.






Click here for another view of the tow.   Click here for a view of the Damen yard there.

Aleksandr sent me these photos about a month ago.  He took them on April 20 passing Vlissingen and headed generally northward.   And I’m somewhat stumped.  What does Flintercoral look like to you?


To me it looks like a new build, going elsewhere for completion.


Multratug 27 takes the bow and


Multrasalvor 3 at the stern.


So I guess here’s the story:  it was completed as a container vessel, and although it has a Flinter- name, Flinter- never took ownership because the yard had gone bankrupt beforehand.  It seems then that some time later, the ship was purchased by Necon, and  converted into a semi-submersible.  Necon, it seems, has only this vessel.  But why it was under tow a month ago is a mystery.

My experience with Flinter is from 2009, when Flinterduin brought the Dutch sailing barges to the sixth boro, and then Flinterborg picked them up in Albany and returned them to Dutch waters.

The same day, Aleksandr caught Smit Sentosa on its arrival from a one-month passage in from Capetown.


Many thanks to Aleksandr for these photos.  Previously his photos and drawings have appeared here.  Vlissingen (origin of the name of the NYC area called Flushing, settled in 1645) is a quite old port in Zeeland.

So here was 1 and in it I said I would answer a question in a few days and now a few weeks have passed.  The question pertained to the device mounted on the stern of vessel


Husky.  Congrats to Seth Tane, who guessed correctly.  Here’s what Xtian writes:  “It’s a plough.  In French we talk about “nivelage” [leveling], which means after dredging the bottom of the sea is like a field that has just passed a plow.  This tool cuts the bump to fill the gap.  It’s also used in the rivers where the “alluvium” or the mud stays in always same places because of the current and built like “bottom hill” there.  And it happens also in some harbour (like ferries’ harbour) as because the ferries always doing the same maneuver and raise the mud that still lay at the same place.

With the plough used at the right time, ebb tide for example, the mud is raised and leaves the harbour with tidal current.  In some places the plough is used to feed the hopper dredger –  when the dredger is too large, the plough is used to remove a “bottom hill” when they are close to the bank to give the mud at the place where the hopper dredge is working.   The plough is not only used with mud but also with sand or pebble.  Google with words : Dredge – Plough.


About Husky, the day I took this picture she was working closely with the dredge Rijndelta at the entrance of Maasvlakte harbor.   I add a picture of her below.”

More of Xtian’s photos follow, like this closeup of the captain of Smit Cheetah,




Fairplay 24 and 21,


Union 11 passing the Mammoet headquarters,


Smit Schelde,


SD Rebel,


Multratug 31, 


Osprey Fearless, 


Pieter (?) towing Matador 2,


and finally the recently completed Noordstroom.



Many thanks to Xtian for these photos of another watershed.

All these photos come through Fred Trooster.

Let’s start with the new build Noordstroom which wasn’t splashed until midMarch 2016.  Click here to see the triple-screw vessel at various stages of construction.

rrt1Calandkanaal - aan de trekpaal - 0107


rrt2Calandkanaal - 0132

Catharina 7 on the other hand, is from 1958.  Here she passes the Bollard.




Here’s 1973 built Pacific Hickory.  I’m not sure what’s brought her to greater Rotterdam.

rrt5PACIFIC HICKORY, Lekhaven - 0136

And we end today’s post with Osprey Fearless, 1997 built.

rr6OSPREY FEARLESS, Lekhaven - 141


All photos by Freek Koning and via Fred Trooster.  Thank you very much.

Traffic backed up.  But in Schiedam it’s because of a drawbridge that’s up to allow a self-propelled barge to back out.  More on that later.  That windmill?  It’s at the Nolet distillery, a Ketel One facility that makes many spirits besides vodka.


Here’s the 1962 motorvrachtschip, Sentinela,


squeezing through the lock and


returning to the main waterway after delivering one of two loads of sand per day to the glass-making plant just up the creek from Ketel One.


But Hercules is the reason I’m here today.  The big steam vessel event is only a month and some away, so it’s painting and refurbishing time to prepare her.  For a larger set of photos of the preparations, including the mounting of a new mast created out of an old spar by Fred Trooster, click here.


Here is a set of photos I took of Hercules two years ago at the steam festival.




The barge being towed here is loaded upside and down below with smaller steam engine applications.




Click on the photo below to hear how silently she runs.




To keep her running, the owner Kees Boekweit needs to fabricate some of the parts himself.  He works as a steam engineer over at –you guessed it–Ketel One.   Click on the photo below to see a shorter video of her running on the North Sea.


Here are the fireboxes under the boiler.


Here is a cold firebox and


an empty coal pocket.




And one last glimpse of traffic on the main waterway here, Friday last Ovation of the Sea arrived in Rotterdam for the first time.  See eight minutes of edited tape here.  By the way, the KRVE boats are the line handlers.  Clearly, though, the tugs steal the show providing what I’ll call a “Dutch welcome,” to coin a phrase.



This is a 1959 vessel with a rich and varied career.  Click here for photos from a maritime festival last year, and  here (scroll) with info about her sojourn in the US.


Click on the photo below to hear her run.




Click here to watch a 20-minute video documenting her meeting a near-sister a few years back.  The sister has been converted into a private yacht. See them together here. The next two photos I took in NL in 2014.




That’s Fred Trooster and me in the photo below;  thanks Fred for the invitation to come aboard Elbe.


For some of Fred’s photos of the visit, click here.

Marginally related, I wonder when a similar pilot boat–Wega–will leave its custody in Rio here (and scroll).

Also, marginally related and in response to a question from sfdi1947, click here for interactive navigation charts (waterkaarten or vaarkaarten) for Dutch inland waters, fun to play with but likely not guaranteed for actual use.


Now let’s bounce back south of Leiden, west of Rotterdam . . . to Maassluis.  Notice all the gray color upper left side of the aerial below . . .  all greenhouses!  I have lots of fun looking at this part of NL by google map.


At the center of Maassluis  . . . you guessed it, there’s an island called Church Island,  because


at its center is a church, completed in 1639.


I believe the larger vessel here–seen next to the drawbridge above–is Jansje, built 1900. The smaller one . . . I don’t know.


Check out the wheel


I’m guessing this was a fish market . . .


as my attempt (help?) at translation here is “people who sail something well, God takes them with him.”  How far off am I?


Anyhow, that 1664 building is on Anchor Street and leads to the De Haas shipyard.


Harbor tug Maassluis was built right here by De Haas in 1949.


Below is a photo I took of her back in 2014 in Dordrecht.


Salvage vessel Bruinvisch first launched in 1937, and has returned to a pristine state by the efforts of many volunteers.  You can befriend her on FB at “Bergingsvaartuig Bruinvisch.”


Notice the white building off the stern of tug Hudson?  That is the National Dutch Towage Museum.  I wanted to visit but came at the wrong hour.  Oh well, next time, Kees.





The next three photos come from John van der Doe, who sent them a few months back.


Furie is a sea-going steam tug built in 1916.  You can see many photos of her on FB at “StichtingHollandsGlorie.”


And Hudson, 1939, currently without an engine, narrowly escaped being scrapped.  She spent a number of years in the 60s and 70s as a floating ice-making plant.


Many thanks to John for these last photos.  All others by Will Van Dorp, who has more Maassluis photos tomorrow.  One more for now, the day I was there, Furie was over in the De Haas yard.


And below is a print I found on board Hercules–this coming Sunday’s p0st–showing Furie in a dramatic sea.


I couldn’t get a photo, but as a monument in a traffic circle in Maassluis, there’s a huge beting aka H-bitt.  Here’s a photo . . . it may be the third one.

So let’s go inland a ways and look around.  I actually want to make the point that even in the smaller interior cities the water connection is strong.

See Amsterdam on the left? Slightly northeast all the way across the map, you see a city called Zwolle.  To drive from Amsterdam to Zwolle is about 60 miles.  And that “island” you see in between the two cities is actually reclaimed land, a polder that used to be the bottom on the Zuider Zee.  That particular polder is called Flevoland, but I digress.


Today’s post focuses on Zwolle, a city about the same size as Leiden.  Its name actually comes from the same word that in English is “swollen.” But more on that later.  Once again, notice the moat, i.e., water and therefore boats.


All kinds of boats, and incentives for tourist-attracting traditional boats lining the moat.


Enclosed by the moat was once a walled city.  Here’s a remnant of the wall;  notice the reddish-hulled vessel under the flags to the right.


Below is looking through the arch which is visible on the left side of the photo above.  The tower in the wall holds . . . what else, an Italian restaurant.  A throwback to the Romans who managed to get behind enemy lines back in in “barbarian” times?   That’s a joke.


Let’s jump across the moat and see this from the outside.  That boat is called “de verhalenboot,” which translates as “the story boat.”  Here’s a googletranslated version of their site.  They have a matching tender.


Here, notice the “story boat” in the center?  To the left is the “pannenkoeken boot,”  i.e., a restaurant boat noted for its pancakes.  I posted about them in Amsterdam two years ago here.


I.e., lots of specialized vessels, starting with freight carrier repurposed as houseboats,







as well as modern houseboats fitted onto barges.


Note the grand piano to the left of this gray/white vessel?


There’s the piano again to the extreme right.  It’s landside of Thor, cultuurschip.  Here’s the googletranslated version of their webpage; their 2016 season just started.  This is Zwolle’s version of the sixth boro’s barge music, here and here. To orient you, that’s the “story boat” just beyond the vessel to Thor‘s stern.


So there’s pancakes, stories, music . . . and a pink “love you long time” craft that for 13 euros, gets you a guide, a drink, snacks, and a ride around the moat.


Here’s more of their flotilla and their translated page.  Dutch and English are not that different:  translate this as “cook boat.”


And as you travel around the moat, you see lots of old buildings like this one, lots here with


names in painted (?) terra-cotta.


In the center of town, there’s the “keep,” technically, Sassenpoort.


Of course, my nose is really for workboats, Harm and Harm 2, small tankers for the local Shell distributor.


Here, you see the sail maker’s shop, also selling “water sports articles” and built into the old city wall.  And here’s my holy grail . . . the 1942 small tug named Kees.   Kees is a very common name for males in Dutch.




As is true for over-the-road trucks in the US, many Dutch vessels carry owner info on a placard forward of the wheelhouse.


A similar but more primitive looking vessel here is Ceuvel.  Other than that this boat was likely built in an area of Amsterdam called Ceuvel, I know nothing.


Let’s end here today with a shot of her from the stern.


More photos tomorrow from another small city in NL, this region of water as seen here and here.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who’d love to hear from the owners of any of these vessels and/or see building plans.


It goes without saying that the waterways here are busy and complex, as seen from this AIS grab below, showing traffic at this moment between Brussels (bottom) and Amsterdam, and between Dusseldorf and the North Sea about midway the narrowing into the English Channel to the southwest.  All the photos in today’s post–as have many here–were taken just west of Rotterdam.


Here Smit’s Union 11 heads east past the Mammoet headquarters.


Below is water tanker DWS 14 delivering “drink water” in the greater Rotterdam port.

Even more interesting is the 10-storey cylindrical building in the background, on the land’s edge in Schiedam.  It’s called De Bolder, aka the Bollard, the biggest bollard I’ve ever seen.   The building, Mammoet’s offices in Schiedam, was entirely built and furnished elsewhere in greater Rotterdam port (Zwijndrecht) and then transported into its location by water!!  Now that’s making a statement about a company’s mission.


Here in the same waterway recently, the Montrose Alpha platform gets a final fitting out before it heads out to the North Sea.  The platform was also built in Zwijndrecht and moved to this point in the delta by at least four En Avant tugs.


A 1959 training vessel Delftshaven passes by.


Across the way, new build pipe layer Sapura Rubi  is getting fitted out before joining the fleet in Brasil.


Meanwhile at the Damen Shiprepair yard in Schiedam, work is always going on, with Foresight and Patron up on the floating dry docks,  and Seven Waves and Mona Swan docked.




Seven Oceans –astern of Skandi Açu–has since departed for the north of Norway.  Both are pipe laying support vessels.  Here is the entire DOF fleet.  The 479′ Skandi Açu, crewed by up to 120 people and capable of laying pipe down to almost 10,000 feet,  was christened last week and celebrated by Huisman, VARD, DOF Subsea, and Technip.


My dinghy awaits.  See ya.


The first four photos come from Freek Wamandai via my friend Fred Trooster, who also took the last one.  The ones in between are by Will Van Dorp.

For more Skandi and Subsea vessels, click here.


Being in the low countries, I thought I’d ask around if meow man–certainly a sixth boro staple– had ever made an appearance.  And I thought I’d ask in places where I stood a chance to get a response.  Like Lelystad, a city of over 75,000 people at 10 feet below sea level.  My “Hey there.  Do you know meow man?” got this fang-baring big eyed response  . . .


Miauw man? Ik heb nog nooit van hem gehoord.”   I’ll translate word by word:  “I have ever never from him heard.”


At first I feared my red friend–figurehead of De Zeven Provinciën would catapult out of his enclosure, but he only pulled himself to an above-sea level-perch to ask his big friend . .  .


this guy, figurehead on Batavia.


And the big red guy’s answer was:  “Miauw man? Wie of wat is hij, dit miauw man?”  Word by word, it translates as, “MM, who or what is he, this MM?”  So the Batavia figurehead roared out across the sea looming over the farmland and asked this guy . . .


this really big guy . . . 60 tons known by various names . . . suggested by the pose.



And he said not a word, which made me suspect he actually knew something, had associations with MM, and was keeping the secret.

All photos and interpretations of conversations that really really did happen by Will Van Dorp.

Here are previous figureheads posts.  And what follows is a set of photos I took at the December 2008 boat show, all depicting the struggle-into-shape of Onrust’s big cat.






With mallet and gouge, Dave is truly a master sawdust maker.


Unrelated:  I’m not dedicating a post to names at this time, but I just noticed that Herman Hesse was entering port as Irene’s Remedy was departing.


Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,027 other followers

If looking for specific "word" in archives, search here.
Questions, comments, photos? Email Tugster

Graves of Arthur Kill

Click on image below to order your copy of Graves of Arthur Kill, by Gary Kane and Will Van Dorp. 3Fish Productions.

Seth Tane American Painting

Read my Iraq Hostage memoir online.

My Babylonian Captivity

Reflections of an American hostage in Iraq, 20 years later.

Tale of Two Marlins

Blue Marlin spent 600+ hours loading tugs and barges in NYC Sixth Boro. Click on image for presentation made to NY Ship Lore and Model Club, July 25, 2011.


October 2016
« Sep