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Barge history

Posted by nigelorrmail on August 7, 2013 at 10:35 AM Comments comments (0)

M.S. “Waterman” History  

The ship was built as a self loading and unloading cargoship for agricultural produce. She, together with a sister ship, was built in 1925.

Her size was governed by the dimensions of a lock through which she had to pass between the river Noord and “Het Dode Maasje” which was an old branch of the “Oude Maas” in the polder south of Rotterdam . The lock to enter this old branch was located near Hendrik ido Ambacht .

The first owner was a transport company “van der Herik”. Mr Blaak bought the ship in 1948, took off the mast and the boom and put in the tank for fresh water along with all the necessary equipment such as pipes and pumps .The ship became known as the “Waterman” at this time . The original motor was a 20hp Bolnes single cylinder two stroke diesel with air start and preheating by gas burner! This motor was still in use in 1968 when it was replaced by the present engine. The old engine can be seen in the Mechanical Engineering department at the University of Eindhoven where it is in well earned retirement. In 1974 a larger ship was necessary for the water deliveries.

The conversion to a pleasure boat was started in 1974 by the son of the “Waterman” who had been given the boat by his father as a wedding present. The present owner bought the boat in Dordrecht fifteen years ago and has changed her from a boat adequate for weekend trips to one equipped for living on board full time and cruising in comfort and security. Modern equipment has been installed and she has been cruised on average 2000kms and 500 locks per year. She is well known throughout the French canal system and has cruised the Rhone and the Midi as well as visiting the canals of Burgundy and Paris.