An Unexpected Journey on the Jan-Kees

In the initial days of my arrival in Holland, there had been talk of installation of a railing on the deck of the Jan-Kees. Last week, Daniel welded on, bases for the stanchions. Conversation then shifted to finishing up the work on his boat because he had the equipment there. Little did ai know that this would involve actually barging from Zaandam to Uitgeest.


I am a total newcomer to barging hence the simplistic Maps view of the two points we were to be traveling from and to. Nothing more was said until Tuesday, July 12th when Daniel arrived at the appointed time and we cast off the Jan-Kees from the docks.


And moved through the locks with barely two inches to spare under the bridge…



And we were off.. Were we/I actually barging? 


We actually were…  

Hot Water and Heat

During the summer months, you would not think too much about the necessity of hot water or heat. If a barge is to be habitable during the not too pleasant months of  late Autumn/Fall through Winter those two ingredients could make for a warm and enjoyable stay on your barge.

Early on, we had decided to install heating and on-demand hot water to the Jan-Kees. It was not an inexpensive proposition; diesel boiler, water heater, radiators, installation plus the accoutrements. Work commenced in April of 2017 with the installation of the main components ( boiler, water tank/heater and radiators), hard connections and controls. On July 10, 2017, our heating contractor completed the installation. Pictures follow:

Day 1 – Introduction to Life on a Dutch Barge


I am glad I came alone to the Jan-Kees. There is something to be said about a quiet and intimate introduction to her. Going through the steps of starting things by myself made me remember those procedures and self-sufficient. Mind you, I did have help. A total greenhorn can do wonders when you have the Internet and a friend on the other side of the globe sending copious amounts of how-tos and information. He made sure I did not botch things up, for example, NOT putting 100 gallons of water in the bilge instead of the water tank.

We get excited about the Jan-Kees. It’s the potential. Isn’t that we always see? Not the rust spots or the peeling varnish rather what that dream vessel can be.

So, in goes water tank, fuel tank, new electronics, Wi-fi, solar power, battery backup, heating and hot water. The list seems endless but as many of you know and I am just discovering, it is about the dream of a utopia, an escape pod, transporter to far away places or even just the dock where your vessel is moored.

Oh! What fun! And it is just beginning.

Day 2 on Jan-Kees

Having breakfast in the wheelhouse; a cup of coffee and a couple of breakfast sandwiches.

It’s 8am now. There is a slight bob to the Jan-Kees while I sip on the coffee. Upper doors to the wheelhouse is open and a pleasant breeze wafts through. The dock is starting to stir and the first few locals silently drift by on their bicycles on the bridge behind us. The morning hunt for caffeine and sustenance commences. It’s Saturday, market day in Zaanadam. I won’t be missing it. Nieuwe Haring awaits. Beer supplies are low.