A new shower

The original shower was made out of wood, which was functional, but it had its limitations….sloped floor, drain with limited capacity, so it had to change.

For evacuation of the water I ended up with a Whale IC.

shower base . vandammekunstof . sides schulte douchemeister

Plastic Surgery

As of April 29 Jan-kees is at the surgeon (Welder), where the original roof is being removed and a walk out deck with cover and seating is being created.
Lars who also welded the gas tank, is taking charge

Today he did the incisions…the big hold up will be finding somebody who can manufacture a correct door.

Covering the electrical equipment
The first cuts around the outside and along the width

Port and Starboard cuts

Ready with cutting……….. attached to the crane and then …….there is the sun in the back

Here is a drawing made by daniel

The back dek moving along

One of the hinges for the hatch. With this kind of hinge the floor will stay even

And it is getting close
Door opening is 80 cm . which allows a door of 67 + the frame on both sides

Closed hatch, smooth surface

Open Hatch, just have to order the Gas Springs, and perhaps later an electric actuator.

Turn the Heat on ….

Well it really means, we just landed in Schiphol ( Amsterdam Airport), get your smartphone out, log into vrm.victronenergy.com, go to jan-kees, go to the console, and press the start button , so it wil be warm when we arrive at the barge.

What really happened is with the help of the VRM website I was able to log into the Victron Venus, and turn on the relais ( which could also be used to start a generator automatically). The Venus has 2 programmable relais. 6A 250V/30V DC.
But just for safety we will use the Venus relais to use another 24 VDC relais to turn the Kabola on.
Just in the event there is no connection I also installed an over ride switch, and put it in a separate fuse box.

In the fuse box we will have the main heating fuse, the relais, over ride switch and selector switch selecting the Kabola or the Vetus ( see electric schema below)

—electric schema —

–picture box–

Just a reminder…software is more powerful than a real switch or…..why not get frustrated with replacement Victron multi’s

So I started getting alerts from my Victron Multiplus….AC overloads. Well wat the Frell!
So you go to the boat. open the hatch and you see flashing light,  turn off the multi , wait a bit and turn it back on and all seems to be working fine and you go home. Later you get again a overload warning, so you use the VRM website to get into the Venus control unit remotely, and set the inverter to charge only. Drive back to the boat and recheck it…and the same problem …it ain’t working….so you call your dealer where you bought it, and hear……  “Most likely the AC board I have seen this before ” and he provides and RMA and yes he sends at the same time a replacement unit, since it is still under the 5 year warranty !!
The new unit arrives. Plop it in its place and reconnect all wires, turn it on …and magically…the light work …..So you plug the table into the Venus and poof all goes dark. Ok …must have put it in the wrong input. ve.net, ve.can .ve.direct…..but NO it happens a few second after you plop the network cable in. This happened a year ago also , and then it was a software update on the Venus which did this. A call to Daniel…and I was gently reminded that the moment the Venus detects the multi it will set it in the function set in the Venus, which was not the same as the switch on the machine……so I get into the Venus control , set the Multi to normal and voila….as the professor in the movie  the 5th element shouts…”Aziz .  LIGHTS”.

So before thinking it was Victrons error…we just have to check the Venus settings.

Shower …..upgrade …..

The current shower is built from wood, with thick layers of Poly-Urethane over it.  The floor is sloping draining the shower water in a trough which directs the water to a tank with a pump, then toward the kitchen area where it goes overboard.
The tank in the middle of the floor is only 11 cm high, so any other commercially available tank is too high for that space.  At the same time ti is more logic to evacuate the water on the shower side, than to direct all the way to the other side.  So this is going to happen.   I got a Whale shower pump, with the 2 point collection sump, this sump can collect the shower and the sink in the head. and because the sump has the sensor, the pump can be mounted high and dry away.  At first we explored the possibility of making a glass fiber shower base, with a decent edge, so the floor could be fairly level.  Now the wood floor has a decent grade.  And we would keep the wood side. So many hours of google was spend abusing our eyes and asking others how to best solve this.   Marc cam up with a tub drain, since they flow out immediately with a 90 degree angle, keeping the floor as low as possible.  We looked to tiling the sides….too much work.

Then we found  douchemeister and found a few fun options ( barging should be fun) and finally decided why not do both sides.  So here are our 3 options.

Then for a shower base we found dammekunstoffen.nl

Why Jan-Kees

Well it was just using Dutch tradition……wordplay…..giving it meaning…..and trying to show what we are.

So Jan-Kees is a very common Dutch name.   But as you know the Dutch founded New Amsterdam, which the Brits renamed to New York, after they had an arm wrestle with Peter Stuyvesant in 1664.  The Dutch got even with the Brits by sucessfuly invading England in 1688, after Michiel de Ruyter kicked the British navy around a bit in 1667.  A good movie actually.

Many American words, are left over of the West India Company settlement of New Amsterdam/York.  Like cookie instead of the English Biscuit, Harlem of the Dutch City Haarlem.  You will find many Dutch town in NY state.  The same is said for the term Yankee.(wikipedia)  Pronounce Jan-Kees as an Native American speaker and you will hear “Yankee” .

So Jan-Kees embraces both Dutch and American.  Now to further seal the duality, the port of registration is Amsterdam, Texas ( since Deb is from Texas)



Kever haven – > Zaandam

August 27

We did had quite a lot of very hard wind and some rain during the night. There was an whole army of meerkoeten just in front of the boat having breakfast.


We set of around 9 with quite a bit of wind and very choppy water. After the Kager plassen we turned onto the Haarlemmer Meer Ringvaart , and around 09:30 the engine started sputtering, and died. Restarting only gave it life for a few seconds.  I steered it to the shore with the road, Deb jumped off and attached a mooring line to a traffic sign.  I jumped off and hammered a stake in ground to secure the 2nd line.   Next was going in the engine room and checking the fuel lines. I got to a point where there was diesel coming out of the fuel filter, but the engine still only kept running a short period.  Daniel gave advice how more to check the lines, which I dutyfully did. Yet still no running engine.  I called the harbor master of Kever Haven and she gave us a number of a local shop.  Unfortunately they were closed till 10,  But the harbor master had a private number of the owner, called him and secured us a mechanic at 10:30.   Deb and I just settled won sipping coffee.   I tried to start the engine one more time and it ran a little bit, but died again…so we waited.      Sharp at 10:30 Hugo came.  I explained the situation and we started the engine…….and it kept running…and running.   Hugo started following the fuel lines, and remarked that one fitting was kinda ‘loose’. Because these are copper lines, he asked if there were inserts in, to prevent it from being tightened so much that it totally closed the lines.  I had NO clue, so I put Daniel on the phone.
We ran the engine for about 20 minutes and then attached a second rope and ran the engine on full speed with engaged propeller for 10 minutes.  it seems the air in the line was gone, by the wait period. so we went on.

The leimuiderbrug which had us waiting on the way to Delft opened up within minutes of requesting.  Actually all bridges opened very quickly, especially in Amsterdam.

Once out of Amsterdam we had a quite rough Noordzee Kanaal towards Zaandam, where we filled up 100 L Diesel at the bunker station, so that we have enough for heating this winter.  All and all a very fun and enjoyable 6 day trip!


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PLEASE PULL OVER !!! Flashing Blue lights!!!

So this Sunday morning we set of at 09:00 and when we arrived at the first bridge in Delft, de Hambrug, there was no response to a few VHF  Hails.  Looking on the ANWB app, it showed , NO SERVICE until 10 AM Sunday’s.  So we decided to moor up at the side. Just when we were moored, I saw the telephone number on the ANWB App and called it, The lady at Leidschendam Central said , NO we start working at 9 AM, so we will open the bridge for you . Relieved we set off, and when ever we got close to a bridge, we quickly saw the red-red change into Red-Green. 

Oostpoort brug h

Then past the Koepoort brug, we saw a bunch of skiff rowers.  LAGA the Student rowing club was out in full force, and being Skiff rowers, THEY owned the canal, according to their behavior.    We kept encountering them, paying absolutely no attention to the people around them. Then we arrive at the Hoorn Brug, where the height is 4.1 Meter and the movable part is 2.4 M . So we aim for the 4.1 Meter, we stopped to let some skiff rowers pass, and slowly ease in.   While we are under the bridge, a 6 person skiff comes in and bitches and tells us to use the other side.   Just past the bridge there was another whole swarm of skiff rowers.

The central bridge control, gives us the go ahead for the  nieuwe and oude Tolbrug Den Haag, and they turn the lights Red-Green on the Kerk Brug.  And surprise surprise, a Police car stops and waves to us and point to the mooring place.  I start to chuckle….bloody Students …their manhood must have been hurt by us not bowing to them.  Deb throws the rope, the bridge opens, I hail Leidschendam Control, and tell them sorry we can’t make the bridge the police stopped us.  So when we are tied up the 2 police offers look and look and look and  blurt out “we can not come aboard now” .  Well that is NOT my problem.. YOU directed us to tie up there.   
I do my story.  “there are 2 openings..One I can go through without interrupting traffic the other is too low for us, there are yellow light , which means watch out.  We are in the bridge and the rowers demand we move away for them, while they could have used the other” . The police asks a few more questions. like what is your length, are you a commercial, because I see a registration number there. (the US Coast Guard registration) Then they want to see some ID of me, to which I reply “sure come aboard”, creating dumb founded looks.  So I throw out “wait ..I’ll text them to you ”  The police hails some other person on their radio and wish us a great day and leave.  We continue our trip and just before Leidschendam lock a person in an official jacket of Rijks Waterstaat, the ministry which controls the waterways, on a moped shouts at us “are you continuing ?”    “Yes to Zaandam” was my reply.  “O’K . I have something for you “.   I think Holy Mackerel what do they want NOW ??????
We enter the lock an elderly lady comes close and takes the mooring line from Deb. I step ashore, and I see that person of the central control.   “We saw all what happend and overheard it, so we wanted to give you a present”.  He hands me a brochure “how to sail safe”, I look a bit surprised, he smiles and hands me a key hanger.  “Yes the brochure is for the rowers next time, just give it to them, they are always a BIG problem” we all chuckled.

Onwards we went to Leiden, where our main delay would probably be the railway bridge, so just as we are ready to throw lines over a bollard, we see the light go Red-Green !   wow no wait time and we continue.  Arrived at Kever Haven at 13:30

Here is Today’s Track


The hunt for Red October

The hunt for the water which on occasion seeps in. and collects in the bilge.  Over the past 3 years we have identified a few things which causes water to collect in the bilge. Water should be removed, for rust and for mold. We have seen a few windows which were leaking, and this year with painting the outside , we have also varnished the windows enough and caulked them enough that when it rains, there is no more water coming in.  Still some  water kept appearing, silently , just as the Red October with Sean Connery did.  Because of Deb’s Bday dinner, Renate and Remy spend the night on the boat.  In the morning Deb and Renate went bargain hunting, while Remy helped me with a few small jobs, like fixing the new wire to the key contact.  We also discussed blowers in the bilge and tried to come up with ways to improve the wheel house, in regards to rain diversion.  While we were exploring these options, I also showed Remy how some wiring was running and pulled the new pilot house carpentry away we discovered that there was quite a bit of water standing.  The water seeps in via the wooden top and the steel work.  The wooden window frames rest on a 35 MM wide L beam, but because the wood is the same width, the water slowly drips between the wood and the steel.  When I made the new pilot house control console, I did noticed there was rust already, which I then removed and treated with Owatrol.  This coming week I will put a thin strip of wood over the edge, and caulk the top , so that the water is diverted to the steel instead of the top.

A 9 meter boat with Belgians arrived and we admired their folding bikes





At night Deb and I went to the Market to listen to some Jazz and have a beer and Bitterballen en ‘olijfjes”

While walking to the Market we encountered a cute Ford, which is not sold in the USA

A Ford Ka



Happy birthday

Yes today it is Deb’s Birthday, and she was gently woken up by the smell of fresh crispy bacon and coffee.  First order is move the boat, since the Swaen wants to move out and there are free spots on the dock.

After we moved I turned on the Kabola, so we could take a nice long hot shower, but grabbing the valve switch I saw that one on the electric control lines was loose.  Must have happened when I was scowering round there figuring out why the breaker for the heating outlets kept switching off ( While installing the 24V DC line to the 24V Breaker box, I must have pulled the wires in the main heating switch, causing it to earth leak)  Since there were many wires, I tried hunting the manual, but remembered I never had one.  So I grabbed a quick picture of the valve and saw that I had to reconnect the brown wire.  Blue is Neutral, Green is Vetus, Brown is Kabola to the switch .


Problem solved and a hot shower, in the mean time the harbor emptied itself. A few barges passed by, one with the text “Here (sails) goes a sixteen 18 wheeler caravan” .  This is probably done to show the grumbling  people who whine about the bridge openings.  Remember how efficient transport by water is, compared to road.

A bit later a gravel barge came along.  Here you can see how it has to slowly maneuver to go around the bend here in Delft.


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Then just before 18:00 the Michielsen Gang showed up, fully packed and loaded.  Lindy and Roy were going afterwards to a party in Goes.  Once seated the big question was ” when will Marius and Wilma arrive” .. 2 minutes later.   After the obligatory Dutch way of congratulation everybody with Deb’s Birthday, we had coffee and beer in the common, group therapy circle, so well described in the many books written by Ex-Pats about the Dutch.
At 18:00 Matthijs showed up with his electric sloop to take us round the Delft Canals.  Where to great joy of Marius, he revealed that in the middle ages, Delft was the Beer brewery center of Holland with over 400  breweries.  And as cute fact, the roads along the canals angle towards, the canals, so that it was less work rolling the barges into the barges for transport.


As you can see there were a few very very low bridges.  As Renata, just recovers, from the Bridge duck and sees another great building.  Matthijs dropped us off close to the Beesten markt, where we went to Spijshuis De Dis for Deb’s tasting Birthday dinner.



The staff was excellent.   At a sudden moment Marius asked for a cup of coffee. Deb quickly quipped….that must be in a beer glass, you can’t drink coffee, so the staff obliged.

Then wen Daniel needed a beer, we were able to have him sip it out of a coffee cup, since Daniel never drinks coffee.