Join us on our travels around Europe aboard our Dutch Tjalk Francoise

  • Jill Budd

    After 6 years aboard our Narrowboat Matilda Rose in the UK, we took the plunge and shipped her across to Europe. After 2 years in Europe we knew we didn't want to return to the UK so took the plunge and purchased a 1902 20 mtr Dutch Tjalk called Francoise and are now continuing our travels of the waterways of Europe in a buxom wench

  • September 2017
    M T W T F S S
  • Meta

High rise living–life in the boatyard

Posted by contentedsouls on 12/09/2017

After a few lovely days (way too few) cruising with Veronica and Richard on Pirammima, we had a phone call calling us in to the boatyard Friday 1st. When we booked this lift out from France (way back in March) for the 1st week in September, the last thing I expected to happen was a lift out on 1st September! It’s not how these things normally work. So, here we are, roughly 15 feet up in the air with our fat bottom waving in the, not inconsiderable, winds and in a fair bit of chaos.


The lift out itself was smooth, efficient and without drama


Muttley and Daisy have no problems with the steps, but G has to carry Mr B up and down twice a day for the serious stuff; in between we have taught him to pee on the rear deck (drains and can be power hosed off) and are using dry nites bed sheets – I strongly suspect we won’t be able to ‘unteach’ it but you do what you have to. Life on the hard was never going to be easy with animals, but the people who own the yard have done everything they possibly can to make life as easy as possible.


G is pleased to announce that he finally has a big one; even more brilliant as our neighbour on the hard has a particularly little one – ours is the big shiny one!!!!!!!


Work progresses quite well; the professionals are doing the 3 overplates whilst we are doing the more routine reparation work. What we hadn’t banked on was us both doing 2 1/2 days of fire watch (one of us to each welder), which we hadn’t factored in and the chaos of having to take up floor boards after removing beds and pantry contents. It has, therefore, been a bit stressful and ‘ate’ the first week. We have a first coat on our bottom now but torrential rain and high winds are not helping. Might be here for awhile. Just the one fire and yes, those are two holes in the hull under the pantry floor (photo 6) where he cut the old plate out. G said he couldn’t service the genny in the rain under an open hatch and wasn’t impressed when I showed him a solution (photo 1). I even offered to hold the umbrella.


Fun and games, but all pretty much within the anticipated budget and a huge boost when we found the original registration numbers; Hz1477N, original name Hoop op Welvaart. Then L2227N, renamed Pax. Beyond thrilled as now we can research her entire history.


11 Responses to “High rise living–life in the boatyard”

  1. phew, brings back a few memories!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Kevin TOO said

    Good grief… how amazing, interesting and terrifying in equal parts… well done 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. andywindy said

    Excellent pics Jill, well worth waiting for! Poor Baxter having to have the humiliation of being helped on and off the boat by Graham, I’m glad you’ve found at least a temporary solution.
    Graham has indeed got


  4. andywindy said

    (Blooming fingers are doing their own thing again) Graham has indeed got a big shiny one, and it looks to be in good condition too, I am impressed that the rudder is that close (for instant handling response( for a boat)) that it needs a cut out so it misses his Shaft and Nut!

    And as for you, you greedy Girl, Sue has a boat built with a Bow-thruster so You just had to go and buy a boat with TWO.

    I always find it fascinating watching a Weld from the other side of the steel plate as the white hot pencil draws its line of heat across it, though it must be excruciating to watch when it is in your own home!

    Best of luck in a) finding where you’ve put everything, and b) getting it all to fit back in place. I suspect it may be a little while before things feel ‘Normal’ again.

    Now you have to get your ‘Little Grey Cells’ working and investigate the History of your Gorgeous Girl, I hope you have free WiFi available to do that!


    • Thanks for making us laugh; just when we needed a laugh too. It is an usual configuration for the rudder; the other boat is far more normal. No WiFi whatsoever, let alone free! Today, 16th, is the first decent wifi I’ve had since forever. Have been using the bit on my phone contract to check e-mails and put a few bits on Facebook. If we stay in NL for awhile, we are going to have to find a way to sort this.


  5. Carol said

    Great blog Jill and an interesting one too, a bit scary in fact! Glad things are ok and the work is probably all done by now. It will be interesting looking back at the boat’s history and look forward to reading about the research. Happy cruising back to wherever it is you’ll be cruising back to, or will you stay in Holland for a while? xx


    • Thanks Carol. We think we may stay in the NL for awhile and then it would be logical to ‘do’ Germany and Poland whilst we are up North. However, I hate the wind and the cold and it does get very windy and cold in the flatlands… this space xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  6. vallypee said

    Oh my, all too familiar scenes! I’m dreading mine! It’s great you’ve found the old names and numbers! What fun you’ll have doing research!


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