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

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

The recovery of Matilda Rose

Posted by contentedsouls on 31/10/2017

We clearly needed to get MR out of where she was and sorted back to her beautiful self. With heartfelt thanks to Graham’s son Antony, Andy and Sarah, the intrepid crew moved her, polished her and repainted the roof. Putting in massive cruising hours over 4 days and moving her to Rugby boats at Stowe Hill where, within a few weeks, she quickly sold. The survey was all good, as one would expect, and she is now owned by people who will live aboard, so give them a wave if you see them. A part of my heart left with her when she was shipped out of France so now I am just glad that she has someone new to cherish her.

Whilst hatching the rescue mission, our lovely friends, G & G at Aldeboarn, asked around the village and came up with the option of two moorings at the end of peoples’ gardens where Francoise, the menagerie and I could stay in his absence. I had a ball with Gezina making pickles and stuff and also offers from the local bar to drive me to the nearby nature park and phone when I was ready to be picked up. It was such a joy to have some lovely female company over the two weeks – poor Gerrit had to put up with the giggling. We made it up to him though by taking them (and their dog Diesel) on a day trip to one of the islands in weather that we should probably not have been out in!!!!!!!!!!!!


These sailboats are Skutjes practicing for the racing season. The races are extremely popular and people just turn up to watch in anything and everything and just beach their boats to watch. some are then able to hoist their grandstands! Amazing spectacle – I only took six zillion photos.


By the time G returned from the MR rescue it was nearly time for the annual Gondelvaart and that was an experience you wouldn’t want to miss.

8 Responses to “The recovery of Matilda Rose”

  1. Kevin TOO said

    WOW, so MR is finally sold, but like you say someone else will be able to love her 🙂 She served you well 🙂
    Now you have a few Euros under the mattress you can have a posh wheelhouse like the one on Kobus… LOL

    Liked by 1 person

    • That wheelhouse on Kobus was amazing – more gain in lowering your wheelhouse here to duck under bridges as a rule though; can’t see a regular need for a grandstand!

      I must confess to splurging out on a new fridge/freezer (the existing one has been running our batteries down something shocking). Also treated myself to a very warm winter coat – the locals have been telling me they don’t get cold winters here up North anymore and that it’s been 7 years since they’ve been able to skate on the Meers; that makes my half empty glass feel that a bad one is now overdue then!!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. andywindy said

    Congratulations on the Sale, I wonder just how long she would have remained further south without being sold? As Kevin says, someone else will get to fall in love with the beautiful Matilda Rose now and they certainly have a ready equipped home!

    I like to picture two, it shows the level of chop on the water very well! And some lovely pictures of the Skutjes under sail. They the plastic boats we tend to see round here to shame!


    • The delay in the sale of MR was probably our fault if we’re honest – once we had Francoise we just wanted to go out to play and it didn’t occur to us that she would be too big for the London market. We just, sort of, pushed her to the back of our minds and stuck our heads in the sand. The prospect of a large restoration bill for the big fat lady forced us to ‘do’ something. We have developed a very bad tendency to try and avoid anything that interrupts our footloose and laid back lifestyle – spoilt brats that we are.

      We didn’t let on to our non boaty mates that the long lunch was to allow the wind to subside; when the waves are breaking over your bow when you’re moored, you know it’s going to get ‘interesting’ on the return trip. As long as the swell is bow or stern on she does swim very nicely, but the roll side on (without boards) is pretty alarming and hard on the stomach!

      Sadly, after several days of very strong winds, the winds subsided on the day of the racing – the pictures could have been far more dramatic!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. vallypee said

    I was wondering what had happened to MR too! Thank goodness it’s all resolved. Still sad to lose her. She was so you! G&G sound marvellous. Was this before the great lift out? That skutje racing is such a joy to watch isn’t it? Well all sailing barges racing are. Fabulous pics, Jill!


    • We, basically, ignored MR Val until we were forced to do something as we didn’t want her sitting empty over winter (see comments above). G & G are amazing and even found us this week on a remote mooring bringing Baxter’s medication and other post – a good half mile walk in the mud and pitch dark.

      Mostly blogs are before the lift out now (unless I indicate otherwise), trying to catch up but not miss out on the highlights for us.

      Love, love watching them race on a windy day – when they are close you can see that they are working like the clappers; very physical and makes our sailing on the Norfolk Broads rivers a bit like floating a rubber duck in the bath!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. J. Biggs said

    Brilliant news and a relief to know MR has sold. No doubt all of your a G’s good vibes are still in her, providing her new owners with a warm welcome.

    Love and hugs to you both,
    Jaq xxx


    • Thanks Jaq. She’s a good, sound, liveaboard boat and I know they will have great fun on her. Also helps that we can also be on the end of the phone as every boat has it’s idiosyncrasies and there is always a learning curve.

      Liked by 1 person

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