Aqualine Dutch Barge “Victor”
Victor is a 19.75metre (65 ft) Dutch Barge built in the style of a Lux Motor Barge. Victor is unique and she has many features that are not often associated with Dutch Barges. She was built in 2011 by Aqualine Marine Ltd, took seven months to complete and commission and she was handed over to me on 1st September 2011. Since this time she has been our home. We have been aboard Victor for seven years travelling the canals and rivers of Europe.
Whilst “Victor” looks very traditional she is a 21st century craft with all mod cons, both for boating and also the sort of comfort that would be found in most homes.
“Victor” is built of very high quality steel, the construction is very robust and unlike many boats of her type she is very sea worthy as she has a full length box keel making her incredibly stable when in rough water. She is a category “C” craft but has been ballasted to category “B” standards hence the stability. She also has eight automatic bilge pumps which have never been used except for testing. Do not confuse this magnificent craft with any other Dutch Barge; she is far better in many ways.
When I started looking for a company to build my dream boat I became very disillusioned as to the quality that was on offer from boat builders, both in the UK and also in mainland Europe. When I discovered Aqualine it was like a breath of fresh air, here was a company that had the attitude that I was looking for. Their answer was yes to everything I required and the finished product is just totally superb. This is more like a floating luxury apartment, rather than a boat, as it has everything that you would expect from a city flat.
When I first decided to have “Victor” built I decided that I would only have the very best in both technical facilities and also comfort, so the cost would be a secondary factor. Some of the things I specified did, however, raise some eyebrows at Aqualine, but all that I asked for were forthcoming and the final result could only be described as perfect.
All good things come to an end and it is now time to move on.
We have met some brilliant people over the last seven years
and some of them have become close friends.
Will we return to the boating life ? Who knows ......
Engine and Propulsion.
Iveco 150bhp non turbo six cylinder diesel built by Beta marine in Gloucester. Driving through a Python Drive Coupling to a solid shaft with a 23 inch four blade machined phosphor bronze propeller.
The engine is cooled by canal water through a heat exchanger.
This system is tried and tested and ensures that overheating is not a problem.
The canal water is expelled using a wet exhaust system.
With extensive soundproofing in the engine room the boat runs quietly.
Steering and Thrusters.
The steering is a closed loop hydraulic system with an emergency override and external tiller if needed. The steering is very light and very precise.
“Victor” has bow thrusters that work the bow instantly and efficiently.
The boat is highly manoeuvrable and is easy to moor and steer into locks.
Other Navigation Facilities.
“Victor” has, apart from radar, every thing that could be required for coastal and inland boating. From an electric anchor, through very wide gunwales, to safety handles in all of the right places. There is also a very comprehensive array of instrumentation for both navigation purposes and also for the domestic services on board. There is also a new state of the art ships DST radio fitted in a cupboard to the side of the steering wheel.
Recently AIS has been fitted which gives your position to oncoming vessels and enables "Victor" to see larger ship coming towards us via a onboard Navigation system.
Electrics and Heating.
The electrical system on “Victor” is advanced to say the least and all safety features have been incorporated. When on shore power an automatic galvanetic transformer protects the boat and the domestic electrical system is also protected by a reverse polarity sensor. There is also an automatic overload sensor which resets, also automatically.
There is a 3kva inverter charger and also a 7.0kva generator by Kohler.
When this generator is turned on it will charge the batteries, run the TV systems and washing machine, power the hot water immersion heater as well as provide 230 volts around the boat.
The lighting system on “Victor” is fantastic, there are many different selectable lighting moods, from overhead MR16 LED and halogen, to roof, gunwale and floor strip LEDs. In addition there are strip LEDs around the roof line on the outside of the wheelhouse. This looks very pretty but is very useful when mooring at night.
“Victor” has four diesel tanks, two for propulsion and two separate ones for heating oil. Heating oil is about half the price of propulsion diesel.
The heating and hot water boiler is by Kabola with a timer unit like a standard home heating system. It is very efficient and we were very warm and cosy last Christmas when the temperature dropped to minus ten.
Comfort and Modern Living.
“Victor” is fully insulated. All the external steel is spray foam insulated and even the floors have 100mm of high quality compressed foam in a plywood sandwich. All of the wooden hardwood windows are double glazed and this includes the wheelhouse, wheelhouse doors and the pigeon box. Winter on this boat is warm, dry and cosy. The summers are also pleasant as due to all the insulation she stays quite cool and there is a very good flow of air from the hatches and the pigeon box.
In addition to the wheelhouse being used for piloting the boat it is also a very useful and luxurious relaxing space. There is a split folding solid oak and sapellee table, this is surrounded by high quality leather seating with knee rolls.
The boat term is a galley but this “galley” must be described as a kitchen. The quality and facilities would not be out of place in a city centre apartment. Granite worktops, stainless steel sink, full size gas three burner hob, one large double burner for Wok use. Twin fan assisted ovens, over hob extractor system with lights, Large drawer fridge and a freezer. There are also lots of cupboards and storage space and all of the draws in the galley and throughout the boat have soft close runners. Cooking for eight people in this kitchen is easy.
The spacious saloon has quality carpet laid and fitted oak cupboards down each side, with a built in high quality hifi system with a sub woofer.
There is a LCD TV with integral DVD player a HD satellite receiver. The signal for the satellite system come from a self tracking dome, the dome will find the satellite quickly and automatically. This satellite system is designed to work in most of northern Europe. A Humax box (freesat) is also fitted to the satellite dome. In addition to the large double glazed picture windows the galley and the saloon benefit from the large pigeon box which make the whole area very light and airy.
The fore bathroom has “Jack and Jill” doors, this means it can be from the master cabin and also from the companionway adjoining the saloon. The bathroom has granite worktops, a high quality ceramic round basin, a full size corner thermostatic shower, electric WC, extractor fan, heated chrome towel rail, LED concealed lighting and large fitted mirror.
Like the rest of the boat the fore cabin has an oak and cream theme. There is a full size double bed with storage space underneath, twin wardrobes and bedside storage cupboards. There is lots of cleaver storage space hear and also through out the boat. The lightning is a mixture of LED and halogen and the concealed reading lights are controlled by switches on each side of the bed. The floor is covered with fitted Quality carpet and the bed head is
beautifully finished in a striped velvet by Skopos.
There are two single beds; these can be converted into one very large double. The headboard is similar to the one in fore cabin but a different colour, and the carpet is the same as the fore cabin. There is a corner shower and in the opposite corner a loo with wash basin, electric WC and heated towel rail.
There are three wardrobes, two sets of draws and lots of concealed storage space.
The gunwale which goes totally around the boat is very wide and totally safe as there are many fixed safety rails. The rear deck, which has a concealed built in step, is surrounded by stainless steel railings with a hardwood top capping. There are two very large concealed lockers; one is used as a gas locker, the other could be used to store folding bicycles. On the foredeck there are two more concealed lockers, these can be used as seats as well as storage space. The fore deck has a very traditional Dutch Barge mast with a discrete communication aerial fitted to it.
The hull sides are protected by a 100mm rubber rubbing strip mounted on a 50mm x 100mm steel box section. This not only protects the boat but it is a very useful step. There are many fender eyes fitted to the rail which enable
fenders to hang below the rubbing strip without hindering the gunwales.
The superstructure is a very traditional Dutch Barge cream and the hull is dark blue. The quality of the paint and the steelwork is so good that people ask if the boat is fibreglass, it shines and still looks brand new. The underwater section is finished in quality antifouling black paint.
All of the external woodwork is high quality hardwood which is finished in Osma Oil. Osma Oil is very easy to apply and also the old oil doesn’t have to be removed unlike a varnish finish. The whole boat can be treated with Osma Oil in just a few hours of easy work.
Victor is ready for long distance boating.
Everything on Victor is ready to go. The Iveco engine has recently been serviced as have the generator and the Kabola boiler. Victor has given us 7 years of worry free service and we expect that to continue with the next owner.
Length 19.75 metres65 feet
Beam 3.75 metres12 ft 4ins
Draft0.90 metres3 ft.
Air Draft3 metres10 feet.
Propulsion Diesel450 litres
Heating Oil630 litres
Fresh Water650 litres
Black Water2 x Vetus Black Water Tanks. There are diverting valves to send the black water into the river or sea.
All steel conforms to EN S5235 JR and the whole construction process was over seen by The Polish Shipping Register.
Superstructure 4mm and 5mm
Internal Framing 6/8mm
InsulationSpray Foam all surfaces except floor which is 100mm foam.
Victor is moored in a private marina in Nieuwpoort Belgium.
45 mins from the Calais ferry terminal.
By appointment with the owner.