Lieve started her life as Henriette

A black and white impression of one of the original blueprints

In 1935 the Lieve was still named Henriette after the  daughter of Royal Ketjen's CEO. (Ketjen later turned into AKZO Nobel)

She was built at the shipyard next door to the factory. This was not just any shipyard but 'Het Fort' owned by G. de Vries Lentsch in Nieuwendam. One of the most famous yards in Holland.

Feadship; a nowadays still existing and flourishing shipyard found part of it's origin here. They still build fine ships for the most exclusive incrowd of the nautical world. Lieve was numbered 408 which is by pure accident exactly the same building number as our previous saloon boat Catharina. She was built on the Nicolaas Witzen-werf in Alkmaar. The design of Lieve also came originally from this ship yard and was based on the predecessor of Lieve; the Oriënt.

So the Oriënt was designed by W.F. Stoel & sons and Lieve built after her by De Vries Lentsch.

Henriette (later Lieve) in front of the Grand Central Station, 1963

Henriette and  Oriënt are almost identical and at first sight quite difficult to keep apart. Take a good look at the picture postcard above and at the one under this text. Above is in 1963 and shows Henriette (later Lieve).

 

Under this text you see a postcard from1932, showing the Oriënt. Henriëtte was built 3 years after that. The resemblance is stunning despite the fact that we are talking about a rather unique concept: being a workboat hull with a luxury saloon on it.

A 1932 B&W picture of the Orient, predecessor of Lieve, in front of the Grand Central station
A B&W picture of mister Heijsman on the helm with the management of Ketjen

When Ketjen merges into AKZO NOBEL the Henriëtte becomes obsolete; having a vessel like this for the management is no longer 'bon ton'. The former skipper, mister Heijsman, can buy her but not after first having proved that he can actually afford the maintenance. It is 1971 and mister Heijsman has then been her skipper and caretaker for over 15 years. This makes him the designated heir to this stunning boat. The boat becomes a private family vessel and makes a lot of extensive trips all over Europe and even all the way up to the Mediterannean sea. Memorable trips with these pictures as silent witnesses. Sometimes family members would drive by car to the boat  and take her 'estafette style' further away from home. They never missed out to be present at the annual AKZO sports day on the Loosdrecht lakes.

A color picture of Henriette towing the 16 square meter class boats that are used for the annual AKZO sports day regatta on Loosdrecht
Color picture of a young boy watching the Henriette being hauled out of the water
Color picture of Henriete on a small river close to Amsterdam
Color picture postcard showing the Henriette behind the 'high water' signal cannon in Blokzijl

Mister Heijsman finally becomes of age and  at this point it is for him no longer possible to maintain the boat properly and no one in the family has time and means to pick up the stick.

 

She is then sold to the guy that sells her to us in 2006. That is when we start the mega overhaul. This takes almost 4 years. The condition of the boat is apparently not to bad but soon we find out that there is a lot of hidden misery to be repaired. The support beams of the cockpit deck have completely rotted away under a firm layer of plaster and paint. We also find layers and layers of paint and polyester on rust.

 

Having pointed this out to the former owner there is a short discussion about being a gentleman or not. We win by loosing this discussion and decide not to waste any more time on him, take our significant loss and start with the fun!

 

One thing leads to another and after 4 years of hard but extremely interesting learning and labour we have a boat that stops people on every bridge,makes them turn their heads and  say something like: "Nice boat sir!"

 

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