About the ship

Holland Waterland and its ships

Holland contains a fascinating landscape of ditches, waterways, canals, lakes and rivers. Throughout the history these waterways have been in use by transportation ships in a large variety of shapes and sizes. Untill the fourties and fifities of the 20th century, the typical Dutch sailing cargo ships with their side-keels were in use.


Waiting for cargo (1938)

The 2nd skipper and his family (1935)

Nowadays, many of these previous cargo ships no longer sail: they were distroyed back in the sixties or transformed into house boats and moored in the Amsterdam canals.

From house boat to luxury sailing ship

One of them was the Nooit Volmaakt (meaning Never Perfect or Never Accomplished). From 1953 until 1975 she was in use as a houseboat in the Prinsengracht, close to the Anne Frank house. A devestating fire aboard the ship meant the beginning of a new chapter. The ship wreck was bought by skipper Rob's father Leo Ligtenberg (1930 - 2002) who transformed the Nooit Volmaakt into a luxury sailing ship.

House boat in the Prinsengracht Amsterdam

1975: the Nooit Volmaakt after a devestating fire

Restoration

The first thing on Leo's list was to bring the Nooit Volmaakt back to her original length as built in 1910. The 2 meter extension (1938) was removed, the two halves were put together and new nails were put back into the old holes. It all still fitted. Next thing was to bring the ship from the ship yard in Haarlem to Vijfhuizen.

1 ship, 2 pieces

Floating again

Vijfhuizen (1975)

Some parts had to be replaced

4 years later, the Nooit Volmaakt was ready to be sandblasted and eventually her maiden trip was there.

Work in progress (1978)

Ready for transport (1979)

The first regatta (1981)

Volendam harbour

Nooit Volmaakt on the inside

Sailing on the IJsselmeer

Sailing on the IJsselmeer