Concordia Damen offers historic ship for preservation
The training ship Prinses Beatrix for deckhands and inland navigation skippers will get its own berth at the port of the “Binnenvaartmuseum” (Inland Navigation Museum) in the Dutch city of Dordrecht. The Concordia Damen shipyard will lend the ship to the inland navigation company “Vereniging De Binnenvaart”. During the Maritime Industries show, the ship was symbolically handed over on May 19.
On board the Prinses Beatrix, an exhibition will tell the story of the education that the Royal Dutch Education Fund for Navigation (KOF) offered from 1955 to 2003. From 1960, practical lessons were thought on board of the inland navigation vessel type ‘Kempenaar’, with 53.50 meters long and 7.08 meters wide a modern ship at the time. This hands-on training was in line with modern shipping practice in the 1960s. A class of 28 could stay on board. Later, the dormitory was converted into two-person cabins, reducing capacity to 24 students on multi-day exercises along the Lower and Middle Rhine. The Prinses Beatrix was commissioned in 1960. In 1962 and 1963 respectively, the Prinses Irene and Prinses Christina were added to the fleet. These sister ships are still used as training ships. The first in a series of three is now available for museum visits and for one-time visits.
Concordia Damen will own both Prinses Beatrix and Prinses Christina when the successor to maritime education institute STC takes delivery of the innovative and sustainable Ab Initio training vessels. To build this ship, STC was looking for sufficient funding. Construction became possible when Concordia Damen agreed to purchase the former training ships. The Prinses Christina will continue its service as a training vessel to operate on rivers under the German flag with a new owner. Preparing the Prinses Beatrix for her new role as a museum ship involves extensive maintenance and restoration of the hull paintwork to the original white color. The original Bolnes 150 hp engine has been replaced over the years of service. If an engine of this type can be found, the inland navigation company plans to reinstall an engine of this original type in the boat.
“Concordia Damen recognizes the importance of preserving this treasured historic vessel,” said Concordia Damen’s Chief Financial Officer Tim van Berchum. “The ship will remain ours, but we will make it available to Vereniging de Binnenvaart. We will carry out a thorough maintenance before delivery to the museum.
The Inland Shipping Society will endeavor to have Prinses Beatrix recognized as National Sailing Heritage “Varend Erfgoed Nederland”.
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