MOLENDIEP – built in 1909

Dit is een monument van Nederlandse traditie en monument van Poolse domheid.

One hundred tenth anniversary of construction: barge is ready for charter. Do you like to spend time on the deck of 110 years old Molendiep? Contact: molendiep@molendiep.pl

I rebuilt the monument: the world-famous Dutch houseboat from 1909 ..unfortunately in Poland

In the same time: a monument of the Dutch river tradition and a monument of Polish stupidity.

MOLENDIEP, Dutch historical barge was launched in 1909 as a typical Ijselaak – sail barge. In 1923 a rich merchant decided to convert MOLENDIEP to the houseboat for his son, who had commenced studying in Amsterdam. In the ’30s and ’40s, MOLENDIEP kept the function of a Student’s Club. In 1941 the Nazi Army registered the barge as they planned to possibly use it for military purposes. From the ’40s until the 60’s I am unsure of its history but in the 60’s-70’s it was occupied by a group of hippies. A big rebuild was performed in 1976. Unfortunately, the technology which was used (concrete breeze block walls) had destroyed wood during the next twenty years.

In 1975, in the USA published book “HOUSEBOAT – Living on the Water around the World” (author: Marc Gabor) a full-page photo of MOLENDIEP represented typical houses on the water in the chapter related to Holland. This book became the “bible of houseboats”.

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The last owners in Holland were two fantastic women. They were in love with MOLENDIEP but their family grew up and the barge became too small. Technical conditions required a big repair that was unfortunately too expensive in any shipyard in Holland.

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MOLENDIEP was transported to the Polish-German border inside the hold of a merchant barge. In February 2015 it was towed over two days to the river shipyard in Gorzow Wielkopolski. An exciting experience… The last mile was in thick ice.

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Due to congestion, the shipyard refused to perform necessary repairs. It was decided; the barge was made ready for transport by road to my place of residence in Gdynia. The two roofs were dismantled and sidewalks cut. During this operation, it was found that the wooden walls were in a critical condition.

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The transport of such a big target was very complicated. Over the whole journey, 330 km of the road had to be temporarily closed by the special pilot car.

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Complete rebuilding was performed under the technical (voluntary) supervision of a well-known ship’s repair company from Gdynia. I also have a professional sea education and a master’s experience spanning many years. I love MOLENDIEP and I made the barge ready to be my own home when I retire. In my opinion, all the rebuilding work had been done in the most professional way. Only the best materials were used.

The work started with shipyard workers taking thickness measurements of the hull.

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All ballast was removed from the bottom. The whole scrap is from 1923. It included old mechanisms like hand winches, mast hoisting devices, chains, old damaged anchors and very old bollards.

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The hull was sandblasted from the outside and painted with 12 layers of Jotun sea painting. All rust from the inside was removed by chipping by hand (a three-month job done by myself: 8-12 hours work per day). For safety reasons, I took the decision to weld an additional doubler onto the entire underwater area.  5mm thick steel was used.

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The upper part was constructed from scratch and is therefore entirely brand new, using the best quality Scandinavian wood (from Sweden). New wooden windows (energy saving type) were added, a very modern floor heating system installed and walls; with the most efficient materials (insulation foam with graphite plus a membrane between the two wooden walls). The old roofs (mahogany) were covered with a new steel cover. Old gallery at the aft, original doors, and all historical portholes installed. Modern quality galley and toilet equipment were used.

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..and living space app 53 m2

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Owner:  Jakubek Mirosław  mail: molendiep@molendiep.pl

BARGE PARTICULARS:

Length overall 19,60 m

The breadth of hull 3.60 m

Breadth overall 4.80 m

Max Draft 0.70 m

Tonnage app 35 t

Height Keel to Top of the roof 4,90 m

No engine 

Due to a problem with the “intelligence” of some Polish officials I had problem to find a proper and safe place for mooring/anchoring Houseboat MOLENDIEP.  For example, a representative of the Mayor of the Town GDAŃSK has concluded that the “houseboat” is not a “dwelling”. So it must not remain in once place permanently.. 

I’m wondering about emigration. In my youth, I was persecuted by the communists, and now I see that the same people (or their pupils), acting on behalf of the ruling satrap, can again arrest me. I will not stop protesting in defense of democracy in Poland. There is no longer an independent prosecutor’s office, and independent courts are slowly becoming fictitious.  I am afraid of losing the property. Maybe confiscated unlawfully.

19.01.2018 barge was lunched again on my own small peace of water near the Gdańsk Bay.