We have a new home! As of September, 2011, we will operate out of Mike's Bike Tours.
Our mighty fleet consists of two tuindersvletten, the Athena and the Toine Rikken.
Tuindersvlet means "garden flat" in Dutch as this style of boat was originally used
to carry things around markets and farms in Holland.
They were never glamorous boats. They're basically just small iron barges.
Everything old you see in the city was probably carried on a tuindersvlet at some
Originally these boats would be punted (pushed with poles) through the canals.
Some where under sail. Motors were often added at a later date. Most
Tuindersvletten you see on the water are between 60 and 90 years old.
They're beautiful boats because they were built for the canals. Tuindersvletten are
stable, highly maneuverable, fit under low bridges, and best in calm sheltered
waters. They are characterized by riveted iron, low sides, and a flat bottom. Older
tuindersvletten have rounded sterns.
Tuindersvletten became obsolete in the years after WWII. Their work was taken
over by trucks. Rarely if ever can they still be seen in active industrial use, which is
a real shame because they're wonderful boats. Unfortunately, as they were never
considered glamorous, there is no organized effort to prevent these boats from
rusting into oblivion. There are still a fair number around, but fewer and fewer
every year. And they just don't make them anymore.
|Boats are a hole in the water
you keep pouring money into.
|Donations are our only
source of income.