Our Boats

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.

Current Fleet

Athena is our flagship, from the 1920s. She was
bought by Jan and Ken of Boom Chicago in
1994. Peter began taking people out on the boat
in the summer of 1994. At the time, the boat had
no seats, a hand-cranked air-cooled engine, and
no idle speed. In 1997, the newly formed
stichting purchased Athena from Boom Chicago.
She is just under 8 meters long as finally has a
good engine, her fourth. Ten to 12 people can fit
on Athena and stay (mostly) dry.

Toine Rikken was purchased in 2007. With the
addition of lights and horns and a couple kickers,
she was good to go.
Toine is named after our
stichting co-founder who was a ship's carpenter,
great guy, and man of the canals. His spirit
guides us and keeps us from sinking. We're all
happy to see
Toine live long and proud on the

Boats of Yore
St. Nick was built in the 1940s and purchased in 1995.
Sold in 2001. Internal outboard motor. 8 meters length.
She was a good boat, sold after the purchase of the
. She was the last gas-powered outboard motor boat of
The Little Balcony purchased to serve as a balcony for a
houseboat, it was a sporty little boat with the back-up
motor for St. Nick. Purchased by Kees, it is currently
moored near his home on the Java Island. He says it looks
real nice. She is named the Drijf Veer.
No picture available
Bouboulina was a hand-started behemoth. Purchased in
1998. This
tuindersvlet, named after the Greek naval
admiral, was to be Toine's and Peter's pet project. She
was sold after Toine's death in 1999, but not before
becoming Bob's biggest pain-in-the-ass.
The Newbie (formally the St. Nick II) was the stichting's
failed attempt to buy and restore a covered boat. It proved
useful only for occasional camping trips and wasting
money. The boat had a strange design, as the
superstructure was build on a
vlet. The engine was not
easy to get to. Alas, very few people could handle this
boat effectively. This boat was given to the stichting in
2001 and finally disposed of in 2004.

Ome Jan (Uncle John) was purchased in 2000. She was
built in the 1920s. Also known as Bob's Creampuff,
Ome is
smaller than the
Athena (6 meters) and the first boat in the
stichting not to have a Greek name.
Ome holds about 8
comfortably. She is a work horse. Her name comes from a
traditional Amsterdam song. Her engine was replaced in
2005 after the transmission on her 50-year-old motor blew
and couldn't be fixed or replaced. She now has an old
Sabb lifeboat engine (marine Sabb is not to be confused
with car Saab). Dependability is good.
Ome was sold in
2007 after the purchase of the
Toine Rikken. She was
Ken's favorite boat, and certainly served us well.

© 1997 to today -- Sint Nicolaas Boot Stichting / St Nicolaas Boat Club

Boats are a hole in the water
you keep pouring money into.
Donations are our only
source of income.