History of de dageraad, houseboat B&B Amsterdam

The history of the Rene (former name of houseboat de Dageraad)

The ship was built in 1929 in Leiden by a company called “Boot” as a ship of the “kempenaar” type and got the name “René”.

A ship of the “kempenaar” type is a cargo ship especially built for the canals in the southern parts of the Netherlands and Flanders (Belgium).

A “kempenaar” can carry cargoes of about 400 to 600 tons and has a maximum draft of 2.50 meters. An original “kempenaar” is 50 meters long and 6.60 meters wide. The dimensions are based on the Kempisch Canal.

As the standard dimensions of the “Rene” were 50 meters long by 6.60 meters wide and a draft of 2.47 meters, she could handle cargoes up to a maximum of 574 tons.

The name “kempenaar” is derived from the Canal Bocholt-Herentals (also called Kempisch Canal or Meuse-Scheldt Canal) and is a canal in Belgium that connects the South Willemsvaart at Bocholt with the Albertcanal at Herentals over a distance of some 60 kilometers.

The ship was built without her own propulsion so it was always necessary to use a tugboat.

The transport activities covered The Netherlands, Belgium and Germany, mainly on the Rhine and the canals to northern Germany. Such an upstream voyage on the Rhine comprised five or more ships behind a large steam-driven tugboat. Often this tugboat had paddle wheels on both sides for propulsion. The speed was often no more than three kilometers per hour. A trip to Basel took a few weeks. 

This picture is one of the first pictures of the "René

This picture is one of the first pictures of the "René". She consisted of two cargo holds , separated by a storage space amidships. Here was also the largest mast. The holds were covered by a large amount of wooden hatches. The large cylindrical parts on the picture near the mast are stored ashore just behind the ship and do not belong to the ship. The wheelhouse was equiped with a so-called horizontal steering device which allowed a more simple transmission to the rudder. The wheelhouse had a front windshield and at the rear a rotating shelter, which could be withdrawn by the mate at any place in order to stay dry. Furthermore, the rudder is strikingly large.

One of the first obvious changes was the complete closing of the wheelhouse while also the transmission of the wheel gearing was changed into a so called standing steering device.

This picture is one of the first pictures of the

During World War II

During World War II, when Germany had plans for an invasion of England, these vessels were, in the eyes of the occupier, well suited for a conversion into landing craft. For this reason many vessels of this type were confiscated and were sailed to Groningen pending the so-called "koppen". For this operation the stem would be removed and fitted with a large hatch to enable military vehicles to board the ship. Fortunately, this plan was canceled and at the end of the war the ships were picked up again by their registered owners. In view of its future possible own propulsion the wheelhouse was renewed in the sixties in Oud-Beijerland and repositioned on top of the living area.

During World War II

A bridge in front and on either sides of the wheelhouse

A bridge in front and on either sides of the wheelhouse gave the vessel the appearance of a motorized ship long before she was equipped with a diesel engine. The windows and access door in the cabin had already been changed.

Due to the ever increasing size of the inland vessels the transportation areas became more and more limited. Most of the cargo consisted of grain, sugar and other bulk coming from Rotterdam and Antwerp and destined for various places in the Netherlands and Belgium.

From 1967 to 1972, the "René" served as storage for ammunition and during that time she was located in a tributary of the Gelderse IJssel at the left bank near Zalk, between Kampen and Zwolle.

When that contract was finished the company Boterman in Zwolle built-in a Fiat engine and by doing so the “René” changed into a self-propelled motor ship.

A bridge in front and on either sides of the wheelhouse

Dageraad Sailing

The engine with an output of 300 hp has served until the early 1980s when the ship was sold.

Due to this motorization the speed of transportation significantly increased and therefore the transportation area again expanded and improved the efficiency of the company. The new owner has replaced the Fiat engine by a Volvo Penta engine and the ship, then renamed to “Dageraad” served as a professional freighter until the year 2009.

The new owner has replaced the Fiat engine by a Volvo Penta engine and the ship, then renamed to “Dageraad” served as a professional freighter until the year 2009.

Dageraad Sailing

Visit us

De Dageraad, houseboat Amsterdam
Sylvia van Schijndel
Ertskade 2
1019 BB Amsterdam
call: +316-39143000
e-mail: bbdageraad@gmail.com

From Central Station, take Tram 26 in the direction of IJburg and exit after 9 minutes at Rietlandpark. A 10 min walk from tram will get you to us.

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You can also reach us by car. While parking in the city of Amsterdam can be pricey, you can obtain day tickets or choose long-term parking in the Park & Ride terrain for 1 euro per day. We're happy to advise you and help make your travels to and from Amsterdam as easy as possible. 

10 min walk to B&B Dagenraad Amsterdam