It has been a few months since we purchased ‘Drifter’ in the pretty town of Hindeloopen, Friesland. Our first few weeks were spent in the ‘Skipshelling Blom’ boatyard that built the barge in 1976. The Blom family are still running things today as they have for nearly 3 generations. They made us very welcome and took great interest in our plans to bring the barge to the UK. Continue reading “Leaving the Netherlands”
One of the key features of a sailing barge is the ability to lower the mast for routes with low bridges. The mast pivots at the base in a strongly constructed three sided box called the Tabernacle. There is a winch on the front of the barge onto which the wire leading to the top of the mast is transferred. Also a special strut mounted onto the base of the mast creates a ‘crane’ like system to enable to mast to be laid horizontally. We have a video on facebook – www.facebook.com/sailingbargedrifter – which shows us raising the mast after we spent some time at a yard in the Netherlands, only accessible by boats with a maximum height of 3 meters. Also note at the end of the video the ability to raise the spar on the bow (the Bowsprit) to make the barge shorter for moorings or easier to maneuver in tight spaces.
The boom is the long wooden spar that is hung from the bottom of the sail. It extends from the mast to beyond the stern and is made from solid wood. Unlike a lightweight spar on a modern performance yachts, it is heavy and robust. Continue reading “How to sail a Dutch barge – The Boom.”