Barge Nilaya - History

Nilaya was launched on 29th August 1922 as the motorschip Jannetje. She was named after the owners wife and built by 'Boot de Woubrugge' in Holland. The original 26hp Kromhout "Oliemotor" has long since been replaced by the current 'modern' 1955 Mercedes OM321. 

Jannetje was lengthened in 1927 and carried potatoes around Friesland and the Ijjselmeer until 1937, when she relocated to Antwerp in Belgium. Renamed Vitesse on 9th September 1937, she carried cargo throughout Belgium until world war two intervened. Together with hundreds of other barges, Vitesse was requisitioned by Germany's Nazi government for the planned invasion of southern England or "Operation Sea lion" as it was to be known. Thankfully it never took place and she survived the war, eventually being returned to her owner by the General authorised for the Dutch reconstruction department in Rotterdam.

She retired from commercial work in the early 1980's because her size and capacity no longer made her commercially viable. Luckily she escaped being scrapped due to the exceptional condition of her riveted steel hull and beautiful counter stern. She was converted into a comfortable static houseboat until 2004 when I came upon her in Drachten. Thankfully Vitesse's mechanics were in excellent condition considering that she had moved no more than a hundred miles in twenty years.

It was love at first sight and within two weeks I signed on the dotted line. She received her new name on the full moon of October 2004, 'Nilaya simply meaning, 'Heaven' in  Sanskrit.

Since purchase, I have continually upgraded Barge Nilaya and every day, in every way, she gets better and better. You can read more about my conversion, by clicking this link