The training vessel Prinses Beatrix for inland shipping deckhands and skippers will get her own berth at the harbour of the ‘Binnenvaartmuseum’ (Inland Shipping Museum) in the Dutch city of Dordrecht.
Shipyard Concordia Damen will lend out the ship to the inland shipping society ‘Vereniging De Binnenvaart’. At the Maritime Industry trade show on 19 May, the vessel was symbolically handed over.
Aboard Prinses Beatrix an exhibition will tell the story of the education that the Dutch Royal Education Fund for Shipping (KOF) offered from 1955 up to 2003.
From 1960 on, practical lessons were thought aboard the inland vessel of the type ‘Kempenaar’, with 53.5m in length and 7.08m in beam and was a modern ship at that time. This practical education was in line with modern navigational practice in the 1960s.
A class of 28 could stay aboard. Later on, the dormitory was converted into two person cabins, reducing the capacity to 24 students during multiple-day exercises along the lower and middle Rhine.
Prinses Beatrix was commissioned in 1960. In 1962 and 1963 Prinses Irene and Prinses Christina respectively were added to the fleet.
These sisterships are still in use as training vessels. The first of the series of three is now available for visits at the museum and for occasional tours.
Concordia Damen will be the owner of both Prinses Beatrix and Prinses Christina when the maritime education institute STC has taken delivery of the innovative and sustainable training vessels Ab Initio. To build this ship, STC had been looking for the necessary funding.
The construction was possible when Concordia Damen agreed to purchase the older training vessels. Prinses Christina will continue her service as a training vessel to operate over the rivers under German flag with a new owner.
Preparation for Prinses Beatrix for her new role as a museum ship, consists of extensive servicing and to restore the hull paint in the original color white.
The original 150hp Bolnes engine was replaced in the years of service. If an engine of this type can be found, the Inland Shipping society plans to re-install an engine of this original type in the vessel.