In the City of Dania (recently officially changed to Dania Beach), south of Fort Lauderdale, there is a boat yard tucked away off of the Dania Cutoff Canal. For years the yard was a haven for dozens of abandoned, or nearly abandoned, boats. A couple of months ago I decided to take a trip to the yard to see if there were any bargains I could snap up and was surprised that new management had taken over and all the old trash had been swept away.
While primarily filled with floating Clorox bottles one jewel stands out and would be noticed in any marina or boatyard here in the States.
Named Neeltje, the boat was built in Holland in 1901! According to the yard manager the boat was originally built to haul manure but converted to yacht condition with the addition of the trunk cabin in the 1950s.The manager said that the boat had once been owned by Dan Rowan where he kept it on the Seine, in Paris for 20 years and was his hideaway when Rowan visited France. The boat came to the US in the 80s. The current owners have done a major refit of the boat and it will soon be moved to Key West where it will be offered as a Bed & Breakfast lodging.
Below decks there is a nice galley, a large saloon and two staterooms. Though I was allowed to go below it was all fairly ordinary and I didn’t take any pictures. But it’s the topsides where this boat really shines.
The Massive Rudder
The Tiller Was Truncated When Wheel Steering Was Added
Twin Sheave Block
The Leeboards Are Huge
Original Hand-Powered Winch
Of course the dinghy for such a fine boat has to follow suit: