The Quest

There is nothing – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats!’ (Ratty in Wind in the Willows)

Notre Vie

Succes 125 Ultra, Dutch built

We had been looking on the internet for a year or so, and had decided on a Dutch steel cruiser. We thought that steel might survive a few bumps better than fibreglass since we would be sharing the waterways with large commercial barges.

Our choice was limited as we wanted a separate toilet for guests……..some of our friends – well, we’ll say no more! Our initial shortlist of 6 boats was finalised prior to leaving NZ. We know of some people who purchased their boats on the internet sight unseen, but that seems a pretty risky business – a boat always has a certain ‘feel’ – loved or neglected, damp and mouldy or clean and dry etc. And photos often lie.

Arriving at Amsterdam after a 30 hour trip from New Zealand we were greeted by a beautiful morning with unseasonably warm weather. A few hours later we saw our first boat, our favourite choice from the photographs gleaned from our web searches. We were impressed, but it seemed so big. Rather than make any offers in our jet lagged state, we decided we should look at the other boats on our short list over the next couple of days.

Next day we drove to Sneek [pronounced Snake], which is the boating capital of the Netherlands, in Southwest-Friesland, and is well known for its canals and the Watergate, the symbol of the city.

In Sneek we saw 5 more boats, but none were quite as attractive as the first boat we saw, so after a little negotiation via phone, we agreed a price, subject to a suitable survey.

The boat is a Succes {brand} 125 Ultra. She is 12.5 metres long, with a 4 metre beam and draws 1.1 metres. The motor is an Iveco 250 HP diesel, with both a bow and stern thruster to manoeuvre. She displaces 12 tonnes.

I think we’ll keep her name – ‘Notre Vie’.

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11 thoughts on “The Quest

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