|Tax Status:||Tax Exempt|
Near Josselin Brittany France|
Libje was built in Holland in 1930 at a yard in Sappermeer (Friesland). Our understanding is that the the new owner wanted one of the new style Luxemotors but the yard offered to make him a Steilsteven with the new style of aft cabin for the owner. Thus, in some ways she is a transitional shape and very rare. We have found that having the external rudder is easier to maintain and you get more space in the aft cabin as you don’t have the sloping floor and low headroom needed to accommodate the Luxemotor stern shape.
We bought Libje in Hamburg and took her to Holland for a total refit at the shipyard of SRF in Harlingen. SRF still build beautiful new barges to order. Libje was specifically converted to produce a luxury hotel barge for the Brittany canal network with 2 large en-suite cabins and retaining the traditional aft cabin for us whilst chartering,but could just as easily be a super private barge.We added en-suite facilities and hanging wardrobes to the aft cabin.
Basically everything was cut off at deck level in front of the wheelhouse, a bulkhead that had lots of holes cut into it was removed, a hatch was moved forwards and a new section of deck inserted. From this point we worked to an architects drawings and a whole new steel top was built for Libje. A lot of care and attention went into the process to ensure that she did not end up looking like a ‘nice hull with a box on top’ as so many conversions do. The roof is slightly cambered to shed rain and there is a subtle shape to the sides that gives extra hip room and even that is slightly tapered towards the bow. The roof follows the original lines of the stern cabin that remains untouched externally. A new 3,000ltr water tank was made to fit the hull shape and now provides a double bulkhead forward of the front cabin. 2 new 1,000ltr fuel tanks were inserted below the side decks.
The Wheelhouse is the original teak one. Plenty of seating inside and a central heating radiator.
Internally all the steel was cleaned and coated with 2 layers of Hempel tar paint. The bilges were all cleaned and coated with a thick layer of anti-rust grease. In the engine room and aft the bilges were soaked in anti-rust oil that sets to a wax. The bilges have been dry for the last 10 years.
The wheelhouse roof which is removable has 6x 160W solar panels with associated Victron smart solar regulator. In April 2020 we augmented the solar array by the addition of 2x 330W LG NeoN panels and a second Victron smart solar regulator. In sunny weather the system can put around 35Amps at 28 volts back into the batteries. In practise we find that in good weather this is sufficient to recharge the batteries by mid afternoon.
The wheelhouse roof was renewed with 15mm resin coated marine grade ply in 2019. The wooden part of the wheelhouse is all demountable. Libje passed below the low bridge at Capestang with the roof intact though we just removed the flat part to decrease the width when levels were high.
AFT. The original accommodation has a separate sleeping cabin with sliding door and 2 large side bunks. We have just bought new custom made sprung mattresses that have a memory foam top at considerable expense. There is a small bathroom with electric sanistar toilet and shower. There is a hanging locker as well as cupboards under the side deck. There is further storage beneath the bunks. Hatch in floor gives access to stern gland. Several tons or removable ballast are beneath the floor (mostly blocks of concrete and boxed short lengths of steel bar. Also below the floor is a Sanivite pump that empties the shower, washbasin and galley sink. The propellor shaft runs through a thrust bearing and the engine room is now isolated from the accommodation by virtue of a welded box with gland for the prop shaft. Central heating radiator.
The steering is manual hydraulic and the steering ram was renewed by SRF. The propellor was removed and balanced before being replaced. The propellor shaft was replaced after survey in Hamburg at the end of 2006. Satellite TV antenna on wheelhouse.
The engine is a DAF 575 that was completely rebuilt in 2008. The block with new crankshaft and bearings, the cylinder head and the fuel pump were all new. The PRM gearbox was installed new in Holland and has a power take off on the rear that drives a new hydraulic pump (renewed when we had the TRIWV survey) for the HYDRAULIC BOWTHRUSTER.(operated by joystick in wheelhouse)
Hot water and central heating are catered for by a Buderus boiler and a stainless steel 110 ltr hot water tank. (Cold to hot in 35 mins). Generator is 10Kw powered by a 3 cylinder Mitsubishi engine (again new in 2007) that has approx 2,500 hrs run. Engine oil and filters have been religiously changed every 200 hrs. Spare filters etc included.
Just installed : a large new impeller fan to supply extra cooling air to the engine room.
Main engine room vent has closeable lock down cover.
Main engine cooling is by 4 tanks welded to inside of hull so no problems with weed or mud affecting cooling.
Large 220v pump for deck wash or emergency bilge pump. (there is bilge suction piping to E.R and main saloon area ) Bulkhead between. An identical pump empties the black water tank. This can be done either through a skin fitting (big ship stuff) , a hose connection on the wheelhouse side or a vacuum system can be attached to a deck fitting. Black water tank is 500ltrs and made of heavy welded plastic and has a high level warning sensor.
A spare pump will be included in the sale.
Starter motor renewed in 2014 and the original has been rebuilt as a spare.
Fuel is filtered through a RACOR 1 micron changeover double filter. The fuel supply is used for generator, main engine and boiler. As a commercial vessel we could use red or GNR fuel. If used privately one tank could hold white fuel for the engine with fairly simple modifications to the pipework. Both fuel tanks have emergency shutoffs in the wheelhouse and moisture sumps/ drains. Large diameter filler pipes and vents allow rapid filling.
Engine room lined with sound absorbing material. Large silencer on exhaust and ‘hospital’ silencer on generator. 2x mains outlets. Fluorescent lighting.
Large 140 AMP at 24 volt alternator allows rapid charging. Batteries are 600AH lead acid new in 2007(12x 2v deep discharge cells). Also fitted with an electronic battery preserver system.
Invertor/charger is a 5kw VICTRON QUATRO that automatically swaps to mains or generator for battery charging when available. It also seamlessly swaps to providing 220v power using the batteries in a power cut or when cruising. Also fitted is a Victron 16A Isolation transformer. All ‘hidden’ electrical wiring was done with to quality fireproof ships cable. 10Kw generator in hush box with ‘hospital’ silencer provides up to 30A of 220V mains.
Large traditional brass bound wooden wheel driving hydraulic steering pump. Control for hydraulic bow thruster , Victron battery management panel with amp hrs used function. Generator panel, mains and 24v circuit breaker panels, rev counter and usual instruments, CCTV to look along side of barge approaching locks, 2x solar panel regulators with bluetooth control. Seating for 4 persons at rear of wheelhouse and access to back cabin. Steps to saloon galley that can be swung backwards to access engine room.
All fitted new in 2007. Quality German made units with ‘granite effect’ stone top. Top has a machined lip around edge to stop liquid spills over edge. Various cupboards. 5 burner gas hob and gas oven (new 2012). Liebher fridge. stainless steel sink/drainer fitted with hot and cold water taps as well as an extra tap for ultra filtered water. (filters beneath sink to remove chemicals, bacteria etc.) Spare filters included. Tiled backsplash behind cooker and other vertical surfaces. Extractor hood. waste bin etc.
Large ash veneered storage unit provides lots of useful storage in 7 cupboards with doors, 8 open cupboards make book shelves, CD & DVD storage, Hi Fi speaker housing etc. This unit also has 14 drawers.
Wine rack in solid ash holds 54 bottles. radiators inside seating which also provides a lot of storage beneath seats. Side entrance with storage beneath stairs. Morso ‘Squirrel’ wood burning stove (7Kw max). Entertainment centre with flat screen TV, Humax PVR satellite receiver, DVD player, CD player and Amplifier. Eltax monitor speakers. Corridor to guest cabins has 4 double cupboards with solid oak doors beneath side deck. Lift up hatch in floor to further storage. radiator behind cupboards. 5 windows, 2 large opening brass portholes in corridor. Opening skylight. Handmade craftsman carved handrail to side steps.
Guest Cabin 1
Cabin set up with sofa bed which can turn into a double bed , en-suite bathroom with oversized shower, quality Grohe thermostatic valve, poured waterproof resin floor, Sanistar compact electric toilet, vanity unit with sink, mirror and cupboard. Extractor fan, Central heating radiator, opening portholes in cabin and bathroom, opening skylight in cabin New custom made high level storage in solid oak. Oak effect laminate flooring in cabin.
Forward Guest Cabin 2
Set up as a double with wrought iron bed frame. 4 large opening portholes, opening skylight, central heating radiator behind cupboards. 5 double cupboards with solid oak doors. Bathroom is identical to the one in other guest cabin.
Forepeak houses a Miele 7kg washing machine, a tumble dryer and a chest freezer as well as the chain locker. Large piston action water pump with substantial presure reservoir. Acess to the water tank is here via a manhole that allows access inside the 3.000ltr tank to recoat with cement when required.(Last redone in Feb 2020) Light and mains outlets . Radiator. Also fitted with a water filtration and sterilisation system. This was mothballed after our trip to Brittany from Holland but 3 months on the river Blavet showed us that there are still some corners where water supply can be difficult. (Note; this is the ONLY place in Brittany where there is a problem) This system will refill the tank from empty in approx 1 hour .
Libje has wide easy to use side decks with a 1mtr high hand rail. Decks are painted with light grey deck paint and non slip surface. There are 2 fillers for diesel (one for each tank) and breathers of same diameter (1.5” dia), water filler and outlet for grey water tank if a suction removal is used.
There is a built in seat that runs the full width of the superstructure complete with fitted cushions. A great spot to sit in peace whilst cruising. There is also a full width bimini sun shade.
Custom made passerelle with hand rail, holding off poles for wild mooring etc etc etc.
Aft deck behind wheelhouse.
Plenty of space for bicycles etc. Power outlet that we use for a large coolbox/freezer when cruising to give extra space in the fridge or just to supply plenty of cold beer and wine!
Large heavy duty anchor winch that can be used for anchoring or to turn just the warping drums for rope tightening.
Fuel tanks 1000ltrs each port and starboard
Water 3,000 ltrs tank which is welded right acrioss the hull forming a watertight bulkhead. Electronic contents guage for water is located in the front cabin which allows easy checking of contents.
Vessel has a Certificat Communitaire (TRIWV)
We have a full photographic diary of the rebuild at SRF and afterwards as well as a file of receipts for work done..
Mooring near Josselin.
We have an annually renewing agreement for a peaceful bankside mooring near Josselin where we have installed our own 30A electricity supply although we only use 16A at present. Mooring costs are approx 750€ per year for the boat mooring, ground rent for 30mtrs of bank and rent for electricity meter and cabling. Also included is a garden shed that we use for gardening tools and some spares storage .There is also a considerable stock of firewood for heating. For several years we have been looking after and improving the lock “garden” though this is not an obligation but it adds extra space for outdoor living. Storage is also available with permission from the local mayor in the cellar beneath the lock house. A small annual payment also provides access to the lock house (capitainerie) with it’s toilets and showers etc. There is free car parking behind the lock house. Free water is available from a tap on the lock house or supply bornes on the other bank.
Brittany is a little used but extensive (743km) canal network having what we believe to be the most beautiful canals in France. Mooring is easy and there are plenty of suitable quays. Whether it it is the big river Vilaine with no locks for some 70km, the twisty picturesque Ille et Rance canal, the gorgeous Nantes a Brest with its historic towns or the wild and seldom visited river Blavet, Brittany has enough to keep you exploring for many a year. After over 10 years we still have a few corners to explore. Brittany still has that laid back friendly atmosphere and as it is not connected to the rest of the French network still has it's own slow pace of life. All locks are manned making it easy to cruise.There are slipways capable of handling LIbje at Nantes , Arzal and St Malo.
Also included will be a large range of spares as we always had to be ready to make any repairs during the tourist season.
Libje is easily handled by 2 people and we travelled with her through Holland, Belgium, down the eastern side of France, the Rhone, canal Du Midi etc to Bordeaux. She could continue to be a luxurious home or changed back to a small hotel barge in a unique location. We were and still could be offering the only hotel barge in Brittany which would give new owners a flying start to a new business should they wish.
After more than 10 years of continual improvements and renovations it is difficult to get everything down on paper but we are happy to answer any queries or supply further photographs on request.
|Vessel type:||Dutch barge|
|Builder:||Dutch built in Sapermeer|
|Model:||steilsteven but with aft accommodation like a luxe motor|
|Fit Out:||SRF Harlingen|
|No. of engines:||1|
|Engine model:||DAF 575|
|Drive type:||Shaft drive|
|Length over all:||23.95m|
|Fuel capacity:||2000 Litres|
|Water capacity:||3000 Litres|
|Holding tank capacity:||500 Litres|
3 en-suite cabins. Original owners acommodation aft with separate sleeping cabin with sliding door. Now fitted with ensuite shower and toilet. Also large hanging wardrobe. central heating radiator
Riveted steel hull, upper works in front of wheelhouse are new welded steel in 2007. Basically flat bottomed with rounded hull sides that allow close bank side mooring.
4x160w solar panels + 2x 330w LG solar panels new 2020, victron smart solar regulators + 5kw victron quattro invertor charger. Water filtration and sterilisation system, Miele 7kg washing machine, chest freezer, tumble dryer (vents to above deck), Liebherr fridge, 5 burner gass hob, gas oven, flat screen TV, Humax freesat TV receiver/recorder, hi-fi system wit eltax monitor speakers, Morso 'squirrel' wood burner stove,numerous spares. Mains powered deckwash pump in forepeak also feeds water purification system if needed.
Engine was totally rebuilt in 2008 by a DAF specialist in Rotterdam who can still supply spares if need. New block, bottom end, fuel pump and head. Engine has PRM hydraulic gearbox new in 2007 wich has a direct drive to run the hydraulic pump for the bow thruster. 10 kw generator in hush box with 'hospital' silencer powered by 3cyl Mitsubishi engine.
As required for TRIWV certificate plus full set of large annually serviced fire extinguishers. Gas alarm, bilge alarm, mains powered and linked fire alarms, CO alarm,aft and main saloon area bilge pumps, large mains powered pump in engine room with bilge suction pipes to engine room or main hold area. (can also be used as a deckwash pump). 12 lifejackets,