Dutch Barge Hagenaar

  • Bow and stern in line with the hull
  • Narrow ship in relation to its length
  • Strongly swept bow and stern
  • Usually a low deckhouse
  • Low mast foot
  • Often divisible (in height) anchor winch
  • Main sail, jib and sometimes yankee
  • Large type: mast on top deck
  • Small type: mast below deck, striking.

The largest size of Hevelaak has become known as Hagenaar. The Hagenaar is a clear example of a ship type whose shape and dimensions depended on the destination and the conditions of the waters they navigated.

The name Hagenaar or Haagvaarder is believed to be very old. It referred to the small ships in which cargo had to be transferred in Delft to deliver it to the hard-to-reach Den Haag by water. In the 19th century, the Hagenaar made its appearance as a recognizable ship type on the waters of South Holland. The ships had a normal rudder with a tiller attached, instead of a stern-mounted tiller. However, this is only part of the truth; there were also Hagenaars where the sides were attached to the stern, these were Hevelaken.

The dimensions of a true Hagenaar were limited by a number of factors: the maximum passage depth was determined by a threshold or boom opposite the gas factory on the Trekvliet. This was a T-iron beam that was attached 1.45 meters below DP (Delflands Peil). The draft was determined by the height of the middle of the Wagenbrug beams, 2.40 meters + DP, and the width of the ship by the width of the bridge 4.17 meters (dimensions of 1905; data from Public Works in The Hague).

In March 1922, a vijzelbrug was completed, which only allowed 1.90 meters of height, but was raised to 2.40 meters at night. Then the row of waiting empty ships could leave the city again; according to the “Wegwijzer voor de Binnenscheepvaart” of 1926. This also mentions a maximum length of 26 meters; due to the sharp turns further in the city. To achieve the largest possible cargo capacity, about 80 tons, with these limitations, the construction of Hagenaars had to be light. The largest size for a Hagenaar: length x width x draft is 23.99 x 4.12 x 1.75 meters.

Before such a ship entered the city, a part of the cargo had to be unloaded due to the draft. Furthermore, the leeboards had to be removed, including the collision clamps, the stretch clamps of the leeboards and even the turtle rollers of the leeboard falls. The rigging of Hagenaars was lower than that of other ships of the same length; because they were narrower and perhaps also because the mast did not have to be stretched as far when passing under bridges. Wooden Hagenaars (and also other smaller ship types) often had an extremely short mast (Rhine height 10.50 meters), with which they sailed straight under the bridges. Some ships may have had a yankee.

There are also known cases where the bowsprit was only a short stub; via the ridge of such a spat, when sailing against the wind, a line could keep the jib boom upwind; a kind of bulletin for breeding. After the creation of the Laakhaven, constructed between 1900 and 1922, the traffic on the inner city of The Hague decreased (mainly fuels and barges). The designation Hagenaar degenerated in the 1920s and 1930s, when almost every ship that sailed to The Hague was called Hagenaar. The result of this was that since then there were 'Hagenaars' of up to 600 (!) tons; the then maximum that could come into the Laakhaven.

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