Dutch Barge Kagenaar

The Kagenaar is a narrow boat that was used in the area of Leiden and the Kager Plassen for transporting soil and manure in the Bollenstreek, for transporting Friesian manure from tjalken to the gardens and for local transport of agricultural products, flower bulbs, etc. Before 1900, this was done with wooden boats, the so-called bokken, which were slowly replaced by steel boats with the construction of an aak. On the front, a heve is clearly visible, which, together with the sides, is covered by a ridge plate with a characteristic decoration (see sketch). In a bollenvlet (description to follow later) this decoration is often based on the initials of the client. The back is simply equipped with a vertical mirror with a skeg below it. The appearance therefore looks like a long vlet.

A length of 14.20 to 14.40 meters, with a width of about 2.50 meters and a draft of up to 85 centimeters, were the normal sizes for a Kagenaar. But of course, in addition to the differences that arise from the many shipyards where they were built, there were also many "special versions" made to the client's wishes. Kagenaars were built at Akerboom (Leiden), Van Lent (Kaagdorp and Lisse), van Straaten (Loosduinen), Van Wavereren (Monster) and Van der Aar (Loosduinen).

The shipyards in the Westland also built many Kagenaars. There are even cases known where the construction was outsourced to Friesland, because it was so cheap there. Although the Westlander does not belong to the aak family, there are similarities in the regional character of the use and the type of water on which they sailed. It is therefore not surprising that the Kagenaar, with its relatively simple construction, gradually replaced the Westlander. With a load capacity of around 12.5 tons, the Kagenaar was more agile and had less draft and with a much cheaper construction with less details, a Kagenaar could load a ton or a ton and a half more. Less depreciation and more catch, the entrepreneurs of 1925 in the Westland knew it and from that time on, almost only Kagenaars were built. In addition, when loading and unloading on the scoop, such as horse manure or peat, the draft - and therefore the height to the wheelbarrow - is a point of practical importance.

The Kagenaar is, compared to a Westlander, longer, lower and especially simpler and lighter in construction. The spar spacing is 40 to 45 cm and in a Westlander 30 to 35 cm. In addition, only half of the bulkhead is attached to the ribs in the bow and stern of a Kagenaar, compared to a Westlander. Another construction simplification is that the decks on a Kagenaar are planked outside the skin with an angle line. The skin and decks are made of steel plate with a maximum thickness of 4 mm. Furthermore, the entire model is more streamlined, the chines are rounder, the bow and stern are much more stretched and the stern ends with the aforementioned mirror.

Kagenaars, like Westlanders, could also be pushed from the shore with a boom. Grooves, front and back, for the boom were cut, but also executed as brackets that were clamped on deck. The hatches were made of wood, slightly rounded like in a Westlander and without a hatch cloth. When sailing with thin manure (gier), no cargo had to be lost, that's why the hatches were secured with a total of six spalkhaken, see sketch. For less compact cargo such as thin manure, the hold could be raised by wooden steekleren.
The small rubbing strike, as it was called, was built around the Kager Plassen of square staf. Yards in the Westland used flat half-round, slightly more favorable in maintenance because no water stays on it.

A normal Kagenaar was also referred to as 'bok' or 'Leidsche vlet'. In addition to the normal Kagenaar, there is also the mentioned bollenvlet. This is slightly smaller and has no built-up cabin, only a hatch in the bow and stern. In the later days of sailing freight transport, motor-Kagenaars of 15 to 22 meters were built (as a successor to the motor-Westlander). This has a normal Kagenaar bow, but a motor stern.

Most Kagenaars were built for the transport of thin manure. When the hold was filled to the brim, the ship was well trimmed and exactly at its mark. This way, the cargo could not "work" if the boat tilted.

Other goods were also transported, such as horticultural products to the auctions, sand and turf to improve the soil, building materials, household goods during moving, coke, etc. What now goes by road, went over water until about 1950.

  • long narrow boat
  • bow looks like that of a wooden vlet
  • stern mirror
  • bow and stern deck equal with bulwark

Have a look at our offer of former professional ships

Yacht and Ships for sale, sold or not for sale anymore