Owned by the same family from the year of build (1938) until the mid eighties when a major refit by a new owner included a rethink of the interior. Since then the interior boasts an excellent level of comfort including a midships shower and wash basin with separate heads in the bow. Guillaume, the present owner, was using the boat for himself but also occasionally for charter on the Somme in northern France.
The hull is easily driven and constructed of steel with an excellent survey available carried out a few years ago. The present owner has had a trouble free period of ownership although he says the canopy could do with replacing. While the boat was clearly built with canals and rivers in mind I think it would also suit estuary or lake cruising with a maximum speed of about 10 mph.
Nauporos is a 40 footer « bakdekker » (the Dutch word for an aft cockpit cruiser, built as a one-off in 1938 in Groningen, NL. It is best described as a gentleman’s yacht built using the best of barge building techniques - so strong and reliable! The builder, Bodewes and Dutmer, specialized in tugs.
Deck and hull are riveted steel which requires much less maintenance than a wooden boat. On the French canals where Nauporos (its name from new) is a real head turner and whether she returns to the Netherlands or comes north to the UK she will no doubt continue to wow onlookers. The owner is selling her to purchase a larger vessel but it is possible that a new owner could take over the mooring near Valery sur Somme which is a short distance from the channel ports and Eurostar for someone seeking a second home (a 90 day visa would give you plenty of summer cruising).
Apparently Nauporos stands out as the broadest shouldered bakdekker of its size with a beam of 3,45 m, giving plenty of space inside to sleep 4 in comfort and to entertain several more. One advantage of the additional beam (unusual on a thirties build) is the 1.90 m headroom and a luminous interior with three portholes and large side windows. She sleeps four in two cabins and has a galley with 4 gas burners and a decent pressurised hot water shower. The dinette and seating area offer comfort below decks where the seating and sleeping areas flow one into the other in warm varnished harmonious lines. There is a simple12 V electrical system with 3 batteries (one for the starter motor, a big domestic one and a separate battery for the bow thruster).
Nauporos is easily driven by a crew of two and can even be cruised single handed. The large airy wheelhouse features an aft sunbrella canvas canopy and a section of fixed wooden roof. According to Guillaume there is plenty of shade on board and good airflow while he claims that the Epifanes Ultra White paint professionally applied in 2016 keeps the boat cooler in the summer. With a 2.50 m air draught (designed initially for the bridges in Amsterdam) and a draft of just 1 metre, Nauporos is suitable for cruising in a variety of locations.
Nauporos has a Mercedes Benz car engine from a W123 “300 D” with a heat exchanger and raw water intake. The 3 litre in-line 5 cylinder unit is quieter and smoother than a four and has a lower consumption than a six. There is plenty of space around the engine when the floorboards are up for any classic car enthusiast to turn around the polished head. No smoky old diesel here with the injectors having been fully serviced by a professional mechanic in 2021. On the European inland waterways it is apparently much easier to find spares and skills with marinised car engines than with a pure marine engine. 88 bhp moves and stops easily Nauporos with its 10 tons. The engine is due to be checked by a professional mechanic for the 2023 season with new filters, water pump impeller and a new alternator belt.
The boat was featured in the excellent Chasse Marée magazine in 2017, the English revue Classic Boat Magazine in 2019 and in Blue Flag in the December 2022 issue. In 2021 she earned the “Batiment d’Interet Patrimonial” label for historic French registered boats which gives the advantage of a 90% discount on the VNF vignette (if you keep the French flag). Should a Dutch owner wish to repatriate Nauporos she is also registered in the Netherlands with the Varend Erfgoed Nedlerland. The boat is moored for a very low fee on the beautiful Somme River, just 1h30 drive from the Channel ferry terminals or Charles de Gaulle airport. Mooring is paid up until September 2023.
Length : 12.06 m - 39.5 ft
Width : 3.45 m – 11.3 ft
Draught : 1 m – 3.2 ft
Engine : Mercedes OM 617
Registration : French Inland Waterways LI G21186 F
Tax exempt while on European Waterways. NB if importing at some point into the UK there would be VAT to pay.
Historic registers :
Batiment d’Intérêt Patrimonial n°2021-054
Register Varend Erfgoed Nederland n° 1325