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Rotterdam Drydock Company Tugs 

The Rotterdamsche Droogdok Maatschappij (Rotterdam Drydock Company) was one of the largest shipbuilding companies in The Netherlands and they built a number of oceanliners like the beautifull Nieuw Amsterdam in 1938 and the fifth Rotterdam in 1958, both for Holland America Line. Also, for Cunard Line they built the Cunard Adventurer in 1971. For Holland America Line, they also built some freighters and combination-liners. They were building ships between 1902 and 1996, including tankers, submarines and marine-vessels. Also, locks and drydocks were built.

The RDM also built their own tugboats, and they were called Dockyard, followed by a Roman number. Nowadays, three of these tugs still exist. Two of them use the original name of the RDM, Dockyard V and Dockyard IX and they are painted in the original colourscheme and are now part of the Rotterdam Maritime Museum. The thirth one is in private ownership and is called Gebroeders Bever. This tug was originally called Dockyard III.

Below is a 2008-picture from Dordrecht in wich Dockyard IX is in front and in the distance at the left Dockyard V is sailing in opposite direction. This picture was taken during the Dordt in Stoom festival, a festival of everything that is steam-related in the town of Dordrecht, close to Rotterdam. The whole town is occupied by steamengines, steamboats and steamtrains, and oldtimer busses are used to bring the public to the several locations where the festival is held. The festival is held every two years and the most beautifull steamboats from The Netherlands are mostly present.

The Dockyard IX was built as yardnumber 226, originally for the port of Murmansk in Russia, and the ship was launched in 1942. Due to the war, the ships were not going to Russia and stayed on the wharf itself, used for services needed by the RDM. But because they were built for their original destination, they had some remarkable designfeatures, like a strenghtened bow that can be used for icebreaking and the funnel in the middle of the steering-cabin so the heat from the funnel could be used to give extra heat in the cold Russian winters. The Dockyard IX was used by RDM untill 1978, when the ship was offered to the Maritime Museum in Rotterdam. The ship was not looked after very well under the new owners, so in 1987 a large restauration plan was put into action and the tug was refitted for the carriage of passengers during special occations and festivals. The ship measures some 25,06 meters in lenght, she is 6,31 meters wide and she has a water-replacement of 230 tons. She can sail up to 9,5 knots 

Dockyard V is seen sailing past the Euromast at Rotterdam in june 2008.  She is one of two originally restored tugs from the RDM. 

Dockyard V slightly differs from her sister, she has a lenght of 25,10 meters, she is 6,24 meters wide and she has a water-displacement of 245 tons. With her sister, and the thirth still existing ship Gebroeders Bever she was part of a class of eight tugs. The Dockyard V was built as yardnumber 227 and her keel was laid at the 11th of december 1940. The ship was bombed and sunk in 1942, but raised and rebuilt in 1947, the year in wich she was put into action for the RDM. She started her working life for them at the 7th of may that year. Her work at the wharf ended in 1978, together with her two remaining sisters they were the last tugboats owned by the RDM. In their lives, they assisted both Rotterdam of 1958 and Cunard Adventurer in 1971, two cruiseships featured at Castles Of The Seas. In 1997, the restored ship was certified to sail with up to 40 passengers, like her sister. The money made by the sailings of both ships is used to kep them afloat. The ships are registered as sailing monuments in The Netherlands and they are a living part of the wharf that once built the prides of the Dutch merchant and marine fleets. 

Dockyard IX is seen at Dordrecht in 2008, chased by another classic steamtug named Adelaar, built in 1925, recognizable by her lenghty funnel.

 

Below is Dockyard V, seen from the Erasmusbridge in Rotterdam in 2008.

 

 

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