A very special, fun and prestigious project, working on a boat with a story. The “Taeke Hadewych”, a well-known yacht for many sailors, came to VMG for a total interior renovation. The “Taeke Hadewych” used to belong to the famous sailors couple Eerde Beulakker and Hedwig van den Brink, and is now owned by the family Van Westerhoven.

  • Name/Type Taeke Hadewych
  • Category Sailing yacht
  • Year Early 1980’s
  • Berths 2
  • Length 13 m
  • Material Steel hull

About the Taeke Hadewych

A boat with a story.

“On Terschelling, the eighteen-year-old boy Toon van Westerhoven marvels at a frozen, jogged yellow ship: the Taeke Hadewych. Torn away from waves of thoughts, a head suddenly pops through the hatch, belonging to a man by the name of Eerde Beulakker. Eerde tells Toon he needs a sailing buddy. “We’re going to Nova Zembla, Toon!” They never reached Nova Zembla, but they followed Willem Barentsz as far as Bear Island. They also visited many other places where you can see your breath when exhaling.” (Zeilhelden).

Before the yacht became family property to the family Van Westerhoven, Toon had already gotten to known him very well. Over the past 10 years, Eerde Beulakker’s boat has slowly but truly turned into the boat of the family Van Westerhoven. There have been times when they thought about trading him in for another boat, but the consequences of selling their beloved “Taeke Hadewych” are too big. That’s why they contacted naval architect Olivier van Meer. He helped them put together a plan for a refit, focused on keeping the soul of the boat alive.

We are very proud to have this family’s trust in making this project into a success and we are going to build something great together.


Refit of the Taeke Hadewych

This refit is a close collaboration with designer Olivier van Meer, who is involved in every step of the way. On his request, we are doing this refit in different phases, compartment by compartment. The idea is to keep as many traditional parts as possible, so we disassembled everything step by step. Though the idea was to save a lot, we ended up removing pretty much everything in the boat.

Old school craftsmanship

The Taeke Hadewych is a well-known yacht with lots of history. Working on a yacht like this is where craftsmanship really stands out. It is a different kind of craftsmanship, truly ‘old school’. The type of project you get to work on once in a lifetime. That one project that teaches you the most valuable things to learn in yacht building. Foreman Eschwin has worked on one project like this before, many years ago. The lessons learned working on that boat, brought him to where he is now.

Challenges

During this refit process, we faced a few challenges. The first one being the absence of references and sketches. Olivier has a clear vision of what should happen, but how to build it is up to VMG. Nothing in the Taeke Hadewych is straight, so it’s a matter of constantly measuring and checking each element. We also had to bring back symmetry in the boat after the extra hatches had been placed by Super Duplex Hulls.

Insulation

Insulation was an important part of this refit. The Taeke already used to have insulation, but we gave it an update to protect him from all possible weather conditions. The old insulation was removed and we added a damp proof insulating layer to the new insulation. Since everything has to pass through the small entrance of the boat, we could not work with the standard sheets of insulation. Instead, everything had to be brought in in small pieces.

Exterior

On the exterior of the boat, we treated and derusted all spots that were open, applied special primers and painted them off. Every single spot has now been covered again. We finished the (new) deck hatches and are currently working on building up filler on all welded spots. The special transparent dome, which is located on the coach roof, was designed especially for the Taeke Hadewych. It enables the sailor to oversee the sea in heavy sailing conditions. The dome itself turned out to be custom made, which made finding a replacement more difficult than expected. We eventually found a company that can make a new dome and it’s currently being made. We can’t wait to put it back on!

Interior

The entire interior is under construction and will be rearranged completely. The only thing staying in the exact same place is the table, which will be made out of the original table that was there. Most of the interior has to be assembled inside the boat as well, due to the small entrance that it has to fit through. We are reusing all solid wood that we took out of the boat in an early stage. The same goes for the locks we disassembled. Keeping and reusing those elements really keeps the ‘soul’ in the Taeke Hadewych. We paint the entire interior by hand, with a paintbrush. Painting by hand gives depth and really brings out the traditional elements of the Taeke Hadewych.