North Carolina Masterpiece

March 6, 2022

On our way to Florida for a month out of the cold, Molly and I stopped off to check the progress on Arnhem, Sytse Douna’s superb Olga 28. And we got a wonderful lunch from Rosemary, Syste’s wife, and great electrical tips from his building partner and electrical systems designer Ton Schoenmakers.

The construction and level of detail is just incredible. Styse runs a cabinet-making business and Arnhem could be a waterborn showroom. The pictures show the beautiful work, but here’s what I particularly like about Arnhem:

— The cabinetry is all solid, book-matched wood, much of it harvested from Sytse’s own property. All the doors are mounted on soft-close slides. This creates a tremendous amount of easily accessed storage. And it’s just stunningly beautiful.

— The boat has been perfectly adapted from Mark’s plans for warm-weather cruising. Every one of the custom windows opens and the beautiful cockpit doors will allow for total airflow through the boat.

— Ton’s electrical installation is amazing. There is not a single exposed wire! LED lights are everywhere controlled by remote switches that allow for all kinds of lighting combinations. Every electrical control and switch is right at the helm.

— Because Arnhem will have a composting head, the batteries could go under the helm area right in the middle of the boat where I have my holding tank. That is the perfect position in terms of stability. I love my Sea Elegance electric head because I live aboard for long periods and I want a “home like” experience. But the composting head is an option that other builders should consider.

— I like the way my dining table drops down to create a large single bunk, but Sytse has come up with a way to flip up the helm seat and fold down the backrest to make a true double bed.

— Having two sinks while living aboard for a long period is nice, but Sytse has gone with one very large sink across from the head, freeing up a lot of galley counter space. If I were building Tardis now, I would go with a single galley sink and use the area where the head sink is for more drawers and space for a heater.

— Sytse’s stove and water heater are going to be propane. That will really produce all the comforts of home.

— Arnhem will have a real Dutch rope fender all the way around the boat. Handsome and very functional especially if Sytse docks the way I do.

— The reason I really wanted to see Arnhem was the engine installation. Moving the motor mount back to the transom really does increase the cockpit space, and when Tardis gets back from Maine next fall, I’m going duplicate Arnhem’s engine mount.

If you’re building an Olga, you really have to see Tardis wherever she is, and Arnhem in North Carolina. Mark’s plans are hugely detailed, but mixing and matching what all the builders have done (including Freidbart in Germany) you could come up with an Olga perfectly tailored to your needs.

One comment on “North Carolina Masterpiece

  1. Tom Tolla
    March 7, 2022 at 8:12 am #

    Beautiful work!


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