04 September 2022, by Victoria Séveno
It put up a solid fight, but after a whopping 134 years the Dogger – also known as the oldest houseboat in Amsterdam – was removed from the Prinsengracht at the end of August.
134-year-old Dogger removed from the Prinsengracht
Built in 1865, the Dogger was a ship that used to transport drinking water to Amsterdam’s breweries before being “parked” on the Prinsengracht canal in 1888. According to the current owner Jeroen Elsen, The Dogger is uninsurable in its current state, but due to its size cannot be transported along the canal as it’s too tall for the low bridges.
So, for the first time in 134 years, the Dogger has been removed from the water, with Elsen saying that if it were to have stayed put it would likely sink, blocking boat traffic on the Prinsengracht. “We are talking about 96 tons of steel and concrete. If it sinks, it sinks to the middle of the moat, blocking the passage. Then I get big, big problems,” he told Het Parool in an interview in August.
While some members of the local community are sad to see this piece of history disappear from the Amsterdam canals, others were pleased to see the back of the rusty eyesore. Following the Dogger’s dismantling, some parts will be taken to a landfill, but Elsen emphasises he will keep some pieces of the boat because “they are historically interesting.” The boat itself is being relocated to a shipyard in Zaandam, and its spot on the Prinsengracht has already been bought by the Dogger’s old neighbour.