The ‘Myriam’ is the last ship in a beautiful series of three tankers which came into service last winter. The ships were built for owner and skipper Henk de Vries and are going to sail on the busiest European waters. Henk de Vries supervised the outfitting of the ships himself. And although he has already supervised many new construction projects, this time again it was a challenge. “No ship is the same and you always have to innovate and adapt,” says Henk de Vries. A mentality that he also likes to see in the partners and suppliers he works with.
The De Vries family has been sailing for Interstream Barging since 2007. Henk de Vries: “We transport all types of liquid products/chemicals, except for heavy chemicals. We do this in the ARA-area and occasionally on the German rivers. In addition to the 8,600-ton ‘Myriam’, son-in-law Frank van Gils, daughter Vanessa and crew sail with the tanker ‘Solution’, built in 2020. The newest inland vessel has twelve tanks of 760 cubic meters that are filled with two cargo pumps. When dismantling I found out that I always had to go below deck to supply the drive shaft of the pumps with oil. That was not very convenient so I asked if this could not be done from above deck. The supplier went back to the drawing board for this and has indeed ensured that I can now apply the oil from above. It's nice to have partners who think along with you."
JRC | Alphatron Marine
For the new ships, the family has opted for navigation and communication equipment from JRC | Alphatron Marine: “We seem to have found a good partner here too, because a lot is possible if you do it in consultation. In the first instance, the choice fell on JRC | Alphatron Marine because they are currently one of the leading companies in the market. A good example of this is the new JMR-611 river radar that we now also have on board. Over the years I have seen radars improve, but at JRC | Alphatron Marine they have gone a step further. For example, the new aerodynamic scanner is prepared for the new requirements surrounding strong winds. It ensures that the radar is extremely suitable for the most extreme weather conditions. In addition, the Sea State function is a godsend. In combination with a GPS compass and smart calculation technology, the JMR-611 river radar is the first river radar that is able to reduce the annoying wave action on open water to a minimum, without losing sight of the small echoes. In general, the radar gives a much clearer and more refined image, with a lot of details.”
Continue to innovate
“When I started sailing, we all had to do it without the help of advanced nautical equipment. If you think back on that, a lot has really changed in the past decades! Innovation has made sailing much safer and ensures that we can also sail larger ships on the inland waterways. I'm also sure we're not done innovating yet; more and more advanced equipment is coming onto the market. But no matter how good the equipment is, you also have to have the right people who handle the equipment in the right way. People who remain attentive, even if certain tasks are taken over. People who can correctly interpret alarms from a device and make timely corrections, long before a dangerous situation arises. Because you can come up with all sorts of things to make it even safer, if the person at the helm doesn't have the right attitude, it's still not safe," concludes Henk de Vries.
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