The steam tugboat "Risico" was built in the year 1915 in Papendrecht, close to Rotterdam. It had a 60HP steam engine. She belonged to a shipping company (also named RISICO) which owned 4 steam tugboats, called "Risico", "Risico-2", "Risico-3" and "Risico-4". (Not much phantasy here!).
They all towed oil-barges on the rivers and canals in de Southwest part of the Netherlands until about 1949. Our "Risico" is probably the only one still afloat.
No original drawings could be found but the following drawings of a contemporary tug (although somewhat bigger) come very close.
(From: "Small seagoing craft and vessels for inland navigation" van Ir. A. Roorda 1957)
After WW2 the ship was sold and the steam engine was replaced by a Diesel (a "Deutz" with 110 HP). This was the fate of many steamships, if they did not go to the scrapyard. The superstructure was also modified.
The new owner changed the name into "San Antonio" on request of his wife.
As "San Antonio" she towed barges with general cargo in the Southeast part of Holland. Mainly on the river Maas and surrounding canals.
After the crankshaft of the Deutz broke a new M.A.N. diesel engine (150 HP) was installed.
In 1969 the ship was sold to a company owned by Mr. Kombrink in Terneuzen, a town in the far Southwest of Holland, called Zeeland. Her name was changed into "Al-Gri", after two nieces with the names "Alie" and "Grietje".
She was used as a harbour tug and also towed the chemical-barge "Uranus" in a weekly service between Rotterdam and Gent (Belgium) mainly across salt water.
... according to Mrs. Kombrink she was a seaworthy little ship ...
In 1971 the worn out M.A.N. diesel was replaced by the present Scania Vabis DSI10
Accidents happen... The ship was run over by the barge she was towing during a passage through the Terneuzen locks. The crew did not stop the barge on time.
Maintenance of the hull during low tide. Environmental rules were less strict in those days...
On the voyage to Almelo, her new homeport in the East of Holland, we rebaptized the ship with her original name: "RISICO"
Suddenly we were ship owners. Proud but with little experience. 10 Years of sailing as a Radio Officer in the Dutch merchant navy was no help at all. Enthousiastic friends with plenty of boating experience joined us on the first trips and taught us the basics.
Maintenance and the battle against rust became also part of our lives.
A friend of us was inspired by the "Risico" and bought the tugboat "Bastogne". Almost the same size but with a slow speed engine (a famous INDUSTRIE 2D6), making a wonderful sound. Together we made many trips.
After we both retired in 2006 we decided to move to the town of Leeuwarden in Friesland. (Northern part of The Netherlands). The province of Friesland is a boat owners paradise with plenty of canals and lakes.
Dokkum october 2007
New colours for the "Risico" (2009)
In June 2009 we decided to change the colours of the superstructure. Former skippers told us to paint it dark brown, like they did in the good old days. It definitely changed her looks and we think it suits her well.