This adapted Forest & Stream skiff built by a bunch of troubled youngsters led by Intheboatshed.net regular Hans-Christian Rieck of the Graf Ship Association is now being used to carry groups of passengers on the canals around Nordhorn in Germany.
These photos were taken by Horst Dudeck on the occasion of a trip by the Neuenhaus Stock Market Club to mark its 25th anniversary.
The story of the Werner Wesemann is remarkable. The original design for a small skiff appeared in the late 19th Century in the journal Forest & Stream. As an experiment in the late 1990s, I decided to draw a slightly enlarged version intended to be built in ply. That boat has been built and used successfully quite a few several times.
However, Hans used the plans in a way no boat designer could have envisaged: he took the drawings and together with a group of troubled youngsters built a scaled-up version of the boat in welded steel. The craft they built is around twice the length of the original.
Now, some years later, the steel skiff boat has been finished, as is in use by the Graf Ship Association, which campaigns to open up the Nordhorn area’s extensive network of canals.
What makes the whole thing a really wonderful surprise is that Hans reports that the Werner Wesemann works beautifully on the water, even when a load of passengers are on board and despite only having a 5hp outboard motor.