The two Bernese Lo & Leduc rap:

Lug es haltet nümme a, lad üs nie la galoppiere, nei es haltet üs uf Trab / alles treit uf de Stell / Karussell

Look it doesn’t stop any more, never lets us gallop, no it keeps us on our toes / everything turns on the spot / merry-go-round.

But first things first.

The date set by the court for the delivery of the boat on 18th September 2019 came – as dates usually do – unstoppably closer. Kees Cornelissen wrote us on September 12: “ Indien U de vooroplevering frustreert zal de oplevering dus vertraging oplopen“. Or in English: „If you obstruct the pre-delivery, the delivery will be delayed.“

Delay? Now suddenly because of us? Absolutely not.

1400 km there and back

So we pilgrimaged once more with our, meanwhile 5 four-legged friends to Holland: 700 km there and 700 km back.

Raffi Raffzahn, Chico, Wilson, Madox and Nemo at the apple harvest

We were lucky, because our very comfortable holiday cottage directly in Heerewaarden was still available at short notice. Meanwhile we are almost friends with the landlady Gabriëlle. She pampers us with all her might. Maybe she also has some pity for us.

Gabriëlle van de Laak is a recognized Dutch artist and we had the privilege to look at her paintings in her studio. That was the ray of hope of our visit.

Gabriëlle van de Laak in her studio in Heerewaarden

The visit to the shipyard

My cousin, who was often present during our visits to the shipyard, offered to come along, which we were very happy about; we arrived punctually at 10 o’clock. Cornelissen was waiting for us with his son Jim. He, Cornelissen, wouldn’t want to bother with us any more, which is why he hired the independent broker and ship expert Jim to do the pre-inspection with us. From now on, Jim will accompany us till the boat will be completed.

Cornelissen said the ship could be put into the water on Saturday. However, we would have to accept it today and pay all the bills first.

Had we been too hasty and the ship was actually finished? Honi soit qui mal y pense.

However . . not we, but only the expert Guido Beekmann, who was commissioned by us, can accept the ship and only as soon as it is in the water – as ordered by the court. But we wanted to see the progress with our own eyes and were happy to comment on everything that was in order.

But a merry-go-round goes round in circles. Here are a few impressions of the boat that „could have been launched“ four days after these pictures were taken.

Ordered: 24 solar panels – Charged: 24 solar panels – Installed: 18 solar panels
Windscreen wipers and putty joints for the windows are still missing

Situation under the control desk
Where’s the mast?
Double motor and generator not connected
And yes. . . . they are still the devices not ordered.
Where’s the hole for the stern thruster? And where is the stern thruster?

Jim Cornelissen was as amazed about the „finished ship“ as we were. At the beginning of the inspection he said: “ It will take at least another two weeks until the ship can be launched“. When we were through, his prognosis had increased to „at least 4 weeks“. The craftsmen were horrified when they heard that the ship might go into the water four days later.

At the end of our visit, the carpenter asked if we could decide with him where the toilet brushes, soap dispensers and paper holders should be placed. That was nice. So we decided to do that with him.

We couldn’t spare Cornelissen the question of why he had ordered us to the Netherlands for the second time in vain. He looked us in the eye and said: „The boat is ready; it can be launched“. And he gave us a pile of bills for „extra work“.

As soon as we arrived at our „Unique place on the river Waal“, a copy of an e-mail from Cornelissen to our lawyer awaited us. It said that we refused to go through the shipyard’s checklist.

Although here an receipt is indicated at 9.26 o’clock, our provider confirms that the mail arrived at 12.45 o’clock.

Luckily Jim was there, who recognised there was nothing to inspect as long as everything was still under construction.

We were even more perplexed the following morning when an e-mail sent by Cornelissen at 4.54 am was waiting for us in our inbox even before breakfast. In his opinion we had ordered changes from the carpenter which amounted to about 100 men/hour and now, once again, had turned all the divisions, including those of the dashboard, completely upside down. We were therefore absolutely to blame ourselves for all delays in delivery.

This refers to the dashboard, where the navigation devices were not yet complete.

3 toilet brushes, 4 soap dispensers and 3 paper roll holders hanging up = 100 men/hour.

The Dashboard. No classification possible, because no navigation instruments available. And before anyone is surprised. . . Yes, we had ordered a wider dashboard. . . .

Interior work in excess 100%.

Soon after, Jim came by to discuss the bill with us. „Interior work in excess“: 100% over budget. Just imagine: 100% !

We could only discuss with Jim that we were not offered any „extra work“, that we did not order any „extra work“ and that in our opinion no „extra work“ could be charged.

Since the „unhappy Cornelissen customers“ are exchanging information, we know that the last time this extra work charge was rejected by a court was in the summer of 2018.

In the meantime, Cornelissen has filed an appeal against the ruling of 19th August. We will probably meet him in court again sometime in October or November. There is no point in speculating why the shipyard has not simply completed the boat and launched it. Our expert could check it out, we would pay the contractually agreed last instalment and sail away.

Too rational?