Hermina: Generations on the Inland Waterways

Cummins Hotips#877

The family business includes the ship Hermina and her barge.

Adrie and Bianca van Leeuwen are the second generation of their family operating the inland river boat Hermina from their base in the Netherlands. The boat opperates year round with a crew of five and, on occasion, paying guests who enjoy a unique river experience. In recent times the 110-meter long Hermina and her 76.5-meter barge are primarily transporting shipping containers. With a beam of 11.4 meters the Hermina routinely pushes her barge, which is only slightly wider. For visibility over the stacked containers the Hermina has a wheelhouse that can be elevated or lowered for passage under low bridges on the European inland waterways.

She was recently repowered with a Cummins QSK50

Routine on the boat differs from most offshore vessels that operate with a captain and mate doing six-hours on and six-hours off watch. As owner Capt. Van Lan Leeuwen explains, “There are always five of us on board; three captains and two sailors. Our children also come onboard for the weekend. So busy on weekends! The three captains alternate during the day and at night. The sailors work during the day and are on call at night, when we have locks or have to unload or load, they also alternate. We work with the 2/1 system, which means that you are on board for two weeks and at home for one week…. In the summer we paint a lot. It can sometimes happen that you continue after dinner and in the winter you sometimes stop because it rains.”

The barge has capacity for 200 TEU and ship for 255 TEU..

All told the boat and its barge have three accommodation cabins. Each with independent galleys and dinning areas as well as bedrooms. The family live aft, beneath the elevating wheelhouse, with spece for chldren, a helmsman cabin with deck access is also located aft. The family’s two cars are parked on the cabin top. Forward, a well fitted-out forcastle contains two bedrooms, a galley with lounge room as well as washer and dryer room. Further forward, at the bow of the barge, a third cabin includes two accommodation cabins, a galley with a TV equipped lounge. The rooms can be configured in various ways to meet changing family and guest needs.

The new Cummins X15 bow thruster engine.

Built in 1994, the Hermina was originally fitted with a medium speed MAK 8M20 producing 1800 HP at 1000 RPM and turning an 1850 m/m propeller through a marine gear with 3.359:1 reduction. Adrie and Bianca decided the time had come to upgrade the main engine and the smaller engine for the all important bow thruster.

Bianca van Leeuwen is handy with a paint brush and the immaculate engine room shows her pride.

Working with the De Groot Diesel Marine Services BV, who are both a shipyard and a Cummins dealer, they choose a Cummins QSK50M delivering 1825 HP at 1800 RPM. The new engine was coupled to an Advance HCT1100 marine gear with a 5.98:1 ratio. The original 190 m/m shaft and 1850 m/m propeller were retained. The propellers original pitch was also retained.

The new bright-red, high-speed Cummins engine is significantly smaller than the origianl 23-ton, medium speed engine. One result is a roomier engine space. The new engine is rated as EU stage 3A. Adrie van Leeuwen is more than pleased with the new engeine and explained, “The new Cummins QSK50 is faster, it cannot be described with mere words on paper. Compared to the last medium speed engine a new world has opened for us in every sense. Among which; faster acceleration time, operating temperature, and immense gearing qualities without attenuating down whilst maneuvering a heavily loaded ship. Even if you pushed against a wall, the Cummins QSK50 will not slow down and will immediately show its maximum capacity.”

A son learns at his father’s shoulder.

For boats working their way into the locks of Europe’s inland waterways, the gill-style bow thruster is an important piece of equipment. It allows the helmsman to adjust the head of his boat with great precision to fit into and stop up at the end of the lock. The Hermina’s thruster is located in the bow of the boat itself.. The owners had De Groot Diesel replace the existing 450 HP Scania with a Cummins X15 delivering 582 HP at 1800 RPM.

Photos courtesy of Adrie & Bianca van Leeuwen

For further information:


Hermina BV / A. van Leeuwen

Contact: _de heer Adrie van Leeuwen

Email: leeuwen.hermina@vaart.net

Phone:   tel 011 31 65 311 6433


Repower Shipyard and Cummins Dealer:_

De Groot Diesel Marine Services BV

Grevelingenweg 23 3316 LB


Phone: 0031783039700


Randy van der Wijck

Cummins Netherlands


Email: randy.vander.wijck@cummins.com


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