Penelope’s Ark, aka PA, or Penny as we affectionately call her, was originally built in Geertruidenberg, Netherlands, in 1897.  She is a small classic dutch barge, a “rietaak”, 14m x 3.9m and was used to haul products along the dutch canals.  As you can see when she was a working barge – she was basically just a hull!

She was converted to a “weekend” pleasure canal barge around 1963 to the present configuration with the name of “Goulash”, as she was bought by a Hungarian man who loved his goulash!  Her next owners named her Penelope’s Ark, as they always traveled aboard with their pet rabbit, Penelope.

She is well laid out for summer cruising, being bright and airy down below, has two bedrooms sleeping 4, galley, salon, and of course, “les toilettes”.  She also has a large open rear terrasse for alfresco dining and relaxing.


She was sold a couple more times and then in 1997 – a four owner equal partnership was formed with each partner owning 1/4 share of the barge, and getting 6 weeks cruising time per year.  The normal cruising season is around May 1 to mid-October.  There are issues with ice and cold the rest of the year, and many canals are closed in winter.

Since then, the partners have cruised in areas between the south and north of France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and in the Mecklenburg lakes area, north of Berlin, Germany.  Summer of 2017 she will be cruising in France, and then the last partner up will be taking her to Loosdrecht, Netherlands, where she will overwinter and have a new canopy built that covers her entire rear deck.  We will then cruise around the Netherlands in 2018, but no specific plans yet.  See: Cruising Areas