• Pushing ahead with the ‘Doordouwer’
  • Pushing ahead with the ‘Doordouwer’
  • Pushing ahead with the ‘Doordouwer’

Pushing ahead with the ‘Doordouwer’


Get on board the Doordouwer, an old sea-going lifeboat that allows you to do-it-yourself. The name Doordouwer means ‘stayer’ or ‘pushy one’. 

This ship contains its original manual propelling system with eight handles, which are operated by opposite pairs with an alternating push-and-pull movement. As a result of this movement, the propeller is powered and the boat starts to move. In the old days, this was a reliable way for the crew to quickly move away from a sinking ship.

Stichting de Leidse Rederij has made this unique lifeboat seaworthy again for sporty boat trips. Two experienced skippers will guide you – with drumbeats or the beat of music – through Leiden’s canals and green moats, or across the choppy waters of the Kagerplassen. The boat has a capacity of 45 ‘heads’ so there is ample opportunity on the way to alternate ‘pushers’. 

In addition, the lifeboat is equipped with a silent electrical engine, so there is enough opportunity on the way to incorporate rest periods between these physical exercises. 

Relax through labour: the Doordouwer offers an original and sporty challenge for groups of 16 people and more. The lifeboat is equipped with sound equipment that is compatible with modern digital music sources such as iPhones and mobiles. 

Contact us to discuss options and possibilities.