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Haarlem

As one of Holland's largest cities i would have expected a bit more effort to welcome visitors by boat, but despite an enthusiastic reception from the harbour office staff we couldn't really find anywhere suitable to moor for the night. Now, I know there are those of you thinking, well I've never not found somewhere to moor, and if you were happy with an unserviced spot by a busy road, then yes, you could find somewhere.

In the first edition of the fabulous tome, I wrote that the moorings along the canal in the town centre are public, noisy and dusty, and re-reading it I thought I might have been a bit harsh.

Read more: Haarlem

Den Helder

There is a large, new passanthaven in Den Helder, at the north end of the Binnenhaven (close by the museums and shown as an empty basin on the plan in the book).  Well appointed moorings (alongside & box) with water, electricity & WiFi, a supermarket only 5 minutes away and restaurants.  A new lock, the Zeedoksluis gives direct access to the port area, handy if you are visiting Texel.  The lock has 3 opening periods during the day, 8-10 am, early then late afternoon.

Would also recommend a trip to Texel, lovely, if expensive marina in Oudeschild - an island made for cycling.

Gouda

Goudse glazenStill popular for its three day special mooring deal, Gouda continues to attract visitors from all directions. The bridge and lock details remain as given, but the harbour master seems to have developed a great preference for sending boats to moor in the Turfsingel (straight on from the Rabatbrug) rather than in the more attractive Kattensingel (left under the Pottersbrug), especially if your boat is on the big side. The Turfsingel does have the attraction of the toilet and shower block (now a bit further down the Turfsingel because of a building site near the Pottersbrug - look for a cream-coloured shed with a red roof - no code, but open during the day), but it is close to the road in a not particularly nice part of town, unlike the Kattensingel which boasts the herenhuizen of the Regentesseplantsoen as neighbours, as well as landscaped gardens. In the Kattensingel there are water hoses in the brown metal cupboards - normally kept unlocked, but if not, complain to the HM. You'll find him in the bridge house at the Rabatbrug, and if you don't feel like paying him a visit, expect a knock on the boat between 8 and 8.30am to collect your mooring dues.

The other change since my last visit is the chandlers, Aquarius Watersport, which has moved from its position near the station to a more sensible spot at the far (SE) end of the Turfsingel. The museumgouda has also moved into premises opposite the St Jans church, so when you come out of the Goudse Glazen exhibition, you can't help but fall into their courtyard cafe - extra special coffee served with all the trimmings.

Kagerplassen

The JH Eijmershof shown on the plan on page 87 seems to have turned into the JH 't Fissertje which, although they advertise visitors moorings (at a rather extravagant €2/m per night) seems more interested in the type of visitors who arrive by sloop to dine at the new Restaurant Benjamin. This has taken the place of what I described as the lower budget cafe/restaurant Eijmershof - clearly they decided that their splendid lakeside position was wasted on the low budget market!

There are still limited moorings round the corner at JH Kaageiland although boats with a beam of more than 3.5m might struggle to find a big enough space. The best option for larger boats wanting to stay on Kaag island would be JH Kaagdoop on the Ringvaart, although this lacks the lake view. We decided to explore the west bank of the Dieper Poel and stopped instead at JH Jonkman, an extensive watersports base just up the Sassesnheimervaart. As well as the usual basic facilities, there is a small chandlers and motor engineer on site. Spaces for larger boats (with electricity) are available on the furthest pontoon from the entrance (turn left at the blue-roofed sheds)!