The Olympia

Posted on September 08, 2014 by Chuck Mahnken, Images by Peter van Thiel, mtu Archive

An antique tugboat rumbles through Holland canals with a Detroit Diesel 2-Cycle Series 71 engine.
Amsterdam, Netherlands

When the sun rises above the canals near Amsterdam, all is quiet. That is, unless Peter van Thiel is at the helm of the Olympia. According to Peter, “with one key turn the beast wakes up and the whole harbor is awake. Now they know how American cast iron sounds.”

Peter’s 44-foot antique tugboat was built in 1924 and sports a Series 71 Detroit Diesel 2-Cycle engine, installed in the mid ‘70s. Over the years, the Olympia has been used as a tugboat and recreational fishing boat. Today, Peter uses it primarily for weekend trips (and early morning wake-up calls).

Peter bought the Olympia in 2008 and is impressed with its performance. “We once ran at about 1500 RPM with tremendous noise and did around 9 MPH,” Peter boasts. “And at 1000 RPM, fuel consumption is only 6 liters an hour.” Peter has not experienced any oil leaks and is pleasantly surprised by the easily accessible parts supply and service offered by mtu.

The sound of a jimmy is music to Peter’s ears, especially when open water beckons. “Holland is a relatively small country, we don’t always have the possibility to go full throttle,” Peter says. “So once you can, especially at night through the main canals, you really can see fire coming out of the exhaust, and she runs like hell.”

Point of contact

John Ruck
+1 248 560 8120
001 248 560 8120