|Most of all I like wandering in a carefree freedom across the wide sea. But of course, this is only an utopia... Life isn't that simple and there has to be an income. Besides that, I feel if I hadn't to do anything else, life would become very boring; I like changes too.|
But everything should be perfect, if you:
Above: My first boat I ever built; a scow, named;
Left; My first (old) boat.. named; 'Endeavour'
|Well then, my start was already excellent; No money, I never had... and lack of freetime. So the last possibility, 'improvisation' has to help me and I think, that is what I can... Well then, I had to build my own boats by myself.|
|My first boat was an old one, that I bought for too much money. Money, that I had to borrow from my father and had to pay back to him. But anyhow, it was a boat and as I liked the old 'Endeavour' very much I named it 'Endeavour'... I never could guess, that after many years later on, I really sailed on the real 'Endeavour'! During my schooltime I sailed with it on the Twentekanaal and also one summer I sailed to Friesland, which was really a trip, as I had no engine at all. Sailing on the canal wasn't really nice; the canal had high banks and there were a lot of trees boarding causing a lack of wind. Besides that, the canal was in direction from northeast to southwest; many times you had to tack. But that became my best way of sailing! I many times won races if we had to tack...|
|As soon as I managed to have a job, I started building my first boat. The other one was sold, as it was too bad and I didn't want to buy a second hand once more. The one I started to build was a Frisian scow with a l.o.a. of 4.95m. She had leeboards and it was great fun sailing with her.. I could sail even if you could walk there! Her draft was about 20 cm. But not really to sail the ocean. I crossed a few times the IJsselmeer with her and sailed where you find the town Almere now. I sailed on the former Lauwerszee and Haringvliet too.|
For building the scow, I used mahogany plywood that I glued to the frames. All screws were brass and the boat became watertight and extremely strong. The sails were made from cotton and were dark red. Brown I thought, was nice for the heavy big ships, not for small ones... And even now, I think I was right.
|With the scow I sailed on the Haringvliet as I mentioned above. In that time (1968) there was no dam and Hellevoetsluis still was a naval port. It was very fine weather and I wasn't able to resist the temptation to sail on the Northsea. But a thunderstorm, coming in quickly, blew me back to Hellevoetsluis. Maybe Neptune didn't agree.... In that time the IJsselmeer also was much bigger than now. The western part of Flevoland didn't exist and sailing there, you didn't see the shore any more. When I was 12 years old we travelled by steam ferry from Kampen to Amsterdam and there was a small piece of dike only. Here Lelystad was supposed to be built in future.|
on the Vollenhover
...and on the 'Haringvliet'!
<--Nightfall at the Lauwerszee.
|These escapades of course, were desperate moves; breeding will out! But no real accidents happened and I was always safe and in good order, but sometimes at the limit. Anyway, I was in needs for a bigger boat. Once I built a boat for somebody else and after I sold my scow, I managed to have a little starting capital to build a small, but nevertheless seaworthy yacht.||I then built a 'Waarschip ¼-ton'; a wooden boat with l.o.a. of 7,25 mtr. With this boat I sailed on the IJsselmeer and the Waddenzee. The Friesian lakes became already a problem, as I had to take in account my draft of 1,25 mtr. My maiden trip at sea was a sailing to Heligoland, a remarkable rocky island of red sandstone before the estuary of the Elbe.|
This boat I sailed without the help of any engine. The boat I thought too small for an inboard one and I hate patrol and the ugly sight of outboards hanging at the transom...
|It felt like a real victory! Particularly as the wind started blowing hard from northwest during the night and big seas were building up! I also had the intension to sail to the Shetland Isles. I don't know why, but these mysterious islands far away in the northern extremity of the Northsea, attracted me very strongly! So, I made up my mind and decided to go and see...||I took a just married couple with me; the man was an expert at sea, as he told, but his wife never sailed. It was okay as long as weather was nice, but in the forties the wind started blowing and both became seasick and longed to return! The customs liked to know about my last port; 'Kornwerderzand', I said. But almost the whole Northsea was in-between!|
|But also this boat had proved to be too small, too lively on rough seas and too less comfort on longer turns. So I was looking for a more comfortable and somewhat bigger yacht. That's why I then built the boat I still have. This yacht has a l.o.a. of 8,70 mtr, a beam of 3 mtr and its draft is 1,80 mtr. For inland waterways a problem, especially in Friesland, but there it has become too crowded for me. The boat has magnificant properties when sailing windward. Sail area when windward sailing is 44 m². There are some extra sails and a real spinnaker of 65 m². Besides that, there is an inboard engine now; a Volvo Penta MD 6A-diesel with 10 Bhp.|
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