S/Y Aquarius

Hallberg Rassy 31 Monsun

by Dennis
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Starting early this season!

Hi all!  It has been a very long time since the last update.. What has happened during the winter?

We’ll after making new plans I’ve sailed Aquarius with a friend (Arnoud) to her new berth back in November. It was cold and foggy and we had to cross a lake in pitch black darkness and heavy fog.  But we got there without any problems and after that we had a good laugh. A couple of days later we prepared Aquarius for winter: We dropped the sails at the sailmaker for inspection, and to put a UV strip on the genoa. So that was it and winter could come.

But winter never came.. The winter is relatively warm and calm.. Some heavy winds but no ice and snow. It’s the end of February and it already looks like spring is coming.
This weekend we cleaned the interior and I had a chat with a local shop to get a quote for a new sprayhood. So if spring kicks in early we are almost ready to sail again.
And we are back on the small lake where it all began. Here I learned to sail when I was little, and it’s also the place where my family sails.

So yes it might be a small lake, but it’s cozy in a way..

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by Dennis
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Storm wreaked havoc in Marina


Screen Shot 2013-10-28 at 14.51.36


I’ve just received word that the storm in the netherlands caused havoc in the Amsterdam Marina.. A big party boat called “Ocean Diva” went a drift when the lines broke due to heavy winds. A picture was posted online showing the situation. A couple of yachts where damaged. Mine is currently still OK.. It was also captured on the photo in the bottom right corner.. Just one of the benefits of social media I guess.
Doreen will head out to the marina after work to check on Aquarius.. If the storm keeps up we’ll attach some extra lines to keep her in place.

by Dennis
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Changing plans.

Okay, so the 2013 season isn’t what we thought it was going to be. Tomorrow I’ll start working again and Doreen is already at it for a week.
We were thinking about our berth in the Amsterdam Marina. We like the marina but our new spot isn’t what we thought it would be. We have a lot of inconvenience due to swimming kids. They jump from the dock, swim to the jetty and they annoy people all the time. They even know the PIN code on the gate now, so they can just walk on to the jetty. Drop there stuff and hang out.  I’ve even seen some of them climbing aboard ships to jump off the bow. I really don’t want them on my ship when I’m not there.

This combined with our other experienced issues made us move Aquarius again. The parking at the marina is really bad, especially during the week when all the offices are in use. You cannot park your car safely there. Also the time it takes to go to the lock, pass the lock, pass the bridge, and head to an area where we can sail is too long. Sometimes it takes you 2 hours to get to sailable water. Thats just too far! This season we didn’t do any short day / evening trips which is bad. Longer trips are something which we cannot do either anymore since we don’t want to bring the cats aboard anymore.

So we’ve decided to move our boat in 2014 to the marina where my parents have a berth. We have visited that area while on holiday and we liked it. A berth there is also a lot cheaper! So then it doesn’t matter if one skips a weekend aboard. Now we feel guilty since we pay a lot more and don’t use the boat as often. So we’ll stay at Amsterdam Marina for this winter, and in March we’ll bring her to the new spot. It’s close to the small lake where I grew up as a kid and learned to sail. So our sailing area will be a lot smaller. And it’s actually the same lake where Aquarius was in the first season when we bought it.

We also were having thoughts of selling Aquarius. I met with Robert of  White Wale Yachtbrokers. He really liked our Monsun, but he told us the market for old sailing boats isn’t really good at the moment. To sell our boat we’ll have to go low with the asking price. And we’re not selling this nice and well maintained Monsun cheap. So we decided not to sell our boat. We’ll keep her. Maybe the selling thoughts where inspired of the bad season: No good vacation and no nice short trips. Moving her to another marina will save us a lot of money, which makes it better again. I could even rent two berths in our new marina for the cost of what I’m paying now.

Then about the car: I know it’s a boat blog, but the car has been featured here, and it’s a big part of our life. The experts came and went and decided that the car is a total-loss. It even got a special registration that it cannot go back on the road without a special MOT test. We were allowed to get all our stuff out the car and thats basically it. The insurer will pay us current index value which isn’t realistic at all. And some parts guy will buy the wreck from us and thats it. A sweet ride is gone. I hope the tourists who created the situation that lead to the accident die in a plane crash or something. They just had a bad day with their rental car, and I lost my perfectly maintained car and a boatload of money. I thought I was safe with an all-risk insurance but it turned out that you get screwed anyway.

Currently I’m looking for a new car that fits our needs and requirements. I don’t know if we’ll buy a vectra again although it was a nice car. I found a nice 2009 Renault Clio Estate online today. It has all the bells and whistles i’d like, and it fits nicely next to our 2011 Renault Twingo. So maybe I’ll head out to view the car next weekend and if I like it I’ll buy it. Winter is coming fast and we need a car suitable for hauling stuff and for going on snowboard trips. The Vectra was perfect for that, but a slightly smaller Clio Estate will be fine too. And it’s much more fuel efficient.