July 18, 2017

Second biggest yacht in the world sails by

Filed under: Dutch first,General by Orangemaster @ 10:12 pm


Off the coast of the Netherlands near Wijk aan Zee, North Holland someone has apparently spotted and filmed Dutch-built yacht Oceanco Y712, the second biggest sailing yacht ever-built in the world, which looks like a modern-day pirate ship when its sails are out. Someone also took a video of its maiden voyage last February in Hoek van Holland, South Holland, which has that pirate feel as well, thanks to the weather.

The Y712 is 106 metres long (or 105 metres depending on sources), and earlier this year was the biggest yacht ever built until it was surpassed by the Jubilee Y714, which looks very different and is 110 metres long, making it the biggest yacht ever built in the world.

The rumours were that someone super rich was taking the Y712 out for a spin, but nobody knows who that was. I can tell you that Oceanco’s website is in English and in Russian, which gives you an idea of their clientele.

UPDATE: Now called the Black Pearl, the yacht belongs to a Russian man.

(Links and photo: bic-news, quotenet.nl)

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October 7, 2012

A hot tub that you can take sailing

Filed under: Design by Branko Collin @ 1:48 pm

This is the HotTug, a boat that doubles as a (you guessed it) hot tub.

The boat is built from wood and fibreglass. A wood stove heats the water inside, and an electric engine propels the boat for about 2.5 hours (but there is also an 8 hour version). The entire contraption functions as a regular boat regardless of whether you fill the tub with water.

A version with stove or engine costs about 15,000 euro, but a version stripped of these accessories can be had for as little as 9,000 euro. Werf IJlst in Friesland rents out these babies for 300 euro per half a day.

The HotTug was designed and built by Supergoed from Rotterdam, the design studio behind the ‘bicycle tunnel as racetrack‘.

(Link: AmsterdamNews.net. Photo: hottug.nl)

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August 24, 2012

Ombudsman investigates children forced to sail to get an education

Filed under: Weird by Orangemaster @ 11:56 am

We reported several times about Laura Dekker, the sailor girl who was allowed to circumnavigate the globe for a year, and more recently we told you about two teenage brothers, Enrique and Hugo who are being denied an education because of their special needs as dyslexics and decided to sail off to get one the same way Dekker did.

The national ombudsman finally got wind of the situation and wants to find out why these kids can’t or don’t attend classes, as there are thousands of them. The brothers set sail today although Child Protection Services recently took their parents to court, but the court is delaying their verdict until December. I bet they are doing this because they know the parents aren’t at fault, and with general elections coming up on September 12, a lot could change in the meantime.

Child Protection Services can’t prosecute the parents for not trying to put their children in a school, as all schools within a large radius have refused the brothers. I don’t understand why the government doesn’t force a school to take them or at least try and resolve this situation. This imbroglio is far from over, and it is quite embarrassing.

Since Dekker got special schooling from the World School once she set sail, the same should apply to these kids or else someone will call out ‘discrimination’. Of course, the problem is that children of school-going age are being kept out of school by the educational system. What’s more, the parents aren’t legally allowed to home school their children, but I really do hope they are, I know I would.

(Link: www.eenvandaag.nl, Photo of a sailboat by the US Navy)

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March 3, 2012

Frost sinks popsicle stick boat

Filed under: General by Branko Collin @ 2:12 pm

Ship yard Aquaverium in Grou, Friesland has told former American stunt man Rob McDonald to remove his sail boat The Thor from its premises after the boat sank, Algemeen Dagblad reports.

McDonald built his boat from 15 million ice cream sticks in five years time and with the help of 5,000 school children. He was planning to cross the Atlantic Ocean with it, using his trip to raise funds for the Sea Heart Foundation charity. Its sea-worthiness had already been proven with a trip to London.

Unfortunately cancer grounded its captain. McDonald told Algemeen Dagblad that a group of business people had promised to take care of the boat, but ended up leaving Aquaverium themselves: “I am in shock. I wanted to do something fun for sick children with the boat, and I am especially sorry for them and for those who have helped me.”

The frost that got the nation so excited has destroyed the hull of the boat, and now the yard wants McDonald to remove its wreck. “We feel sorry for him, but nobody ever paid for his spot. […] We have tried to bail out the boat, but it is not working well because of the boat’s remarkable construction.”

In 2010 De Pers wrote that Aquaverium and McDonald had closed a long term lease agreement for a mooring spot. At the time, McDonald had put the boat up for sale at Marktplaats.nl.

McDonald is looking for a new spot to moor his boat.

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January 20, 2012

Laura Dekker ignored by Guinness, but still a winner

Filed under: General,Weird by Orangemaster @ 4:47 pm

The Dutch media probably chose today to make punny headlines about Laura Dekker who won’t become the youngest person to sail solo around the world because the Guinness Book of Records scrapped the distinction in 2009. However, back in 2009 (PDF) she had already mentioned she didn’t care about the record:

“Q. Is the record to become the youngest solo sailor very important to you?
A. It’s not the most important, it’s a nice addition. I have a dream and a very strong desire to do this.”

It’s amusing to see the Dutch Twittersphere make such a big deal about old news, claiming the ‘dumb cow’ should have gone to school like the rest of them. Of course, we also assumed she’d hopefully break a record, no matter what you call it.

According to Radio Netherlands, “Guinness World Records have decided to abandon the category of “youngest” in its list of world records. Their argument is that they do not want to encourage, discourage or support inappropriate record attempts by minors. On those grounds, they therefore refuse to acknowledge any achievement by the youngest person to sail around the world.”

And no matter what, whether there was a party or not at the finish, whether child services will haul her and her father away, one thing remains: she hates her nationality and will probably move to New Zealand and trade the ‘dumb cows’ in for sheep.

(Link: www.hartvannederland.nl, Photo of Dutch flag by Guido, some rights reserved)

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November 13, 2011

Sailor boycotts prize because teenage girl Laura Dekker is also in the running

Filed under: Sports by Branko Collin @ 1:40 pm

Somebody called Lucas Schröder has rejected his nomination for the prestigious Conny van Rietschoten Trophy, nauticlink.nl reports.

Schröder does not want his achievements to be compared with those of Dekker: “Many will inevitably see Laura’s nomination for the Netherlands’ most important sailing award as a collective opinion of the sailing community. This makes me feel so uncomfortable that I request you no longer consider me a candidate for your trophy.” Dekker’s solo global circumnavigation attempt has stirred controversy both inside and outside the Dutch sailing community.

It is unclear to this blogger what Schröder’s achievements are supposed to be. Nauticlink mentions his participation in an endurance race called Mini Transat, in which sailors cross the Atlantic Ocean in 6.5 metre boats. Schröder recently achieved a tenth place in that race.

The foundation that awards the trophy writes on its website that it regrets Schröder’s decision, and abstains from further comment. Schröder, whom I had never heard of before, managed to get a lot of free press with his action.

Laura Dekker in the meantime is busy crossing her third ocean in a row, the Indian Ocean. She is keeping mum about the route she is taking, as she doesn’t want to put ideas into the heads of Somalian pirates—which to me strongly suggests she is going for the Suez route.

Update 14-11: it turns out Laura is taking the South-African route after all. She has just arrived in Durban.

See also: Teenager attempts sailing solo around the world record.

(Photo of Laura Dekker by Wikimedia Commons user Savyasachi, some rights reserved)

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September 20, 2011

Laura is not hitting the books anymore

Filed under: General,Sports by Orangemaster @ 3:17 pm

Following Laura Dekker’s voyage as we have been, we left off recently with “still no word on if she has ever touched her homework.”. A report on her birthday today says that she just doesn’t have time to study. She had started to study at the beginning of her one-year sail around the world, but gave that up quickly enough.

One of the legal conditions on which she would be allowed to sail solo was that she do homework. She doesn’t plan to stop studying altogether, but I can totally imagine that repairing and replenishing her boat comes first.

The Dutch authorities can only wave their finger Dutch uncle style about her not studying, as her studies are her parents’ responsibility. And after the whole mess of a legal situation Laura got into with the authorities and her parents, she gave up being Dutch and relied on her dual citizenship with her country of birth, New Zealand.

Mark my words, if and when she completes this amazing feat, we’ll be playing ‘Zoek de Nederlander’ (’Find the Dutch person’) soon enough. In Laura’s case it will be a game that consists of constantly dissing a Dutch person in the media and then ignoring all the bad things and claim her victory as a Dutch one.

Follow Laura’s tweets on @laura_and_Guppy (Guppy is the name of her sailboat)

See also all our stories about Laura Dekker .

(Link: rnw.nl)

(Photo of an entirely unrelated boat by the US Navy)

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September 10, 2011

Laura Dekker in Australia

Filed under: General,Sports by Branko Collin @ 11:23 am

Two weeks ago ‘sailor girl’ Laura Dekker reached the shores of the Northern Territory of Australia, and not a moment too soon.

Her boat Guppy was in desperate need of repairs as both the genoa and the rudder had broken down. In Darwin she re-united with her father who had flown in to celebrate her sixteenth birthday (September 20). From that day on she has about a year and week to complete her global circumnavigation if she wants to become the unofficial record holder of being the youngest person solo sailing around the world.

In the past months Dekker sailed past the country of her birth, New Zealand (she has dual citizenship), even though she professed a desire to visit. Says stuff.co.nz:

Her manager, Australian Lyall Mercer, [said] today Dekker did not take her New Zealand nationality lightly and had especially embraced it since starting to feel “disconnected” from The Netherlands after courts there stopped her from embarking on her trip when she was 13.

“Yet she has failed to find any support from New Zealand, unable even to source a New Zealand flag that she wants to fly from her boat ‘Guppy’ for the duration of her trip,” Mercer said.

I wonder if there is not more to that story. In August 2009, Elsevier reported that the New Zealand authorities had threatened to seize Laura’s boat for reckless behaviour if she ever entered one of the country’s ports while sailing alone.

The best place to follow Dekker’s exploits is still her blog, which she keeps in both English and Dutch. Dekker spends her days playing the guitar, writing her book, and reading. Still no word on if she has ever touched her homework.

See also: more stories about Laura Dekker.

(Photo of an entirely unrelated boat by the US Navy)

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May 28, 2011

‘Sailor girl’ Dekker hopping like a flamingo across Pacific Ocean

Filed under: General,Sports by Branko Collin @ 9:38 pm

Laura Dekker, the 15-year-old who is busy circumnavigating the globe by herself on her trusty ketch Guppy, has reached the island of Hiva Oa, half-way the Pacific.

I visited the Atuona village where I was welcomed by the mayor right upon arrival and I have since already collected three flower necklaces… The people here are really very friendly, and they find it sad that they could not organize a big party for my arrival because they did not know the time of my arrival. Actually, this is exactly the reason why I did not want them to know in advance. This way my trip becomes a lot more fun and spontaneous.

Earlier this month Dekker got a nasty cut on her foot when a big wave threw her into her cabin: “If I avoid standing on my foot, the pain is bearable, and I am now quite busy practising the flamingo stance.”

Today Dekker hiked up the volcano (“once you are in the clouds, it gets colder and there are fir trees growing everywhere, which really doesn’t make me think that I am now in the middle of the Pacific Ocean”), so I am guessing the foot is coming along fine. If the New Zealand born Dutch girl manages to reach her point of departure five days before her 17th birthday, she will be the youngest person to have solo sailed around the world, an honour currently held by Jessica Watson of Australia.

Hiva Oa has a population of just under 2,000 people and is the place where both Paul Gauguin and Jacques Brel spent their autumn days.

See also:

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September 25, 2010

Roughing it in a life raft, for an hour

Filed under: Art by Branko Collin @ 1:43 pm

As part of the Noord Holland biennial you can spend an hour or more on a life raft on the IJsselmeer (PDF) near Hoorn. Cell phones are not allowed, but there is apparently a way to signal the organisers that you wish to get off prematurely.

The event was set up by artists Marjolijn Dijkman and José Carlos Martinat, who hope you reach enlightenment in that short time. If you wish to reach enlightenment in a rescue vessel equipped with a Martini bar, sheep skin rugs and a DVD player, you should contact a different artist.

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