We have loved this Linssen boat for 40 years

Mr and Mrs Cappendijk from Rhoon, aged 79 and 84 respectively, have been sailing the same boat for almost 40 years. A St. Jozef Vlet 950 Salon which they bought in March 1981. Throughout all of the intervening years, they have lovingly maintained their boat, which is still almost in its original condition. “We have enjoyed ‘the Vlet’ for almost 40 years, but you have to stop sometime, don’t you? You just have to be sufficiently realistic to say ‘enough is enough’.”

Mr and Mrs Cappendijk sitting in their yacht
Mr and Mrs Cappendijks yacht

During their holiday in 1980, Mr and Mrs Cappendijk toured Limburg in their 8.5 m Target. “We’d seen an advertisement for Linssen Yachts somewhere along the way and wanted to have a look,” Mrs Cappendijk recalls. “We then took an 850 out for a test sail. “It was fine, but it did make an unbelievable amount of noise. And it had an enclosed wheelhouse, which we don’t like. The 950 was already part of Linssen’s range at the time and we fell in love with it. It was just a lovely boat, a good model, nice and sturdy. It was love at first sight. The tinted glass, the imposing doors and the aluminium window frames were not standard at the time, so we had them added. The boat is still beautiful 40 years later. It’s a timeless model.”\

Many hours of sailing

Mr Cappendijk had a bicycle shop in Rotterdam. “The shop still exists, but I sold it when I was 62. So we’ve had our freedom for a long time. That gave us plenty of time to enjoy the boat.” This is also apparent in the number of hours that the St. Jozef Vlet has sailed. The original Peugeot engine was replaced by a Volvo engine after 6380 hours. That engine has since clocked up 4285 hours. That’s 10,665 sailing hours in almost 40 years, which is about 267 sailing hours per year, a good 100 hours more per year than our clients sail on average. Which makes it an even greater achievement that the boat still looks pristine.

In original condition

As well as the engine, the mast has also been replaced. “We literally sailed the previous one off in 2012,” says Mrs Cappendijk. “We then wanted a new wooden mast, not one of those aluminium things. A boat like this deserves a wooden mast.” The floor, the decks, the panelling... it’s all still original. The few adjustments that the couple made were to the interior. The shelves in the kitchen cupboards, the toilet, the kitchen worktop. Even the equipment, such as the steering position, is still as it was 40 years ago. Mr Cappendijk: “We’ve never added new or modern electronics. It all still functions as it should. Everything works. You don’t need that extra technology on inland waterways in any case.”

Mrs Cappendijk: “We don’t go out to sea much. Only occasionally at the Haringvliet for a few hours of fun on a Sunday afternoon. These boats are not intended for sailing at sea. Although they can handle it. The Oosterschelde and Westerschelde can also be heavy sailing. We usually go to Belgium via the Westerschelde.”

Special encounters

“We’ve always been very satisfied with this boat,” says Mrs Cappendijk. “We can take it anywhere we want. This boat is ideal for the low bridges in the north, where we often go. And we can still hop out onto the jetty easily, even at our age.”

The couple sailed mainly through the Netherlands, Belgium and France and experienced a lot along the way. Mrs Cappendijk documented everything and filled four logbooks. Places, times, weather conditions. Of all the special encounters they have had, the one that springs to mind first is that with a large group of Congolese musicians. “We were moored at a small jetty somewhere in France. That music group was also there and decided our boat was the perfect backdrop. A little later, a lady came and sang on our deck. That was a lot of fun.”

Mr and Mrs Cappendijks yacht

Crowded waters

The boat may have remained virtually unchanged, but sailing conditions have not. “It has become much busier on the water. Mainly due to the large number of speedboats. They often cause mayhem. They also have a right to be on the water, of course, but it’s a completely different world. They have a totally different mentality.”
The larger numbers do not detract from the pleasure of sailing. Mr and Mrs Cappendijk remain sailing enthusiasts in their hearts and souls. Nevertheless, they are selling their boat while they are still healthy in body and mind. “We don’t want to get to the stage that we have to sell our boat to the first buyer.”

Value retention

It will not be difficult for Mr and Mrs Cappendijk to find a buyer. The well-maintained boat has retained its value. The amount for which the couple can sell the boat is almost the same as they paid for it in 1981.


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