Linssen Yachts

Switching from Sail to Linssen motor yacht

After years of sailing, Rob and Tonneke de Vries and Fokko and Rianne Dijkstra recently exchanged their sailing boat for a Linssen motor yacht. Both couples are so satisfied with their Linssen and with Jonkers Yachts’ good service that they both ordered a new boat on which they plan to make many more trips at home and abroad. “A powerboat is less challenging than a sailing boat, but it’s enjoyment without stress.”

Fokko and Rianne Dijkstra
The yacht of Fokko and Rianne Dijkstra

“Without a boat our life is incomplete”

In the 1980s, Rob and Tonneke regularly cycled from Beverwijk to Uitgeest to look at boats. They bought their first sailing boat, an Aloa 25, in 1991. “How proud we were,” Rob recalls. “We rented a mooring in Uitgeest, where we could be found every weekend. On long weekends and holidays we used to sail to the IJsselmeer.” One summer day, Rob and Tonneke fell in love with a Vindo 29. They bought the boat and put a lot of work into it. “The mahogany superstructure was stripped back and stained during the winter. And then refurbished with 10 coats of lacquer. After a weekend of sailing, a big tent had to be put over it to protect the lacquer.” In 1996 Rob and Tonneke took over a Hallberg Rassy 31 from friends, including a mooring in Enkhuizen. “The sea was beckoning to us and in 1997 we joined a flotilla. We sailed to London via the Belgian coast. We had glorious weather. On the way back, we completed the crossing in one go from Ipswich to IJmuiden.” The HR 31 was followed by an HR 36, on which the couple sailed to the English and French coasts. They went on to buy a new HR 37 and finally an HR 43. “We also made wonderful trips to the English coast on these boats.”

Sailing teenagers

Fokko and Rianne’s love affair with sailing goes back even further. “In our teens we used to go out in open sailing boats,” says Fokko. “After we were married, we bought our first 6.5-metre motor boat in 1970. As our family (4 children) grew, so did the boats: from 6.5 to 7.8 and 8.5 and finally 10.6 metres. We had a small sailing boat and surfboards on board.” In 1986 they sold their last motor boat. After that, the family regularly rented sailing boats, on the IJsselmeer and in Greece. “In 1996, I got more leisure time. We bought a Hallberg Rassy 42, on which we explored the Belgian and Dutch coasts and later sailed to Texel and across the IJsselmeer.” Because the children often brought friends along, the boat became too small. In 1999, the family bought an HR 46 with an extra cabin. “Every year we used to cross the Channel for lovely holidays.” Ten years later came the HR 54, which was faster and more stable. “We think back with great pleasure to beautiful sailing trips along the south coast of England, the Channel Islands and the French coast.”

No more waitin

Rob and Tonneke didn’t always reach the English coast. “In 2019 we were heading for England but, as is so often the case, the wind was a south-westerly and we were only using the engine. We moored in Stellendam. Besides boating, we love cycling and hiking and that’s what we did. Discovering all kinds of places at our leisure.” Other than that, 2019 was a disastrous year. The couple lost six friends and family members, all around 60 years old. “We often said we would buy a motor boat later. Because of the deaths, we decided not to wait any longer.” They found their dream boat on the Jonkers Yachts website. “We went to the yard and did test sailings on a Sedan and a Grand Sturdy 430 AC. The AC appealed to us the most because you’re outside when steering. We bought the Grand Sturdy 430 Mark II, a beautiful, complete boat.” The couple sing the praises of the service provided by Jonkers Yachts and Linssen. “Our contact with them is pleasant and informal. If we ask them a question, they respond immediately and if they don’t know the answer straight away, they call us back as soon as possible.”

The yacht of Rob and Tonneke de Vries
The yacht of Fokko and Rianne Dijkstra in the harbour

Linssen is the only option

Fokko and Rianne also came to Jonkers Yachts. They had stopped sailing after thirty years because Rianne had problems with her knees. “We absolutely wanted to keep sailing as, without a boat, our life is incomplete. We knew Alexander from our regular mooring, Port Zélande Marina. He had said many times that a Linssen was the only option if we stopped sailing.” Fokko and Rianne visited a Linssen boat show and discovered that they could quickly become owners of a demo boat. “That Linssen Grand Sturdy 470 Sedan Wheelhouse was with a dealer in Papenburg, northern Germany. We took an option on it and two days later we drove there with Alexander. We were thrilled, signed the contract immediately and two weeks later the boat arrived.” Wonderful tours through the Netherlands and Belgium followed, on the Meuse, the Lower Rhine, the Waal, the IJssel and the lakes. Their sailing season starts at the end of April each year and takes place mainly in Zeeland. Twice a year they make a longer trip lasting about three weeks. “We dream of long journeys like a tour of the Meuse, Moselle and Rhine or a trip to Berlin. We don’t have to get up early to catch the following tide any more. Of course a motor boat is less challenging to sail, but we are 75 and 73. We can enjoy ourselves without stress.”

A new boat is built

Rob and Tonneke were due to pick up their first Linssen in the spring of 2020. But that didn’t happen because they weren’t allowed to sleep on their boat because of coronavirus. “Fortunately, Alexander knew someone who was allowed to sail professionally and took our boat to Enkhuizen.” A little unaccustomed to the yacht, they started their first trips, first to Stavoren and Medemblik and later through Friesland, Groningen, Drenthe and Overijssel. “Life on board is wonderful. We are so happy that we’ve ordered a new boat: a Linssen Grand Sturdy 45.0 AC, which is now being built in Maasbracht. Our current boat is fine, but we can’t wait for the next one to be ready! We hope to continue sailing for years to come and make trips to Belgium, Germany and Denmark.”

Fun for a long time to come

Fokko and Rianne also ordered a new Linssen. “Our boat is reliable, has good sailing characteristics and is beautiful to look at. Alexander’s excellent service is Linssen’s biggest plus. Each year, we give him the keys before winter storage. By the time spring arrives, the boat is well-maintained, gleaming and ready to go. When we handed in the keys at the end of 2019, Alexander showed us drawings of the Grand Sturdy 500 Sedan, a model still in development. We are looking forward to the handover date on 3 May 2022 and hope to enjoy our new Linssen for a long time to come.”

Jonkers Yachts website

Jonkers Yachts BV
Kabbelaarsbank 11
NL-3253 ME Ouddorp (ZH)
The Nederlands
T: +31 (0)111 673 330
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