"Our Pilot 39 Boreas fulfilled all our dreams.
Long journeys, both inland and coastal. Willem (66) and his wife Jacqueline (56) made countless of them with their Pilot 39 Boreas. From Scandinavia to the south of France, they experienced for themselves how designer Willem Nieland lived up to the Pilot motto: Pilot sailing is life. They now grant this pleasure to the second owner of their motor yacht launched in 2009.
Making a sailboat out of a wooden shoe or putting a note in a glass bottle. Even as a toddler little William had a fascination for the water. It was at the basis of his dreams for later: sailing the rivers, canals and seas of Europe. Willem: "I became an avid sailor and soon the Dutch inland and coastal waters no longer held any secrets for me. From the IJsselmeer to the Weerribben. And from the Wadden Sea to the Biesbosch. I sailed them all."
In his wife Jacqueline, Willem found an equally passionate water sportsman as a companion for life and his travels. They became more and more adventurous and longer. Jacqueline: "We sailed on the wind to England and the Baltic Gulf. But we noticed that with our sailing yacht we couldn't get to all the places we wanted.
The Scandinavian Fjords or right through Frankijk with all the low bridges. The keel of our yacht was too deep and the mast was unfortunately too high ...".
In 2007 the realisation came: for the fervent sailing couple the time had come for a seaworthy motor yacht. The search for, as Willem describes it, 'a multipurpose lowstander' could begin. "We were looking for a second home on the water. A tough yacht that was equipped with all the luxury and convenience. Both for a day trip on the Dutch lakes and a six-month trip through Europe. And where also a sailboat could hang behind, to pick up our sailing heart on the way".
Building your own motor yacht
The search wasn't easy. Jacqueline: "Due to his experiences in the Royal Netherlands Navy, the bar for Willem was high. Too high to find a second-hand ship that we trusted blindly. We came across such poorly maintained technical spaces..." It soon became clear that building your own ship was the best option. It soon became clear that Willem Nieland had to become the designer. "As a sailing enthusiast, he reflected that preference in his designs," says Willem. "That's why we were soon on the trail of his Pilot 39 yachts."
When they came to Nieland, five Pilot 39 models had already been built. Each new version yielded an improvement over the previous one, due to advancing insight. "Because we had the sixth and last Pilot 39 built, ours is the best," laughs Jacqueline. It may be meant as a joke, but there's definitely truth in it. Also because Willem and Jacqueline got all the freedom of Nieland to think along with them.
Room for own contribution
They grabbed that room. Willem: "We had the yacht fully insulated, fitted with central heating and double glazing, so that we could sail comfortably from April to October. And we made the ship even more seaworthy. All cabinets and drawers were given a push and pull function to keep luggage and stuff in place even during heavy weather. We had the railings made higher and sturdier. And we increased the navigation possibilities."
All with the permission of Nieland, who also applauded the fact that the entire interior was handmade. "Nijenhuis Jachtbetimmering in Lelystad supplied sublime half-timbering. There is no prefabricated part to be found in the entire yacht," says Jacqueline. After a construction period of 14 months, Boreas was launched and christened in 2009. "This is the name of the Greek God of the North Wind," explains Willem. For me North Wind has an association with the Arctic Circle."
Symbolism behind the name
When a frigate of the Royal Netherlands Navy sailed through the Arctic Circle, there was always a symbolic tradition. "The youngest officer and sailor would walk to the foreship with a pot of blue paint and paint the anchor lock blue." It's also the explanation that the hull turns blue. "A good choice," says Jacqueline. "It matches the look. And more water sports enthusiasts seem to think so, because we've seen a lot of thumbs up along the way."
For decades, Boreas fulfilled their dreams. From travelling to Scandinavia and Southern Europe to that wonderful sailing trip around Earnewoude. It resulted in wonderful adventures. For example, in East Germany. Jacqueline: "We sailed the Elbe without any problems, while many motorboats were struggling around us. Thanks to the stability of Boreas, we didn't even realise that the wind force was 7+... We only heard that from the harbour master when we moored.
An unforgettable memory is also the first attempt to reach the South of France. Willem: "Unfortunately it ended in Paris. Due to the unprecedented heat wave, many ships further along our route were stranded by the low tide. We sailed via Germany, Poland and the Baltic Sea in the direction of the beautiful Danish Wadden Islands". This is how Boreas fulfilled their dreams, which they are now giving to another family.
Jacqueline: "We are grandparents for the fourth time now and want to spend as much time as possible with our grandchildren. In their new house with large garden there is plenty of opportunity for that. "We are now in another phase of life. And our old love fits in better with that. A beautiful sailing boat with which we can go away for days or weekends and with which Willem can go out on his own when he retires and I still work".
Whoever owns a jewel, handles it with care. The same goes for Boreas. Willem: "When not in use, Boreas always had a boathouse as a shelter. And, our love for adventurous trips, and Boreas is well at home on rough water, I always take care of impeccable use, both now and on the way. That's why, from the technical room to the aft deck, Boreas is really still in excellent condition".