Crew Stevenaak Sailingship AALTJE ENGELINA

Sailing with Sytze (and Greta) on the Aaltje Engelina



Sytze and Greta Kooi Sytze and Greta Kooi

Being on the road with guests on the Aaltje Engelina is like the icing on the cake for me.
The ship means a lot to me and I like to share this with others.
I like relaxed sailing and I am not a fanatic competitive sailor, the most important thing for me is that we have a nice and relaxed time together on the Aaltje Engelina.

On the engine I can basically sail the ship alone, when sailing I need the help of my guests to get the ship under sail and also to get it down again after the sailing trip. During sailing, the ship is equipped with so many aids (electric lap and daggerboard winches) that I can operate the ship almost by myself. This allows everyone to enjoy the sailing without having to actively participate.

On the Aaltje Engelina I am the only "professional" crew member when the ship is rented without half board. This means that when we want to sail the ship I am dependent on the skills of my guests c.q. crew. If you sail together more often, you become a team at a certain point. You can then sail together in various weather conditions because you know what you can expect of each other.
When I first start sailing with new guests or crew, we first have to find out what we can do together. The best is of course when the weather is nice and there is little wind. From there, you build up an experience with each other and give each other confidence in the ins and outs of sailing.
It also happens that we have to deal with a strong breeze on the first day and, depending on the course we want to sail, I have to assess whether we can safely sail as an inexperienced team. I am a cautious skipper and do not push the limits. It is important to me that I feel comfortable when I am sailing and I make sure that I am. In a windy situation, I often choose not to sail or to use only the foresail to motor and sail to our destination for the day. That is absolutely no problem for me. The most important thing for me is that we have a safe and relaxed sailing day together. It is, after all, holiday.

I like to sail the round of the Wadden Sea from Leeuwarden via Harlingen, Vlieland, Terschelling, Ameland and Schiermonnikoog via Dokkum back to Leeuwarden. In my experience, this is a round where the guests on the Aaltje Engelina can optimally experience the Wadden area with its beautiful nature and the tidal play of high and low tide. Falling dry below Ameland is the highlight. During this trip, sailing is often at a low ebb due to the narrow channels between the sandbanks. It must be possible to sail and the current must cooperate in order to be able to explore the next island in time. Sailing past the seals on the sandbanks and the beautiful views more than make up for that. Once back in Leeuwarden, the reactions are always positive and we look back on a special experience. If the person, who at the beginning of the trip was the most afraid of sailing, found it a relaxing holiday, for me the trip succeeded.

Zoutkamp - Lauwersmeer Stevenaak AALTJE ENGELINA in Zoutkamp - Lauwersmeer

Sailing from Leeuwarden through Friesland via Sneek and Stavoren to the IJsselmeer and back again via Harlingen is also a nice goal to achieve. Depending on the length of time on board, we can visit beautiful Hanseatic cities. The day planning is then not influenced by the tides of the mud flats. We have almost no gullies that determine our route so there is much more space to sail safely with an inexperienced crew. As far as I am concerned, the sailing is not at a low ebb. The group can have much more influence on our day here. I like to focus on the wishes of the group, it doesn't matter to me if we are sailing until late in the evening, enjoying the sunset.

The Aaltje Engelina can also be rented with catering. In the beginning we offered full and half board. In our experience, full board was too little time for the guests to enjoy the place where we moored the ship in the evening. We decided to offer only half board so that guests have more time to enjoy the places but also because they can have a private moment, this is especially true for the individual trips. The catering is done by me and my wife Greta. We do the breakfast together in the morning and during the sailing Greta takes care that you lack nothing. We both really enjoy doing this, it increases the contact with each other so it almost looks like a holiday for us. What makes it special for us are the conversations we have in the cockpit in the evenings about everyday things.

We both love the ship and the possibilities it gives us. It is special that we are allowed to own something like this. For me it has a great emotional value because my parents sailed her as a freighter and when I was young I was allowed to live on her with my parents and sister. I was allowed to convert her into what it is today. I am always looking for ways to make the operation of the rigging as simple as possible, so that it can be sailed by at least two people. This is how we try to do justice to the slogan "A classic for modern times".

We think it is important to tell our story about the Aaltje Engelina in this personal way. We hope that this will contribute to the expectations you have in advance when booking a sailing holiday on a traditional sailing ship. For us it is equally important to offer what our guests expect from us. If this story appeals to you, we would like to invite you to embark on the Aaltje Engelina and join us.

With kind regards

Sytze and Greta Kooi



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Stevenaak AALTJE ENGELINACrew Stevenaak Sailingship AALTJE ENGELINA, Sailing with Sytze (and Greta) on the Stevenaak Aaltje Engelina. Being on the road with guests on the Aaltje Engelina is like the icing on the cake for me. The ship means a lot to me and I like to share this with others. I like relaxed sailing and I am not a fanatic competitive sailor, the most important thing for me is that we have a nice and relaxed time together on the Aaltje Engelina.


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De Zwemmer 1 • 8939 CA Leeuwarden • The Netherlands