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Old 25-10-2008, 16:05   #1
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Hi from France

We are new to this site and just want to say ‘hoi zeeman’ (Dutch for ‘hello seamen’). My wife, me and our dog are living on board of S/V Zilver since 3 months. We are from Holland and just started our cruising-journey in August of this year. Where the wind blows we will sail and we have the time of the world. If we like it somewhere, we stay. And when the sea calls us we go on. At this moment we are in the Gulf of Biscay and enjoy all good things that France provides to us, like wine, cheese, fish, sea, friendly people, etc.

Our heading will be Turkey/Greece, (we have never been there before) and then Brazil.

S/V ZILVER is a cruising sail yacht constructed by the yacht wharf VENNEKENS in Boom (close to Antwerp), Belgium, and was launched in 1984. The yacht type is a KALIK 44. She is a nice solid and seagoing lady.Over the past 8 years we adjusted her to our wishes and we still like the boat.

I am always curious and try to make things myself, but sometimes it’s really nice to read the experience from other cruisers. You are never too old to learn.

Paul
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Old 25-10-2008, 19:24   #2
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Aloha Paul,
Welcome aboard! I have enjoyed visiting your country many times.
I would be curious as to what improvements you made to your vessel to make it to your liking.
Kind regards,
JohnL
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Old 25-10-2008, 21:00   #3
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Welcome Aboard..Im new to ..seems like a pretty good crew here.
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Old 25-10-2008, 21:57   #4
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Welcome aboard Paul
My wife and I were just in Bilbao Spain not long ago. If you haven't been there they have a great marina just as you enter port.
Good food and awesome bars right there at the marina.
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Old 26-10-2008, 03:24   #5
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Hi Paul,

We lived in Antwerp for 6 years, then purchased a boat in Holland (Bruinesse) and explored your wonderful country during 2006 (north to Texel Island and through many of the canals - a fantastic trip. Except in October when some of the bridges only opened once a day!)

In 2007 we sailed the same route you are on, enjoying many great French towns and learning to deal with 12-15 meter tides. We really enjoyed the Spanish Rias and now wish we had spent more time there.

Enjoy your trip,
Jim
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Old 26-10-2008, 05:21   #6
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Hello, Paul. Welcome to the Forum! We'll look forward to hearing about your travels.
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Old 26-10-2008, 10:33   #7
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Hi Paul,
Welcome also. Enjoy the trip - and the site.
Sail safe
JOHN
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Old 26-10-2008, 11:24   #8
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improvements on board

Hi John,
Thanks. We love Holland too, but the time had come to live the dream and not dream to live. Sailing, meeting nice people and taste other cultures.
Holland has a lot of free anchor spots behind the locks. Our last harbour was in Zeeland and we spend a lot of time there. The nice thing about this particular part from our small frog country, is that it’s a mixture of fresh and seawater.

That’s a hard question about the improvements we made, because there are so many!
Let me start. Replaced almost all windows, they where cracked by the sunlight. Replaced the ceiling plates and the floor. New fresh varnish.

The boat had two aft cabins, we made a nice big one with a lot of extra cabinets including one for a 3,5kg washing machine. Also with a lot of airflow, for warm days.

We try to be self-supported.
We put another wind energy (Ruthland, it loads not too much, but is very quiet, almost silent), the previous one was a Airmarine and 400Watt solar energy.
We installed a windpilot and a pair of small davits on the back of the boat.

We have 2 banks of sealed lead batteries, 100Amps (Start) and 480Amps (living). LED technology is ok now. We have everywhere LED, inside and for navigation. A small watermaker (7 ltr).

Galley: I hate the deep cabinets, so we made drawers. Now we have a lot of extra space. An extra shelf above the sink. I am still not satisfied whit the fridge: we want to have a freezer too.

Salon: new nice cushions

Heating: replace old Ebenspracher 3000W for a 5000W Webasto and a Dickenson Newport (love to watch the small flames)

For communications we build in an Inmarsat C, AIS, a nice board computer and a lot of nice gadgets of which we never heard before, but now cannot live without anymore (don’t ask me which ones).
Still struggling to install an SSB with Pactor modem, so if you know anybody here in France who can help me with it…..
Paul

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Originally Posted by SkiprJohn View Post
Aloha Paul,
Welcome aboard! I have enjoyed visiting your country many times.
I would be curious as to what improvements you made to your vessel to make it to your liking.
Kind regards,
JohnL
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Old 26-10-2008, 11:27   #9
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Hi still raining, welcome to the club! It is a nice community: I already read a lot of interesting stuff.
Save winds
Paul

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Welcome Aboard..Im new to ..seems like a pretty good crew here.
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Old 26-10-2008, 11:30   #10
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Bilbao Spain

Hi Bill and Sali, thanks for your reaction. We have been in Bilbao in 2003 and we loved it too! Missed the Guggenheim museum though. We liked the northern part of Spain, especially the small fishing ports. The people are really friendly there!
Save sailing
Paul

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Welcome aboard Paul
My wife and I were just in Bilbao Spain not long ago. If you haven't been there they have a great marina just as you enter port.
Good food and awesome bars right there at the marina.
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Old 26-10-2008, 11:35   #11
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Hi Jim, well yes, the bridge opening hours are typical Dutch! We enjoyed the Spanish Rias very much too. In 2004 we sailed there for 3 weeks with our boat and yes we will spend more time there now. It is really great! Are you on your way back to America now or later this year?
Paul


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Hi Paul,

We lived in Antwerp for 6 years, then purchased a boat in Holland (Bruinesse) and explored your wonderful country during 2006 (north to Texel Island and through many of the canals - a fantastic trip. Except in October when some of the bridges only opened once a day!)

In 2007 we sailed the same route you are on, enjoying many great French towns and learning to deal with 12-15 meter tides. We really enjoyed the Spanish Rias and now wish we had spent more time there.

Enjoy your trip,
Jim
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Old 27-10-2008, 04:50   #12
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Paul,
We are on our way to the Caribbean, but not sure where to next. Our plan was to stay in Italy this winter and continue to Turkey next year. But we were having so much fun that we didn't want to stop sailing for the winter. So we decided to go to the Caribbean. Then maybe we will return to Europe next May and continue to the eastern Med. But maybe stay in the Caribbean longer.... or continue going west... really no idea what we will do.
But we do love this life!

Jim
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Old 27-10-2008, 06:16   #13
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Hi, Jim.

I'll bet you and Katie end up spending a lot of time cruising the Caribbean! Of course, I'm a bit prejudiced...

Hud

p.s. your website is terrific! nice job!
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Old 27-10-2008, 12:12   #14
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Hi Hud,

Thanks for the compliment! We are really looking forward to the Caribbean as we spend our evenings looking over the pilot books.

Jim
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Old 27-10-2008, 12:59   #15
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Aloha Paul,
You have done many of the things to your boat that I intend to do with mine except mine is smaller with no aft cabins. I like LEDs, I like the Newport diesel heater, I like solar and wind power. I haven't decided yet where I can build in drawers for the galley but your comment made a lot of sense. Deep lockers are hard to get into.
I hope you can get your electronics installed.
Kind regards,
JohnL
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