We love the Netherlands…

… also because the Netherlanders are so unconventional!

It has been just about two years when our lives started to be enriched by the Netherlanders and their culture. The positive precipitation actually starts when entering the country on the highway. Coming from the Autobahn, speeds are lowered to 130 km/h which makes the going more relaxed, cruising style. Roads are maintained very well, and when you pull over for gas and a coffee, the bill is pragmatically rounded up or down to the next 5 cents.

When we bought the yacht in 2015, everybody involved in the buying process was uncomplicated, competent, and helpful. The previous owners of Yuana were there for us with all kinds of valuable advice. Particularly for us as first time yacht owner, this helped greatly with understanding and continuing the good maintenance concept for our new boat.

Finding our ways to the various workshops for any kind of yacht parts or repair was an experience for itself. Gerold form the stainless steel shop came up with the idea how to stabilize the new anchor. Roland the wood-man proposed an simpler way for some teak deck maintenance. The sailmakers tailored nice the lee clothes for our berth. It didn’t take more than 5 minutes for Marco to come forward with a genius plan where on the boat to install all watermaker components. And Ronald and his team installed the new navigation electronics and maintained everything, anti-fouled and polished the hull, and did all the winterizing for us. Everybody was there with instant and useful advice. Business was generally easy and fun at same time.

NL is a thoroughly big boating nation. It was once said that many Netherlanders would own more boats than cars in their lives. Yachting is common for many families and there is rarely any Marina which doesn’t offer at least one large playground for the kids! What I however did not understand initially was why I couldn’t find a yachting wholesaler in the greater Makkum area, such as one of the dominating chains in Germany. It simply doesn’t exist there. Why not?

One day and on the search for some little instrument lighting bulb, I steered into the local chandler, a marine equipment and clothing store. The building was only 6 meters wide, at most. Many old village houses are narrower anyway, but at least three times longer. There was Anko behind the counter, the owner and master over an incredible number of 5000 articles. Every corner of the store is packed with all kinds of stuff. Anko knows exactly what is present within the limits of the shop walls. But sometimes, he needs a minute or two to dig for a particular part. Prices are on the green side, and: “Why the hack would someone require a wholesaler?” Finally, this became my most favorite shop in Makkum, just after the coffee place next door.

You don’t have to go to coffee place until youu find out that the Netherlanders are charming and full of unconventional ideas. Most important, they are also willing to go the unconventional way. Most obviously, one can spot a variety of architectural highlights along the roads. My most favorite sample for unconventional Netherlanders however is the unambiguously clear indication for the chance of relive – the oversized pictographs on the wall of the toilet building at Makkum beach.

This is the view of a newcomer to yachting with specific topics to be solved. There are many other things in the Netherlands which we like a lot, such as pittoresk old town harbors, the colorful tulip fields, and the low prices in the Jumbo supermarkets and small bills at the end of a rich dinner ;-).

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