My name is Hubert Bakker and I live in Gorinchem in the Netherlands.
The city of Gorinchem is surrounded by rivers and canals. The biggest river here is the Merwede, a tributary of the Rhine.
The Merwede is always busy with shipping and there often is a strong current.
It is forbidden for dinghies or yachts without an engine standing by.
But there are many smaller rivers and waterways which can be explored by oar and sail.
The biggest of these is the Biesbosch estuary (and nature reserve) which I hope to explore some time soon.
For 20-odd years I sailed International Moths. During this time I owned 5 Moths, of which I designed and built 2 myself.
After that my wife and I had a trailerable sailing cruiser for cruising with our children.
We had bought a brand new Jeanneau Sun 2000, and sailed mainly on the Amer river (20km south of Gorinchem).
We also trailered to Lauwersoog (250km) and Denmark. During the winter we raced it in the local winter series.
After two seasons I sold the Sun 2000 because our children were not so interested as we had hoped.
We also suffered from the curse of a new boat. We should have been more carefree with it.
In 2008 I designed and built a 11' dinghy to teach my children to sail. It was big enough for a crew of two.
One of the children would take the helm and main sheet and I would sit near the mast bulkhead and occasionally provide a hint or a helping hand. With a hull eight of 45kg, TooPhat was cartoppable but it was easier to use a small trailer.
Later on my wife and I would take TooPhat to our favorite holiday destination in the French Alps and sail every afternoon.
Sailing and pottering with TooPhat made me realize that you can have more fun with smaller boats.
During 2016 I got interested in dinghy cruising so I became a member of the DCA.
I am currently designing and building a 15ft pram for dinghy cruising. Hopefully it will be ready by early 2018.