Our own sailing story began in 1993…

Niels used his first earned money during his military service to buy his first boat, a BM/16M2. Why? Because he thought it would be fun to have his own boat and sail whenever he wanted, not always having to give lessons. It also allowed him to sail for several weeks in the summer.

With the purchase, we knew we had to work first before we could sail. But… this boat was affordable.

Why a 16m2?

Niels had sailed in a 16m2 with his parents when he was a little boy. They used to rent a 16m2 during the summer at the vacation house in Grou. A 16m2 is a round-bottomed boat that looks nice and sails well.

After two years of hard work and a lot of learning, the boat was ready. It was 1994, so it was learning without the internet and without YouTube. Searching for books, calling builders, and trying.

The boat still needed a name. After much puzzling, we came up with “Akka” – curious about where our name and logo come from? Look here.


The first season, we sailed for 6 weeks through Friesland. We brought our sewing machine on board because we still had to make our cockpit tent. In the following years, we alternated between a summer in Sweden and a summer of sailing. And with a car, it became easier to spend a weekend on the boat.

Family expansion

In 2000, our daughter was born, and in 2002, our son. Both were on board Akka in their first year of life. We had a lot of fun with Akka. But as the children grew older, they wanted to play on board – just like at grandma and grandpa’s.

A cabin boat

In 2007, Akka was replaced by our first cabin boat, a Friendship 23. Because it also needed a name, and Akka wasn’t leaving, and we wanted to stick with the name Akka, it was named Stora Akka. Stora is Swedish for big. Not long after, of course, an Optimist came for the kids. Our children insisted on naming it Akka because that’s the name of our boat, so it became Lilla Akka. Lilla is small in Swedish.

And something bigger – again in project form

Meanwhile, the children wanted to start sailing competitions, so our Friendship became too small. This led to the purchase of our next project in 2012: a Merenpoort 970. This boat was a partially finished steel hull that had seen little use. The first year was spent demolishing and then rebuilding. Since 2013, we’ve been sailing with it. To stay in line with Akka, we named this boat Grutte Akka. Grutte means big in Frisian.

After 1,5 years of hard work, she was kind of ready to go into the water in July 2013. We had no windows, no kitchen, no table… but we could sleep, sit and cook. Do you need more?


AkkaSailing is a project that started a few years ago. It’s about sharing our experience and joy in sailing with others to inspire them and to connect with other sailors. It’s our online logbook. Additionally, in the coming years, we want to move to a larger boat to explore more of the world and share that. To make this happen, we need funds. By sharing our story, we hope to inspire you or let you enjoy the beauty of our world. If you like what we do, sponsor us, or become a member of the Akka Sailing crew. That helps us create more and show more.

Marjet and Niels, The AkkaSailing Team