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Lots of boats come to Oriental, some tie up at the Town Dock for a night or two, others drop anchor in the harbor for a while. If you've spent any time on the water you know that every boat has a story. The Shipping News on TownDock.net brings you the stories of the boats that have visited recently.

Prinses Mia
The Not Normal Voyager
November 26, 2013
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Construction on Prinses Mia began in 1980. Her first owner rigged her much like the Norwegian life boats she was designed after – two wood masts and four-sided, gaff sails. She didn’t see much use. Then she was sold.

Prinses Mia – originally named “Sea Cloud of Lamarn” – as originally rigged. As a ketch, she had a mast in the cockpit. Later in the vessel’s life, the spar was removed. (Martijn Dijkstra photo)

The second owner decided to make major changes. This is where Princes Mia came in to Martijn’s life.

Prinses Mia’s new owner asked Martijn to help with the boat’s refit. Martijn designed a balanced rudder to replace the original transom hung on. He also suggested a new sail plan. The original ketch rig was replaced with a single, aluminum mast sourced from a Beneteau 50 whose owner wanted a taller rig.

As much work as was done to the boat, the second owner didn’t get much use out of it. “He sailed her maybe for an hour. And that was on a lake,” Martijn says. “He motored around a bit, too. But that was it.”

All the while Princes Mia was being worked on by that second owner, Martijn cruised aboard his sailboat Rotop, which he’d owned since he was 18. Starting about a half a decade ago, he stopped in at Oriental often, in the spring and the fall. A few years ago, he met his partner Ana. They had a daughter, Mia. Then, one day about three years ago, Martijn’s dad, who had been telling him he needed to buy a larger boat, called from Holland. He said, “I found your next boat.”

That boat was Princes Mia. Martijn bought her in 2011.

Prinses Mia and Rotop. Martijn put 70,000 miles under Rotop’s keel before selling her to continue cruising on his bigger boat. He says he cruised for years aboard Rotop on an average of $150 per month.

Martijn spent the next year and a half in the Netherlands completing his new boat. Though the man he purchased her from had spent years working on her, he had never completed the interior. And so, Martijn set to work. Using mostly salvaged materials, Martijn installed new cabinetry, a wood stove and much-needed storage. The floorboards in the forward stateroom were once used to dry Dutch cheese. The stains are still visible. The wood-burning stove was built from a car’s fuel tank.

Martijn heats aboard with wood. The tiles behind the wood stove are fastened with screws in the traditional Dutch manner.

Some of his varnish he used came from a dump in Bermuda. (Again, he wonders at what people toss away.) Other coatings, from bottom paint to two-part finishes, were sourced in like fashion. This explains the predominance of colors not often associated with yachting – the teal, the peach, and purple, tan, beige, and reds. “Most of my paint comes from the dump or the trash,” he says. “That’s why my color is so funny.”

Prinses Mia is a boat of many paints. Her name has more than one source as well. Prinses was the name of a boat Martijn’s dad bought when Martijn was 12 years old. She was pretty but wound up being scrapped for the engine. Mia is the name of Martijn’s daughter.
Martijn provisioned while in town. One advantage of a larger boat is being able to stock up on supplies where they’re cheapest. In addition to low prices, he took advantage of stocks he might not easily find in other countries – pork and beans and snack cakes. Though his diet is heavy on tinned goods and noodles, he says the Honey Buns are reserved for his daughter Mia.

In October 2012, Prinses Mia was ready. Martijn, Ana and Mia put to sea. Just over a year and 11,000 sea miles later, he made port in Oriental in early November. He arrived alone. Ana and Mia remained in Bermuda with Ana’s parents.

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Posted Tuesday November 26, 2013 by Bernie Harberts

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