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my folkboat story

I grew up in the Netherlands, in one of the rare parts where there isn't much water around. I didn't sail too much during my youth as a result of that. I had an interest in boats though, simply because they're nice and can make you dream. The first time a saw a picture of a Folkboat I was taken by it. I thought it was beautiful and extremely well suited for dreams.

Although I did crew on a 34 foot sail yacht one summer, it was only years later that I really got into sailing. I was in my thirties already when I bought a weekend cottage on the shore of a lake. A 420 and later a Laser dinghy made me develop a feeling for it.

As things go when you sail, I read magazines and attended boat shows. On top of that I visited Denmark during holidays pretty often. The Folkboat kept on popping up, in magazines, boat shows and in reality, especially in Denmark. So, one day my wife Mariëtte and I decided that this dream should become more of a reality and we drove to Denmark.

The idea was to see the company where they are built, have a close look at a new one and gather information and may be find out whether there would be used ones for sale. It turned out a very exciting weekend.

Erik Andreasen, the owner of Folkebåd Centralen was awaiting us on a December Saturday afternoon. He showed us his company, compact, tidy and very well maintained; very Danish! His showroom contained three beautiful brand new boats. Talking about dreams! Extremely convincing though, were the thirty or so Folkboats, belonging to people in the neighborhood that were stored outside at the Marina premises. Some of them were older than fifteen years and they all looked great. It made us decide to buy a new one exactly according to our wishes. All of this was accompanied by Tuborg beer and Gamle Dansk (you'll find out, one day!).

Didn't I sail it before I bought it? To tell you the truth; no I didn't, I went for her looks and trusted all these reports that call her sailing abilities legendary. And I trusted Erik. "If you like sailing a Laser, you'll be very pleased with a Folkboat", he said. That turned out to be exactly true. The rigs of both boats are simple and effective. Although in a different way, the Folkboat will respond to every adjustment of the trim. It is a boat that you sail with your butt and your finger tips, just like the Laser.

You might think that this was a very impulsive buy, but it is time now to take side step and elaborate a bit on Folkebåd centralen and Erik Andreasen.

Folkboat Atlantic
Folkboat Atlantic

Folkebåd centralen as

Folkebåd centralen as was established by Erik Andreasen in 1977 after the Scandinavian Yacht Racing Union had given its blessing to the fiber version of the folkboat.

Erik was already a very successful sailor in the Folkboat by then. He is not just a good sailor, he is an excellent sailor and I would guess that if he had sailed an Olympic class, he would have been a medalist. His heart and soul has always been with the Folkboat and in hindsight one could say that he is very much responsible for the Folkboat being the vivid class it still is.

Folkebåd centralen is not just another boat building company. Its existence is completely linked to the folkboat. Over the years they’ve built around a thousand of them (mine was # 843). The company just built Folkboats. Only recently the Nordic Cruiser project was developed. This devotion to the folkboat led to a manufacturing process that has reached already in an early stage a level of perfection, both in quality and in efficiency.

There is an interesting reciprocity between the owners of all Folkboats in the world and the prospective buyers of Folkboats from Folkebåd centralen. Since the Folkboat is a one design class the many parts of which it is comprised fit all the four thousand, wooden and fiber ones, that are sailing around. Masts, booms, shrouds, all fittings, lines and much more are produced, not just for the app. forty new boats but also as after market parts for the other four thousand. It keeps prices of the new boats and for the parts at a pleasantly low level.

Erik Andreasen still races the Folkboat and two years ago he won the Gold cup for the sixth time. He spends every summer holiday cruising a Folkboat. This has led to ongoing developments, be it within the limitations of a strict one design class.

You’ll be surprised by a lot of small but very clever details. Detailing that reflects the Scandinavian and especially the Danish way of live. Serious about sailing and joyful at the same time. So, you’ll find a simple but extremely effective elastic strap that enables you to operate the winch while staying at the windward side. You’ll also find beer bottle holders on exactly the right spot. And you’ll enjoy the Scandinavian design and craftsmanship of the curved helmsman’s thwart.

Folkebåd Centralen has built more than a thousands Folkboats since it started in 1977. Mine was their 843rd and I’ve never heard nor read anything negative about Folkboats of Kerteminde. After seven years my “Skierkert” still looks great and is now very much admired in Nova Scotia.


Nova Scotia

In 1999 Mariëtte and I cycled through Nova Scotia. Mariëtte had been there before, for me it was the first time and it was love at first sight. It is vast, has a very large and varied coast line.

There are wonderful beaches, magnificent bays and an Atlantic "feel". The connection to the other side of the Atlantic Ocean is very present. Cycling around you can be reminded to Scotland (indeed), but also to the Swedish west coast, there is some Danish Jutland and Fyn "going on" as well and Kingsburg, where we live has something of the Frisian Islands to it. Following the coast line on our bikes I also could imagine myself sailing here. These waters looked as if especially created for a Folkboat!

Back home in Holland, this strong feeling for Nova Scotia did not fade away as is mostly the case once the holiday is over, it actually kept on growing on us. Turning another dream into reality was our next step in life. We moved to Nova Scotia in January 2003. We bought land in Kingsburg, near Lunenburg and our house is currently under construction.

Before we moved, I visited Erik Andreasen in Kerteminde once more. There is quite a fleet of Folkboats in the San Francisco area, but only a few at the east coast of North America. We agreed that it would be well worth a try and Folkboat Atlantic was born. I've become a member of Lunenburg Yacht Club and "Skierkert" is moored there in summer, ready to sail Mahone Bay anytime.

The waters of Nova Scotia's South Shore are a sailor's paradise. Wonderful bays, many islands and seals, dolphins and whales that accompany you.