Pirates of happiness

Babsi Holler and Eric Merten, a couple from Germany, has started out an interesting journey. Not just to live out their own dream, but also to inspire and motivate others to do the same.

On a sunny day in May 2018, Babsi and Eric visits the Elvstrøm Sails loft in Denmark to have a look at the construction of the sails that are going to empower a new chapter of their lives on board Makani, a Amel Super Maramu, 53 feet.
“We spoke to 3-4 sailmakers at Hanseboot, but when we came to Elvstrøm Sails and spoke with Jochen Reimer, we immediately felt in “safe haven”. When we told that we had an Amel Super Maramu, Jochen simply said no problem. And he spent time with us, to guide us and inspire us – with competence and sympathy.”

Babsi and Eric picked up on an exciting journey in their 53 feet boat - powered by Elvstrøm Sails of course.

2020 is the big milestone

“Three years ago, we started reading sailing books, bought our first boat – a Shark 24 – and started sailing on the Rhine. But quickly we realized that we need to sail in the “real” ocean and as we learned more and more our dream started getting clearer and clearer. And one day, Eric simply said; “In 2020 we go.” Go sailing for 3-5 years, that is. The couple now plans, prepares, practices and learns every day.

During the Summer of 2018, Babsi and Eric are going to sail from Malaga to Gibraltar, to Madeira, to the Azores and then back. To train and gain miles, that they need to get the RYA Yacht master. In 2019 the Med is calling and then in 2020 the big journey will start.

“Our vision is to coach others to take the step out of the comfort zone and into the dream. The plan is to invite people on-board for short, but intense coaching. We have a background as lifestyle coaches and has worked with psychological counselling. And our hope is that when people go on board they say; I want to do ….., and when the disembark, the say; I will do….!”
If you want to follow the couple, check out their blog and stay tuned here as well.


Jochen Reimer from Elvstrøm Sails tells about the sails and the background for choosing these; “The trip is not planned on “Barefoot route” only. Babsi and Eric want to go `round the Capes too, needs again stronger sails as for normal circumnavigation – at least the heavy weather stuff.     

Large genoa on furler is for upwind to about 25 knots, partly reefed more. Therefore, with reef compensation E-Flex. Downwind it will stay full sized in much stronger breeze. With acrylic UV, it can stay on furler when arrived, is protected against sunlight.

In-Mast furling main with short battens for better leech control and some 10% more size as main without battens is an effective upwind sail. Fully battened EMS would have been the next step in performance, but mast`s sail slot of Super Maramu is a bit too narrow for vertical full EMS battens.  

Furling mizzen is planned as real storm sail, without batten, to make it as solid as possible. Can sail with Cutter jib on hanks, as heavy weather jib, hoisted on removable wire stay. And for real storm, it is with smart reef, like reef in conventional main. A tuff job on foredeck in typically more than 30 knots of wind and heavy waves, but much easier to do as take it down, stow away and hoist a storm jib.”