In 2016, neither Andreas nor Caroline – better known on Instagram as @sailing_zen - had ever tried to own or sail a sailing boat. Yet, the appeal of living on and near the water became the factor that eventually moved the Copenhagen-based couple away from living in an actual apartment and soon called their boat “home”.
Andreas is an avid fisherman, having fished most of his life and sailing trolling boats, but making the switching to sails was something new. Caroline on the other hand, was not out of a sailing family by any means – yet she gave it a chance, and although the idea was to try living on the boat for two years, the couple quickly caught the sailing bug with their first yacht, a Fijian 43.
The initial idea was to give the boat life a chance for two years as a minimum:
- We bought our first sailing boat in 2016 with the idea of using it as our full-time home. After seeking advice from a good friend who is an avid racer, we made the decision and ended up signing on the Fijian 43. We did shorter trips and weekends in it and learned a lot of things the hard way – manouvering 20 tonnes without bowthrusters does take a bit of concentration… It did however provide lots of learning which we have made great use of ever since, the duo says.
Life on Instagram became a sort of sailing diary as Andreas and Caroline want to share the best of sailing with the world. The objective is and will never be to hunt for big numbers or anything – just to give something back to the place that also inspired them to give sailing the big chance.
- To us, Instagram is a sort of diary. We collect the best photos and videos from our trips around Denmark as we think it’s a great way to memorize them. We also try to make our posts in a way that could inspire others to visit a new part of Denmark or even just a given marina. We like to give something back to the sailing community on Instagram. It has provided us with tons and tons of inspiration, and it is so cool to follow other sailors in their travels no matter where they sail. You will also notice that we are not really showing ourselves on the profile. It was a decision we made early on – our profile is not here to promote anything else than the good life of sailing – not us personally.
A new boat and new goals
Whilst his connections in the sailing world have given Andreas a lot of experience ever since, he has also started racing. Joining in on some races made him take the plunge and start racing in Lazers. And while living the best of boat life for four years on the Fijian, the couple also did their certificates of competency whilst starting to dream of an upgrade to the boat that became their current one: ZEN.
- We thoroughly enjoyed our four years on our first boat – we enjoyed the warmth of summer and also ice winters where the boat was stuck in the ice. Yet, after four years, we opted for the general advantages of a newer boat. As ever, we started searching and came across the Beneteau Oceanis range. We were considering 38.1’s as well as the 41.1, which we ended up going for. We found our 2018 model for sale in Olpenitz in Germany and eventually bought it in august 2020 – and named it ZEN as the name reflects what sailing means for the both of us.
ZEN is running Elvstrøm Sails and came with two sets. Set 1 is the stock set of Dacrons which the Beneteau was delivered with in 2018. Adding to the wardrobe, Andreas and Caroline also have a set of EPEX. These are vectran/technora-based with a liteskin taffeta and 5 full battens.
- Our EPEX is the main set of sails, and then we run the Dacrons as spares. They are also good for sailing in the outer season or winter which we also want to use the Dacrons for. Adding to the wardrobe, we also have an Elvstrøm Gennaker with spisock. The gennaker measures 122 square metres and is an absolute breeze to handle. So easy and controllable, which is great for sailing doublehanded as we usually do, Andreas says.
Exploring Denmark by water
Since making the move and buying their first boat, Andreas and Caroline have spent many weekends sailing around Denmark and Sweden.
- We love being on the boat. It’s hard to explain, but you bond with nature in some way – the boat moves with the weather, you hear the rain and so on. It creates a fantastic atmosphere no matter the season, and we really enjoy having the chance to go for any kind of trip. The other part is that the boat is always packed and ready to go which just makes it that much easier to get an impulsive idea and sail. Sailing has also taken us to so many places around Denmark which we would otherwise have never gone to.
And just a month ago, Andreas and Caroline became parents for the first time. It also means that ZEN is no longer their permanent home in Copenhagen – yet they still make sure to go sailing.
- We became parents recently – for the first time. And our son Villum has already been with us on trips with sleepovers. We hope he will get to enjoy the life onboard as much as we do, but it also means that we are not living full time on ZEN anymore. We have rented an apartment close to the marina here, so our boat is now going to serve as our holiday home on the water, Andreas and Caroline say.
Moving back ashore has not stopped any dreams for the crew on ZEN. They hope the future will bring a long cruise – preferably further afield:
- We have a big dream which we would love to fulfil someday – to go further afield and explore the Mediterranean through a full year on ZEN. It does of course take some preparation and saving up to travel for a full year, but we hope to make it happen in the future, Andreas and Caroline end.