Hi, we're the Sailing Empire Family

A couple who sails with their English Stafford
Read all about our sailing yacht 'Boreas'

The Family of Sailing Empire

Meet the family

Marit was born in September 1986, in Eindhoven, but came into the world on the day her parents were moving to Vlissingen. What a stressful day that must have been, right? Anyway, she probably really wanted to be a ‘Brabo’.

She grew up by the sea and was always drawn to it. With her father she used to look at ships through the lens of binoculars from the beach. He was a radio communicator on board, using morse code.

When Marit was a teenager she moved to Alkmaar, also close to the sea and when she was an adolescent, she moved to Apeldoorn.

In all those years living close by the sea Marit never had sailing lessons, but she loved to be at the waterfront. The only experience she had on a sailing vessel, was the one of visiting her uncle and aunt who lived on a sailing yacht.

She is a virtual assistant and a business coach for female entrepreneurs. A perfect working situation for traveling the world through sailing.




Jelle was born in May of 1979. Born and raised in Apeldoorn. He grew up as a curious boy. Once he found a bullet and thought it was a good idea to cut in two with a saw. Yeah, bad idea! He learned a lesson but his interest in gathering knowledge grew

As a teenager he went to the “LTS” and here he learned the true basics of technic. Jelle is now a ‘Handy Man’. No matter what subject he needs to figure out, he will figure it out. He will always be humble about it, but I’m ( his wife ) always amazed by what solutions he finds to all those boat projects. Probably the most lessons learned could be on our first sailing yacht ‘Rebelsje’. She was a Solution 1/2 tonner of 29ft. She got a lot of TLC from us. Jelle replaced the instruments, repaired leakages from the deck and replaced lots of pot nails.

Jelle also hadn’t had any experience with sailing except for a single day windsurfing and maybe being on a boat while fishing.

Jelle is a programmer and has is own online company. He has been working from home for over 18 years and with the new Starlink on board his work can come with us too. 



Stewie was born in March of 2021, in Sprang Capelle. He came home with us on 12 May. Marit was over the moon because finally a child hood dream came true, she finally had a puppy. Stewie is the best dog you could ever wished for. With hours of training, playing and cuddling Stewie really is grown into the family.

Captain Cardinal, as we joke because of his life jacket, is growing up to be a real captain. On Rebelsje he had is first sailing experience. It was not the best. It was the first sail of the season and it blew 23 to 28 knots. When the sails came up, the excitement on board got higher, as the tension. After two tacks Marit and Jelle decided that it was best to go back. 

It was time to take it slow. So we did. The next sail was a lot easier and with the wind passing his face and his nose in the air, Stewie could get used to the feeling of the boat. After that we anchored a couple of day’s so Stewie could get used of being transported by dinghy to land. 

Although it was doable, the decision for a bigger sailing yacht was made. A little bit more space and comfort would be best for everyone. So now Stewie is getting used to it better and better. They learned that Stewie doesn’t want to be inside when Marit and Jelle are outside. Also using a plank to get on and of the boat works better than picking Stewie up. 

There are still lots of lessons to be learned. It would be amazing if Stewie learned how to potty on board so longer sails could be made. If it will never happen, it will be fine to because there are still lot’s of possibilities with short sails. Stewie probably does it on purpose because now there will be more city’s to be discovered. 




How the ‘Love for Sailing’ originated!

Jelle and Marit have been together since 2006, since 2019 they’ve been married and Stewie became a part of the family since 2021.

Learning how to sail

Back in 2012, when on a holiday, they decided to see if they would like to sail and if living on the water, on a sailing yacht, would be a possibility for us. They ended up taking sailing lessons in . CWO 1 and CWO 2 ( standing for Commissie Watersport Opleidingen translated to English –> water sports training committee ) were quickly a fact and they fell in love with sailing. During the summer of 2014 there was a “Holiday Course” which you could do with our sailing school. A trip from the Netherlands to Scandinavië: Norway – Sweden – Denmark. Marit and Jelle went on this trip to get more confidence and experience in off shore sailing.


In 2015 their first sailing yacht was a fact. An old Solution 29. She was a competitive sailor from 1976. She was really fast and perfect for us. You could take her out at sea, she even had sailed in New York. Her name was Elsje. They really wanted to make her their own, but not change the name. So they called her Rebelsje. ‘Elsje’ was still in the name, but Rebelsje fitted beter with them. Rebelsje, meaning little rebel, because Marit and Jelle have always been a little rebellion, like changing the name is a little rebel.

The big adventure

In 2016 and 2017 they sailed in Scandinavië. The first season was with a lot of downs. They had trouble with the clamping hub of the propeller shaft. Also the ball valve of the toilet was broken. And when ‘safely’ in the harbour a motor yacht collided with Rebelsje. The decision was made to sail the same area next season, hopefully with a little more luck. The second season was a lot better even though the sail back to the Netherlands was a rough one, but that’s a good story for another time.

The change!

After a few years being ‘not so much’ on the water it was time for a change. Rebelsje got a little too small for Marit, Jelle and Stewie. Also their plans were a little bit too big for Rebelsje. So they decided to search for a new floating home and Boreas was found in 2022. At that time her name was Lady G. She is a Najad 361 from 1996, delivered in 1997. She is been well taken care of and she came with a lot of extra’s, as you will learn in time.

They hope you like to follow a long in their new adventures and they want to thank you for reading this blog. If you like, you can also follow us on Instagram @sailingempire.


Recent Travels

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