SAILING LIFE WITH DEHLER: THE STORIES OF RALF, LÁSZLÓ, AND KENN

SAILING LIFE WITH DEHLER: THE STORIES OF RALF, LÁSZLÓ, AND KENN

10 October 2023

Our winners of the Dehler Owner Story Contest

In the world of Dehler, enthusiasts from all walks of life and of every age are captivated, drawn to the siren call of the open sea with their distinct stories of commitment and adventure. In this article, we spotlight the narratives of the Dehler Owner Story Contest winners: Ralf, László, and Kenn. Dive in with us to uncover the profound influence Dehler boats have made in their lives. Their journeys echo the timeless appeal of the open waters, the delight in building bonds with family and friends, and the ongoing call to adventure that beckons.

Always at the Helm of a Dehler: Ralf's Unwavering Dedication to Dehler Yachts

In the diverse universe of sailing, enthusiasts span a wide spectrum, but Ralf's brand loyalty to Dehler is unparalleled. His passion has always been centered on Dehler yachts. From local regattas to coastal voyages, every chapter of Ralf's sailing story showcases his deep-rooted love for Dehler boats.

Ralf's Sailing Adventure Started with the Agile Dehler K4

Ralf's introduction to the sailing world was through the nimble and agile Dehler K4. More than just a race-ready sailboat, the K4 became an integral part of family vacations, always hitched and ready behind their RV for spontaneous adventures. A highlight of Ralf's sailing escapades was competing in the NRW Cup in Lelystad, underscoring his fervor for competitive sailing.

Over the Years, Ralf Craved a More Comfortable Sail Tailored to His Wife's Desires

That's when the Dehler SPRINTA 70 entered their lives, becoming their go-to for countless trips. Their voyages took them through Amsterdam's scenic canals, the tranquil waters of Delfzijl, and the mesmerizing Danish South Seas. The boat also made a name for itself in the "Rhine Week" races, showcasing Dehler's unparalleled craftsmanship and performance. Presently, the SPRINTA-70 remains a treasured part of their collection, docked at Sechs-Seenplatte in Duisburg and providing solace amidst the challenges of the COVID-19 era.

Embarking on New Adventures: Ralf's Dedication to Dehler Boats

Four years back, Ralf and his wife set sail on a new chapter, securing a Dehler 28, anchored in Stavoren, Netherlands. Choosing to live aboard for a season, they embraced the summer as privateers, reflecting the boat's fusion of luxury and functionality. Thrilled by the journey, they're gearing up for an even bigger escapade next year, setting their sights on the picturesque Rügen area.

Several aspects underscore Ralf's steadfast commitment to Dehler:

  • Unmatched Craftsmanship & Durability: Dehler's renowned for its precision and resilient build. Time and again, Ralf's boats have withstood countless trips and still gleam like new.

  • Stellar Sailing Features: Recognized for their superior sailing dynamics, Dehler boats, by virtue of their design and mechanics, offer a delightful sailing experience, be it in competitive regattas or serene coastal cruises.

  • Effortless Solo Handling: Dehler's emphasis on user-centricity ensures even lone sailors, such as Ralf, maneuver their vessels with ease and safety from the helm.

Ralf's maritime chronicles with Dehler paints a picture of timeless elegance and allure of these boats. From the spry K4 and the plush SPRINTA-70 to the contemporary Dehler 28, his odysseys resonate with thrill, delight, and deep respect for Dehler's craftsmanship. And as Ralf and his significant other venture into uncharted waters aboard their treasured Dehler crafts, one sentiment echoes: "Always Dehler on the trailer."

From Novice to Skipper: László and Nati

Sailing is more than just a hobby for many; it's a lifelong passion that ignites the spirit and fosters a deep connection with the sea and the wind. For László from Hungary, his love affair with sailing began later in life, at the age of 59, but it has since become an integral part of his identity. He has shared his remarkable journey with his beloved boat "Nati" with us,  a Dehler Delanta manufactured in 1976.

László sailing odyssey commenced in 2015 when a friend offered him an opportunity that he couldn't resist—an invitation to sail on Lake Balaton, Hungary's largest lake. The boat of choice was "Nati," a Dehler Delanta with a rich history. Setting sail from the marina, they turned off the engine, and surrendered to the whims of the wind. László's friend started teaching him sailing, and after several outings, he entrusted him with the helm, saying he could take the boat out anytime solo. The feeling of accomplishment and relaxation was palpable, and in September 2015, László proudly passed his sailing exam.

The newfound passion for sailing were so compelling that when his friend decided to sell the boat in 2019, László couldn't resist. "Nati" became his own, and he embarked on a journey to explore her history. Over the time she quickly proved her mettle. In the Yardstick III group, he achieved remarkable results in various competitions. For example in the prestigious Kékszalag race, Europe's oldest and longest-distance lake-circumnavigation race for sailing boats, he secured both 1st and 3rd places. In the Hungarian Sailing Federation YS Trophy 2022, László ranked 32nd out of 93 registered boats, showcasing his prowess on the water.

With her 47 years "Nati" stands as a testament to excellent maintenance and care by her previous owners. With mostly original parts and equipment, she remains remarkably stable and capable of handling strong winds. László even contemplated taking her to the Adriatic Sea—a testament to the boat's reliability. She isn't just a sailboat; she's a source of cherished memories for family and friends. László's sailing adventures primarily involve his close-knit group of friends, numbering eight in total. They navigate Lake Balaton and the Adriatic Sea, exploring the beauty of Croatian islands and Italian waters. László also invests in sail and rigging inspections, always aiming for peak performance. The boat's equipment list boasts numerous improvements, from autopilot to instruments and winches, enhancing the sailing experience.

The journey with "Nati" is a testament to the enduring allure of sailing. Despite starting later in life, his passion has propelled him to remarkable achievements in both racing and cruising. "Nati" is not just a boat; it's a vessel of dreams, a repository of memories, and a symbol of László's unwavering passion for the open water.

Kenn and His Beloved Boat "Jester": A Journey of Family, Adventure, and Legacy

In 1998, Kenn embarked on a lifelong journey with his trusty companion “Jester”, a Dehler 37 yacht that has been a constant source of joy, adventure, and cherished memories. Over the years, Kenn and his family have raced, cruised, and explored the vast expanse of the Atlantic Ocean, from the shores of Maine to the beautiful islands of the Bahamas. Through the decades, Jester has not only been a sailboat but a conduit for love of the ocean, bonding with family and friends, and making unforgettable memories. 

"We bought Jester new in 1998 and continue to sail her. We have raced, cruised from Maine to The Bahamas while introducing sailing and a love of the ocean to our three kids. Now introducing the grandkids to her. All along with too many upgrades to count," says Kenn, reminiscing about the incredible journey he has had with his yacht. His loyalty to his boat has defied the norms of boat ownership. While many boat owners typically upgrade every few years, Kenn's response to his broker's surprise was simple, "Why would I? This boat has been everything we ever needed." Jester has proven herself to be fast, easy to sail, and comfortable for cruising. It's a testament to the enduring quality and satisfaction that Kenn has derived from his beloved yacht.

Jester has called the South Shore Yacht Club (SSYC) in Weymouth, Massachusetts, her home port since day one. It has served as the perfect base for Kenn's numerous sailing adventures along the East Coast. They had a full schedule of racing events and he also took part in specialty races like the Chapman Cup and The Great Chase Race. However, since retiring in 2017, Kenn and his wife, Jo, have shifted their focus to more leisurely cruises. They now prefer to enjoy the comfort of their boat and the beauty of the ocean without the pressures of competitive racing. Sailing has always been a family affair for him. When his children were younger, they joined him on countless sailing trips. Now, the grandkids are the newest members of the sailing crew, with Kenn and Jo introducing them to the joy of cruising. 

One of the standout features of Jester that Kenn loves the most is its exceptional sailing performance. It's a sailboat that can easily be handled by a small crew while offering the flexibility to adapt to various wind conditions. Additionally, its solid and well-built construction provides Kenn and his family with the confidence they need while exploring the open waters. Jester's functional interior ensures that the journey is as comfortable as it is exhilarating.

As Kenn looks ahead to the future, he envisions more exciting adventures on the horizon. An extended trip to Maine is on the cards for next year, and another journey to the Bahamas remains a tantalizing possibility. With Jester by his side, the possibilities are limitless, and the ocean continues to beckon.

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