My name is Bert van Baar and I am a teacher/boatbuilder in the Netherlands.
My teaching came first as I was tired of working in the industrie for too long (sailor, diesel mechanic, proces operator in the oil industry, etc.) and when I saw the nice work my wife had: she was a Montessori-teacher at a primary school, I was sold and stopped working as a technician.
After 3 years of study I got my own Montessori teaching job in a little town called Hoorn, yes the town that gave her name to Cape Horn. I moved from Amsterdam to a small village nearby and after a few years we started a family. I have two beautiful daughters.
My boatbuilding came later when I had a sabbatical leave of 7 months when I learned to build my own boat! But during that course, that took three months, I was asked to take over the boat building school! Wauw! It was like music in my ears: After about 20 years of teaching kids to read and write, teaching adults how to build their wooden boat! That was in spring 2002 and now I am the proud owner of De Bootbouwschool, having build about 70 boats since in courses and for profit.
This not only changed my working-life for the better, in many ways I got less stressed and had more joy; I got divorced very soon after the school take-over and met my current wife Johanna with whom I live a pleasant en joyful life.
After the financial crisis ‘was organized’ and hit the world in 2008, that slowly dried up my boatbuilding clients, I got involved in boatbuilding as a teacher at the Hout & Meubilerings College in Amsterdam in 2011. Here classes of up to 16 students build their own boat, from 14′ sailboats to 18′ runabouts and everything in between. Even one student wants to build an 18′ airplane this year! OK, it is a hull too ….
And here I am, building a 16m2 in the WoodenBoatCentre in the beautiful township called Franklin, Tasmania. I feel lucky and happy!