Adventure Cruising

Sunday Island – Koopmans 45

“Sunday Island” is a Koopmans 45 designed by Dick Koopmans Sr and built by Aluboot in 1984.  We purchased Sunday Island in October 2001 at Hinderoopen NL, sailed her to Lelystad where we dropped the rigs, lifted up the centreboard and entered the canal system to achieve a life long ambition to sail a yacht via Canal systems from the Netherlands to the Mediterranean via Paris.

Koopmans yachts are famous for their cruising and expedition pedigree and they can be found all around the world.  A list of other Koopmans cruising can be found at It is hard to find a Koopmans sitting idle in a marina. These boats are built for serious cruising.

Like other Koopmans, Sunday Island is simple in design and operation but has many outstanding features.  To start with she is built in 6mm alloy plate and is a go-anywhere cruiser.  She has internal ballast with a centreboard allowing us to raise the centreboard from her sailing draft of 2.4m to a shallow water draft of 1.3m.  The lifting centreboard is not only great for cruising European canals, it enables us to get in close to the beach, up estuary’s, and into the mangroves when needed.

Sunday Island is Ketch rigged, with an air draft of 19m, so she has plenty of sail area when needed, but sail can be reduced to a mere 6m2 when sailing in the fun stuff! Due to our limited time in the Netherlands and the looming winter I have not sailed Sunday Island as much as I would have liked, however, the sailing we did in 10-30kts she sailed like a dream with a hull speed of 7kts and perfectly balanced at any angle of sail.

Koopmans 45 Specifications:

  • Designer:  Dick Koopmans Sr.
  • Builder: Aluboot N.L
  • Dimensions: Length x Beam x Draft: 13.85m x 3.9m x 2.45m (1.3m)
  • Air Draft 19m
  • Construction: Aluminium 6mm plate throughout.  Deck has teak laid on top
  • Displacement 15t (6.9T Lead internal ballast)
  • Fitout: Teak fitout with Teak and holly floor boards
  • Rig: Ketch Rig with Proctor Aluminium Masts
  • Sails: North Sails Mainsail 32m², Missen 15m², Genoa 52m², SS 20m², J1 40m², Code 0 58m², Trisail 15m², Storm jib 6m², 2 x Gennakers (can be used as twins or Spinnaker) 135m²
  • Engine: Perkins 4236 85hp Diesel
  • Steering: VW Rack and pinion with Aries Wind Vane and B&G Pilot
  • Instruments: B&G
  • Accommodation: Double and single bed aft, 2 x bed v-berth cabin forward,
  • Guest Accommodation: Saloon can be converted for 3 guest beds
  • Tanks: Diesel 400L, Fresh H20 400L, Black/Grey 80L
  • Anchor: 40kg Delta, 25kg CQR, 15kg Fortress, 60m Stainless Steel 5mm Chain
  • Electrical: 3 x 12V 180AH Gel Batteries
  • Solar: 4 x 12V 30W Panels, 2 x 12V 100W Panels

Sunday Island is now registered in Valetta Malta and we are sailing her towards the Mediterranean via the French Canals.  We plan to be back in the Med in April 2022 where we will complete a mini refit before cruising the Med until November 2022 and then crossing the Atlantic and beyond (Hopefully Pacific).


Richard Hewson has raced and worked on yachts and ships since his teenage years.  Richard has circumnavigated the world previously, crossed the Atlantic three times, Pacific twice, Raced in the Mini-Transat and has cruised to some very exotic locations including 8 voyages to Antarctica.

Emilie Martinet has worked on classic yachts and more recently superyachts for over 10 years and has over 11 Atlantic crossings under her belt.

Issy (2016) and Max Hewson (2017) also enjoy cruising Sunday Island and making her their home.

Planned Route

Our planned route is continually changing due to the world wide Pandemic. Thanks to the Pandemic we are constantly mulling over Jimmy Cornell’s “World Cruising Routes” and watching “Noonsite” webpage and talking to our friends stuck in exotic locations around the world to work out where we can go next. Passage planning is an adventure in itself and we have learnt not to plan more than 6 months in advance then let the seasons and the pandemic entry requirements determine our route.

Previous Yachts and adventures

Scorpio II is a Curran 46 Cruising cutter rigged sloop cruising yacht. Emilie and I purchased Scorpio II in 2014 and sailed her around Australia, with the intention to sail around the world. During our voyage we moved ashore to Tasmania for the berth of our children, and cruised around Tasmania until Issy and Max were old enough to go further afield and proposed another circumnavigation commencing March 2020.

If you wish to scroll back through our blogs you can read all about our previous adventures.


Scorpio II was purchased in 2014 and sold in 2001 because we could not get back to Australia and continue cruising due to the Covid Pandemic.  We have since bought our new boat in Europe Sunday Island