Xp Bonaire IslandLife Feature Story
Karel's Watersport Boat Rental, located at Karel's Pier in downtown Kralendijk, is the result of the adventurous life of Judith and Patrick, a couple with a profound love for the water and sailing.
Judith's family had already established a strong connection with boats and the water thanks to her father's involvement in inland shipping. So, when she met Patrick, they quickly discovered their shared passion for water and travel adventures. In fact, Patrick even owned a fixer-upper boat, which marked the beginning of an exciting chapter in their lives.
After working for the same employer for 12 years, Judith and Patrick made the bold decision to quit their jobs. Judith worked as a medical secretary and Patrick worked in a printing shop. Their shared dream of sailing and living closer to the water led them on an adventurous year-long journey across the Atlantic Ocean in 2010. Upon their return to the Netherlands, they found work at the marina in Lelystad, even though Patrick initially had reservations about the long 2-hour commute to his job.
In 2018, they embarked on another sailing adventure, with the Canary Islands as their final destination. They faced the challenge of the Spanish language and worked hard to finance their dream. Ultimately, their adventure led them to Bonaire, where they had been living on their boat for nearly 5 years. The desire for land grew stronger.
Now, after 4 years of residing on Bonaire, they are still here and have found their place. Patrick was able to find work in construction and later as a mechanic for Epic Tours. During this time, they crossed paths with Karel Visser, whose grandfather owned an old fishing boat. This later led to the idea of boat rental, and they became partners in Karels Watersport.
Their motto is "Be your own captain," offering a unique experience of captaining your own boat. Karel's Watersport offers two exclusive sloops, the Black Pearl and White Pearl, where guests can peacefully and leisurely cruise the waters. The boat rental also provides a faster alternative, a console boat, Fast Pearl, for water sports enthusiasts. Guests can bring their own drinks and food or order from Karels Pier. The boat comes with a cooler box filled with ice. They offer half-day and full-day rentals for up to 6 people, comfortably accommodating 4 adults. Prices start at $185.
Future plans include acquiring a sportier and bigger boat. Judith manages the administration and customer service, while Patrick takes care of maintenance, repairs, and welcoming guests. They even take the time to show beginners how to operate the boats.
Although they dream of future travels and buying a catamaran, life on Bonaire has surprised them, and they are content with what they have built. They hope to explore more of Central America, the Caribbean, and perhaps return to Europe in their old age. Bonaire, with its tranquil atmosphere, friendly people, and stunning waters, has stolen their hearts and offered an unexpected adventure for which they are grateful and enjoy every moment of it.
+599 701 1025
4 hours USD 185
9am – 1 pm
1:30- 5:30 pm
8 hours USD 345-
9 am – 5 pm