Véhicule Magazine: Import / Export with Jef de Jong

"I grew up in Holland, where there wasn't much offshore action. In place of that, my love for speed brought me to motorbikes and cars, and eventually to boats. I was a classic sports car dealer for most of my life, and I would go to Miami in the '80s to buy cars and ship them to Holland. Most of the dealers that I worked with there also owned offshore boats, so it was in Miami that I had my first Cigarette, Apache and Sutphen rides.

I bought my first offshore boats after I moved to Phuket, Thailand 26 years ago. In Thailand, I continued my car business and started doing car and bike rentals. 15 years ago, I decided to buy a real offshore boat. I imported a 37 Apache knockoff hull from Florida. I was probably the first guy to ship a 37' on its side in a 40' sea freight container.

I sold the hull already before it arrived with a local "Ben Kramer." Later, I imported a Sanger Alley Cat, and once again got an offer that I couldn't refuse. I then bought a local Formula Fastech, and after that a Scarab 377. Last but not least, I then imported my beloved Top Banana."

Read more about the 80's offshore powerboat culture in Véhicule 2020.

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