Boat builders & brothers, Drs Muir & Oloff de Wet, were born two years apart and have been walking alongside each other since 1972.
Dr Muir de Wet is an adventure medical doctor fascinated by the limits of human ingenuity and aiming for space…after circumnavigating the globe, of course.
Dr Oloff de Wet (PhD) is a mathematician & engineer to whom the world is an equation that he can only attempt to solve by challenging its forces.
Ongemak was born as a “natural next step” after trekking through Africa for a year. “How will we top this?”, they asked. “Hmmm…perhaps we’ll build a boat from scratch and sail around the world” came the telepathic reply. We’re not sure if these word were ever spoken out loud. Roughly 5 years later, Ongemak started taking shape…the shape of an aluminium sloop loosely based on a Van de Stadt.
‘Ongemak’, the name of their boat, is the Afrikaans word for discomfort.
It was also the name of their grandfather’s farm, and from the moment that brothers Oloff & Muir came up with this name, it stuck, it grew, and sometimes became akin to a living force behind the project. It was a name that at once reflected their roots in the platteland far from the sea, as well as a sense of adventure and a willingness for sacrificing comfort and comfort-zones for new uncharted horizons.
“…break the pattern of thought which says more comfort means a better life. The good life has damn-all to do with comfort. The good life has to do with stretching mind and body…” – Reese Palley