The Askoy II, the yacht which took Jacques Brel (1929-1978) to the Marquesas Islands, will be refurbished in Zeebrugge, revealed the port authorities on Wednesday, confirming information released by the Save Askoy II association. The dilapidated vessel was taken from Ostend to Rupelmonde to be renovated in 2010. The refurbishment is going well, but the association is looking for new premises after the shipyard where the boat was docked, De Nieuwe Scheldewerven, went bankrupt last October.
MBZ (Brugse Zeehaven Company) signed an agreement with the association on Wednesday (which happens to be Jacques Brel’s birthday). The Askoy II will be sheltered in a MBZ warehouse, where the refurbishment will continue. The boat is expected there next week.
“Grand Jacques” bought the yacht in 1974 to go to the Marquesas. His journey took him to Hiva Oa Island, where he made his home. The Askoy II was sold in 1974 and travelled to New Zealand. It returned to Belgium in 2010.