Zuidkaper-48: one whale of a boat
NIJKERK _ Flevo Jachtbouw labels itself a “no-concessions yard.” No concessions to quality or design. The Dutch yachting daily Vaarkrant calls the yacht manufacturer “a textbook example of Dutch artisanal expertise.” All of its craft are big, bold and beautiful. They are cruisers with attitude, ranging from 12 to 30 m.
On the sail side, Flevo Jachtbouw produces only half a dozen boats. Its ‘Zuidkapers’ and ‘Noordkapers’ _ named for 2 types of right whales _ are cutters with generous spaces everywhere, right-angle bows and custom-built to a great degree. Zuidkapers have a fuller aft section. That’s where the master sleeps.
“By and large, owners of custom-built sail yachts all want the same,” Flevo Jachtbouw owner Aart Willert tells Vaarkrant. “The layout and equipment choices are not really all that different from people moving into a new house. They too, must decide where the bathroom goes, what sort of kitchen they want.” It’s easy to like Flevo Jachtbouw’s designs in motor and sailing yachts. For one thing: they are large _ from 13 to 30m _ and ooze a no-nonsense approach to comfort.
A Vaarkrant review of the Zuidkaper-48 gave the yacht a thumbs-up. Two eye-catching features: gear to lower and raise the mast and a full bathtub down below. Vaarkrant:
“That bath is made by the yard. You just don’t buy a full bath for 15m yacht at do-it-yourself store. The ability to lower the mast gives the boat a minimum clearance of only 3.25m. The lifting center board yields a minimum draft of only 1.35m.
“Down below are 6 beds and an interior so roomy it may be called a modest apartment. The woodwork is lightly tinted oak. Despite a displacement of 23 ton (incl. 5.5 tons of ballast), this steel yacht speeds up quickly and has great sailing characteristics at a hull speed of 8 knots. Electric winches are within reach, the decks are easily accessed and the wheelhouse offers a wide, protected all-around view.
“The finishing is what you expect from a super-yacht yard. The boat can be steered down below (but) the sails can only be adjusted outside. This is a yacht tailored-made suit for people who want to make miles.”