Yacht & Coast

Days of Yore

Marching back in time, with passion

April 5, 2014 by robert in Days of Yore, NL Excel, Sail with 0 Comments

EDAM ~ Nowhere does yachting history come alive more grandly than at Hoek Design Naval Architects. Hoek Design is very active in the revival of J-class yachts of 1930s America’s Cup racing. Apart from Lionheart _ which has been racing for 2 years now _ 2 more are now being built in the Netherlands, one each at Claasen Shipyards and Holland Jachtbouw. Hoek’s modern classics are customized designs tucked into retro hulls of more than 200ft. Lately, he has deepened his imprint on Dutch classics _ leeboard sailing yachts of a bygone age that Hoek transforms into fast racers while meeting class rules.

Hoek Design has hired Martijn van Schaik of Seahorse Naval Architects to head Hoek’s Dutch classics department. Van Schaik brings the rights to his classics from 15 years at Seahorse to Hoek Design. The latter now boasts an impressive archive of classic designs of up to 18.5m. For Van Schaik, this is a homecoming of sorts. He once worked at Hoek Design for 8 years.

Hoek Design partner Ruurt Meulemans says his company “is now a peerless knowledge center” in high-tech design of Dutch classic yachts. Hoek and Van Schaik have both developed their own velocity prediction software for Dutch classics. “We are committed to develop ever more sophisticated software in the near future,” says Meulemans.

The roots of Dutch classics go back 200 to 300 years. The modern luxury versions from Hoek Design, says Meulemans, must fall within the design terms dictated by the Netherlands’ Genealogical Registry of Round and Flat-bottom Boats.

There are hundreds of leeboard sailing yachts on Dutch waters. Like Dirk Blom Lemsteraken, Hoek Design actively pursuing foreign markets for his leeboard classics. It has already served several clients sailing in the sheltered waters of Germany, the Baltic states and even in the Mediterranean.


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