First look: New designs from KM yachts

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KM Yachts has been busily launching many new boats, including it’s smallest and largest yachts to date in terms of overall volume

Dutch aluminium specialists KM Yachts continues to respond to a high demand in bespoke alloy and explorer-type yacht builds. It has a handful of projects in build alongside the OC 188, spanning from its smallest and largest (volume) designs to date, and has launched as many more this season.

Its new baby, the Bestevaer 36, is an intriguing and appealing design making its world debut this autumn, and we’re looking forward to sailing it for European Yacht of the Year trials.

It is designed by and built for the father of the Bestevaer series, Gerard Dijkstra, to explore the more shoal draught waters of his local cruising grounds, and to sail in and dry out on the wetlands thanks to a swing keel and rudder.

Despite retaining many of the Bestevaer range’s practicable features on a smaller scale, one of the most impressive attributes of KM’s latest model is that it also champions the yard’s push towards a circular boatbuilding economy. Aluminium is well known to be a wonder material in sustainability terms, with around 75% of all aluminium produced since 1854 still in use today – and over 60% of the 36 is made from recycled aluminium. It also uses sustainable woods, eco-resins, an antifouling film coating, recycled polyester sails and renewable energy sources including hydro, solar and wind.

The 36 has spawned a larger version in the custom Bestevaer 41, which is currently in build for owners who needed a little more space. That yacht, Josephine 2, will also have the ability to dry out easily.

The bulk of KM’s Bestevaer fleet lies more in the mid-50ft area, where it has a couple of new additions. The Bestevaer 56 launched earlier this summer for owners who were looking for a classically styled yacht with timber clad decks and a white painted hull and carbon mast.

It features a ballasted centreboard, electrically controllable transom flap and hybrid propulsion. Christened Panta Rhei it has a teak-finished interior conceived largely by the owners and is Caribbean bound.

Similarly, a new Bestevaer 54 in build for German owners will sport a ballasted centreboard and a modern look. It will also feature a deckhouse with deck saloon as opposed to pilothouse for enjoying the seated views.

A similar sized model from KM’s Van de Stadt-designed Stadtship range is also in the shed at Makkum, a project based on KM owner Eeuwe Kooi’s own Stadtship 56 Oester. The Dutch owner is looking to dry out with the yacht, hence it features a fully retractable lift keel and rudders which give the yacht a shallow draught of less than 1m.

Meanwhile work continues on the second 77ft Pelagic, a sistership to Vinson of Antarctica, which launched two years ago. Following the success of the Tony Castro design, the project team commissioned a second almost identical model to explore the northern hemisphere while Vinson sails in the south.

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