The Bestevaer 36 bucks the trend for ever-bigger new yachts coming to market, but remains a perfect high-latitude and ocean crossing option

Product Overview


First look: Bestevaer 36 – smallest ever model

In a world in which yachts are constantly becoming larger, this Dutch brand is bucking the trend, with the smallest-ever model in its 20-year history. It’s intended to offer performance along with shoal draught and the ability to safely dry out on a beach.

These rugged aluminium pilothouse cruisers have always reflected what former professional skipper and renowned naval architect Gerard Dykstra wants in a boat of his own: a safe, comfortable, and good-looking yacht for unrestricted, short-handed sailing. It has been the perfect formula for a lifetime of ocean sailing, high-latitude work and solo racing.

The 36 follows in a similar spirit, but is also intended as a boat in which Dykstra can spend extended periods in the shallow waters, lakes and coastlines close to home that he has not previously had time to explore in detail.

Thick hull plating allows the boat to dry out, opening up new cruising areas

This vessel therefore needed to be a sufficiently compact yacht to easily fit in small harbours and marinas, with the ability to dry out. Yet it still retains all the distinctive features of the brand’s larger yachts, including aluminium construction, watertight fore and aft bulkheads, plumb bow, practical pilothouse and deep bulwarks.

The 2-tonne ballasted centreboard provides a generous 2.4m draught when lowered. This is combined with a big rig to give good sailing performance on all points of sail, including close-hauled and light airs. Yet the board retracts fully into the canoe body, reducing draught to only 0.7m and creating a flat surface on which to dry out safely on the hull’s thick bottom plating.

Like the larger Bestevaers, this boat was conceived at the outset to offer its crew plenty of protection. In addition to seats situated each side of the pilothouse, which has a 360˚ view, the coachroof extends over the cockpit, creating an extremely sheltered area. All lines are led aft for easy singlehanded operation. Generous beam helps to provide good form stability, as well as increasing accommodation volumes. The interior has a flexible semi-open plan layout, with three different style options on offer.

Much of the fit out is with recycled, sustainable and natural materials

The first boat, which will be the designer’s own, is being used as a case study for a transition towards more sustainable production processes at KM Yachtbuilders. For instance, 70% of the aluminium is recycled, as is the insulation, while environmentally friendly and largely recycled materials are used for the interior. It has a 15kW OceanVolt electric drive with sufficient battery capacity for four hours of autonomy. This is supplemented with regeneration and a large solar panel array on the pilothouse roof.

A couple of interesting options are offered for sail plans, including a 95% jib on a Hoyt boom, which makes for an enticing combination of very easy handling and excellent sail shape on all points of sail.

To help make up for loss of headsail area a square-top mainsail with 14% more area than the standard pinhead version can be specified. The standard specification has a very high level of equipment, including the solar panels, electric propulsion package, antifouling wrap, a traditional-style floor made of thermally modified European timber, with heating provided by a Dickinson Alaska diesel heater.

Bestevaer 36 specifications

LOA: 10.95m 35ft 11in
LWL: 10.65m (34ft 11in)
Beam: 3.80m 12ft 6in
Draught: 0.7m-2.4m 2ft 4in-7ft 11in
Displacement: 7,800kg 17,200lb
Price (base): €546,000 ex VAT

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