An artikel in Jachtbouw Nederland.
No-nonsense designs that work everywhere
At 55, Dick Koopmans studio rules the world
LELYSTAD – Few designers match the heft of Dick Koopmans Yacht Designers’ portfolio. Founded 55 years ago, the studio has drawn some 500 designs to date. You see its day sailers, cruisers and racers everywhere. “About 70% to 80% of my clients come from abroad,” says Koopmans. “In 2015, my clientele spanned 13 nationalities.” All are drawn to his studio’s reputation and distinctive designs. Starting with the Koopmans-28, they sport smooth, rounded, lines.
Dick Koopmans Sr. started the studio in 1961, a year before junior’s birth. Dick Koopmans Sr. and his wife _ and Koopmans Jr. _ are avid ocean sailors. They have marketed sail and motor yachts for all purposes: rental, private offshore and ocean use in both warm and icy waters. Koopmans deals with a vast range of needs. Recently he drew an 18m hybrid, twin-prop motor yacht whose owner wants to go down the Rhine and Danube to the Black See.And from there on to the Mediterranean and the Azores.
Last year, saw the launch of the Koopmans-drawn 10m Ya, (above), a zero-emission sailing yacht with stem-to-stern hull windows. “All that glass is technically possible, but you have to get used to it,” says Koopmans. “Perhaps in 10 years, it won’t surprise anyone anymore.”
Koopmans draws by computer yet every new project starts with an empty sheet of paper. “When I have sufficient information on what you would like, I feed this into the computer,” he says. Koopmans is a member of the research group Yachts of the Delft University of Technology and uses the latest velocity prediction programs.
Koopmans never “designs on the edge. A boat must be fast, but also solid,” he says. “So it stays intact, keeps its value.” He designed the VQ32 (Velocity Girl) that won the 2013 OSTAR. Last year, KM Yachtbuilders built a larger version in aluminum with a retractable keel. Koopmans also draws expedition yachts that can handle the North West Passage.
Koopmans sees “growth in the refit business. People want to make adjustments to their yacht. I expect no drastic changes in yachtbuilding except that we’ll see more specialization. For instance, in such areas as durability.”