About yacht design
KOOPMANS yacht design is a real family business. Founded many, many years ago, Dick Koopmans (senior) has designed more than 140 different hulls for ocean going blue-water sailing. His designs are based on practical experience, not by theoretical knowledge. He has sailed in over 150000 nautical miles everywhere in the world – so he certainly does have the knowledge in the construction of really seaworthy yachts.
A while ago, Mr. Koopmans handed over his business to his son. Also a passionate sailor – funnily enough, his first name is also Dick!
Pictures made 5/2017
Pictures made 2012-2016
About the size of a yacht
When we saw STORMVOGEL for the first time in a winter shed in THE NETHERLANDS we fell in love with its beautiful shaped hull. We thought “Jesus, 48 foot is a big ship – too big for a crew of two?”. KOOPMANS yachts offers a lot of space on and below deck, but manage the trick of looking modest. This is because of clever hull dimensions, classic bow design and a narrow stern, to make a traditional yacht shape that pleases the eye. Compared to modern production yachts, KOOPMANS yachts are strongly focused on seaworthiness. Other production boats focus on many cabins and big spaces like dance floors inside the cabin. It makes sense as these yachts are designed for coastal charter cruising with a big crew, not for short-handed offshore sailing like a KOOPMANS.
About different KOOPMANS brands
As always, if you want some highly sophisticated special things in your boat, it’s going to be more expensive. Basically, a KOOPMANS is always a “one-off” yacht. Maybe the hull looks very similar to another KOOPMANS but the interior will be different. But KOOPMANS designs also boats for production yards, like BREEHORN, (in the past) HUTTING, CONCORD or VICTORIE. If you are going to build a new aluminium yacht like STORMVOGEL, you will need three years of time and a budget of 1.200000,- EURO.
Mr. Dick Koopmans (senior) wrote a book about boat building. Unfortunately, this book is only available in Dutch language, but here you can buy it.
About variable draft
A real hull highlight is the massive center board construction of STORMVOGEL which offers a variable draft of 1.45m to 2.70m. We can assure you – it makes perfect sense on a trip sailing around the world. While downwind sailing on the big ocean crossings you keep the center board up so STORMVOGEL has a low draft and a very safe long keel which also protects the rudder and the propeller very well. Only if you need to tack against serious headwinds do you put the center board down – than the underwater hull looks like a normal keel boat and you will make a very good way windward.
About painted aluminum yachts
There are two opinions about painted aluminium yachts with a massive teak deck. One camp loves them very much, the others fears the potential aluminium corrosion and washed-out teak. STORMVOGEL is painted and has a full teak deck. So the yacht looks really noble, with some understatement. We like this very much. Do you like this, too? You should visit STOMVOGEL!
Of course this beautiful combination of full painted aluminium and teak needs some attention and maintenance. But for the hull material aluminium is definitively beyond question. It is really solid and will never get old. Compared to steel its much lighter, compared to fiberglass it’s much more solid. The NETHERLANDS based yacht yards are specialized in building painted aluminium hulls. After welding the aluminium hull the hull it’s professional coated by a thick layer of epoxy. On top of the epoxy, the painting is done. As long as you maintain the epoxy layer very well, you will have no trouble with the hull painting as the aluminium will not corrode below. So if you damage the epoxy layer by an accident, repair it as soon as possible.
About teak on aluminum yachts
On deck it’s more difficult. As the aluminium has a different behavior (especially in extremes of temperature) than teak, the two materials are working against each other. To prevent this, a plywood layer is installed in between the aluminium and teak. This helps, but at the end after many years (depends on usage / cruising area) you need to re-fit the deck.
About painting lifetime
Based on our experience with STORMVOGEL we estimate a minimum hull-painting life time of 15 years. After this time a re-paint may makes sense, but as the epoxy layer remains it’s just a simple paint shop.
The teak on deck lasts around 10 to 15 years, depending how you look after it (the teak deck loves salt water not fresh water!). After this period you will have at least a minor re-fit job or, on worst case, a complete new teak deck.
Don’t be scared about this. Professionally built yachts like STORMVOGEL are mostly very well maintained by the owners. For example, we do have a very good maintenance documentation for STORMVOGEL so you will learn when and what happened. So if you are going to buy a painted aluminium boat with a teak deck do it around this re-fit schedule. Shortly before this 10 years time-frame, the boat price must be much less than the asking price just after the refit.
About deck layout
The deck layout of STORMVOGEL is typical traditional. A cutter rigg helps to make each foresail smaller, so it is much easier to handle them. The mainsail is managed at the mast, two granny-bars secures the crew while working at the mast. The spreaders do not have an angle, so no worries about the mainsail. It will not touch the spreaders during downwind sailing. The main-sail do has three reefs which makes it easy to find the right size for the wind. The stay sail is always in charge, the big yankee is responsible for delivering speed. Both foresails are managed from the cockpit, five winches for two sails and a running back stay.
In all these four years we never had blue water in the cockpit. Luck with the weather, but of course also thanks to the hull design. Even in rough seas the cockpit offers all the time shelter, security and comfort for the helmsman and crew.
If you like to read more about STORMVOGEL´s hull, deck and rigg you will find on this web site another description.
Any questions left? Contact us!