BY APB Staff on 14 Jul 2019

The all-purpose 17m yacht from Zeelander's younger sister brand was designed to explore, carry toys, go fishing, host parties and bring families on cruises

DutchCraft 56 is set to make its world debut at the upcoming Cannes Yachting Festival (September 10-15). The first ground-breaking model from the Dutch builder – which has dubbed it “the world’s most capable 56-foot yacht” – is the ideal vessel for owners seeking ultimate versatility.

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(Photo: Jeff Brown)

The 17-metre DutchCraft 56 is everything from exploration platform, toy carrier and sports fisher to party boat, comfortable family cruiser and support vessel. Owners can rest easy knowing their yacht will take them anywhere, from hosting a stylish party in Miami to exploring remote islands in the South Pacific.

The boat offers maximum recreational value combined with minimalist design and stress-free maintenance. The vision for the yacht was born from the experiences of Sietse Koopmans, owner and founder of DutchCraft, while he cruised the world on his 37.8-metre (127-foot) explorer superyacht Zeepaard.

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(Photo: Jeff Brown)

“During my travels I wondered: I spend money on my yacht – what do I want in return?” commented Koopmans, who comes from a long family line of inland shipping business owners. “I want to be able to invite all my friends, take them onboard to explore the world, have maximum recreational value and spend a minimal amount on maintenance. This becomes a pain in the neck after a while. Therefore, I was inspired to create the DutchCraft 56, the ultimate all-purpose yacht. One with which you can fish, dive, party, relax, explore and store an incredible amount toys. We purposefully tried to keep the design minimal and simplistic. The boat is hassle-free and has low running cost. It’s the perfect vessel to facilitate all your pleasures. It is also available in a commercial version with Doen jets and 30,000-hour John Deere engines for all-day commuting or charter.”

A family-run business, DutchCraft is the sister brand to Zeelander Yachts, the renowned Netherlands-based builder of sports cruiser yachts with elegant profiles of classic New York fast commuters. Zeelanders have come to be known for their timeless style and extraordinary levels of comfort within their category. The expertise craftsmanship and investment from Zeelander’s building history naturally feeds into the design and construction of each DutchCraft boat, while giving the younger brand freedom to define itself in new ways.

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(Photo: Jeff Brown)

Three decks, countless choices

The DutchCraft 56 has a fresh, simple appeal with clean lines and a robust look that is supported by superior Dutch build quality and seaworthiness. A range of customisable deck features and layouts are available to clients. When it comes to design and construction of its yachts, it is important to DutchCraft that they can be easily cleaned and maintained, not to mention that they have lower running costs than equivalents on the market. The ultimate aim: giving owners an “easy boating” experience, year after year. This can be seen in a range of details, from the composite deck (replacing high-maintenance teak) to extra-large storage lockers in easy-to-reach locations. The spacious flybridge features a large dining table, with seating that converts to a large sun pad to the rear. There is a wet bar and double-width seating at the navigation station. The main deck has a further dining table, wet bar, double-width navigation station seating, and large sun pads on the foredeck for relaxed lounging at anchor or a thrilling perspective when underway. In total, there is seating for up to 36 guests on board.

On the lower deck, there is an accommodation for up to eight guests, including an ensuite full-beam master cabin. The vast aft deck space by the waterline lends itself to all manner of uses, from fishing platform to socialising space to stowage place for toys and watercraft. To the sides of this deck area, two large benches conceal locker units that provide storage for watersports gear and other items, on a scale that is practically unheard of in this yacht size category.

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(Photo: Jeff Brown)

Technically outstanding

The DutchCraft 56 can reach top speeds of 40 knots, while still delivering a comfortable ride for guests thanks to a high-performance hull design that cuts through the water. The in-house design and engineering teams decided on a vinylester fibre glass resin material for the hull and superstructure, with a sandwich infusion construction and PVC core. With an overall length of 17 metres (56.0 feet), the DutchCraft 56 has a beam of 5 metres (16.7 feet) and a draft of under 1 metre (3 feet) on its jet propulsion version, meaning practically limitless cruising in even shallow waters. Owners can choose between Volvo Penta IPS or Doen jet/John Deere engine propulsion system options.