The Design

All the ships that we build in collaboration with Dykstra Naval Architects are launched under the name ‘Bestevaer’. The Bestevaers are exclusively built by KM Yachtbuilders.

The designs that have been built up to now vary in length (48 to 100 feet), lines and character. The Bestevaers either have a spoon bow (S), a clipper bow (C) or a straight bow (ST). The S Series consists of elegant performance yachts, while the C Series comprises robust yachts with plenty of space.

Gerard Dijkstra designed the Bestevaer 53 ST for his own use. KM Yachtbuilders are proud to be the elected builders of the architect’s own yacht. This is how the ST Series was born, which is the most popular of the three designs. A Dykstra design stands for a performance sailing yacht: fast and comfortable.

Bouwen voor in het ijs Zeilen Custom 2021 03 NL

Gerard Dijkstra

Gerard Dijkstra is a naval architect who enjoys sailing races, as well as sailing his own Bestevaer 53.

As a navigator he sailed the Whitbread Around the World Race on the yacht ‘Flyer’ with skipper Conny van Rietschoten – and won the race. In 2005 he broke the transatlantic speed record on ‘Windrose’. Furthermore, he is well-known for projects such as ‘Athena’, ‘Maltese Falcon’ and several J-Class yachts. At the moment Gerry has stepped back and Thys Nikkels runs the design office, whereas Edwin Luijff is the head designer for the Bestevaer yachts.

Gerard and his wife Loontje sail together on their Bestevaer 53 “II”.

Designer/owner comment:
“Designing any boats is a balancing act between many desirable characteristics and inevitable the end-product is a compromise, never perfect in all aspects. However, the Bestevaer 2 comes close to my ideal. The past voyages proved this right.” – Gerard Dijkstra, naval architect and owner of Bestevaer2.

Go to  for more information about Dykstra Naval Architects.


Bestevaer was a nickname given to Michiel Adriaanszoon De Ruyter, one of the important Dutch admirals of the seventeenth century.

The crew loved their captain and called him ‘Beste Vaeder’ (best father), which was then shortened to Bestevaer. The word Vaer also means sailor, seafarer. Thus, De Ruyter was not only the best father, but also the best seafarer. Bestevaer is a very fitting name.

Below is an article published in an old magazine ‘Blauwe Wimpel’ (in Dutch) from 1955 stating that Lieutenant-Admiral Tromp used the name Bestevaer as well but it was given to De Ruyter after the latter came to Tromp’s help when he was in a pickle. Thanks to Gerard Dijkstra and his friend Kick for finding it and sending it to us.