Designed for unrestricted, short handed sailing. Reinforced hull and specialized systems for sailing in light ice conditions. Half gimballed chart table and idem worktop in the galley. Retractable bowsprit. Windpilot wind vane and autopilot. Long waterline and balanced hull under heel.
Designer's (Gerard Dykstra) Comments: The first Bestevær 53ST called Bestevær 2, is a design derived from the original Bestevær, which I designed and sailed extensively including the 1976 OSTAR single- handed transatlantic race. The Bestevær 2 is my latest design and again I have sailed her extensively, but this time rather than long distance single-handed racing, it has been short-handed long distance 'retirement' cruising. The Bestevaer 53ST is a fast cruising version of the original single-handed racer, and while she is less extreme than her predecessor she retains many of the original characteristics. The rig is easily handled with cutter rig being favored during the winter while a sloop rig with 120% LP Genoa being the ideal summer alternative. Life is made particularly easy as all the main sailing handling can be easily managed from the cockpit. The large roach on the mainsail gives power in light airs, and the shallow first reef is used at an early stage. The helmsman will find the extendable bowsprit of great assistance when power reaching under gennaker. My preference is tiller steering, therefore the rudder has been designed to allow the use of the original 1976 tiller design. It proved effective even on a 53 foot yacht, but wheel steering is an option. The design is flexible and not all the features incorporated into my version of the Bestevaer 53ST are a must, every owner can make his or her personal selections. The potential speed and handling in the seaway is optimized by her optimum waterline length in combination with the sheerness of her bow, in addition the water line length adds considerably to on board comfort.By modern norms the transom is narrow yet with the moderate beam she has an easy motion, and when heeling in gusts she maintains her track,particularly when only light equipment is stowed in her extremities.
The Bestevaer 53ST is not only fast in strong breezes, but is able to maintain a good turn of speed in both light and moderate conditions,this is a result of her moderate displacement and large efficient sail area. Bestevaer 53ST has much more beam than her 1976 sister she is still narrow by today's standards. In 1976 stability was achieved via an excessive, often impractical draft in combination with a large bulb, while in the latest version we have opted for medium draft keel small bulb and option increasing stability by filling the wing tanks with water. Yet even without the water ballast the vessel's stability sits between that of a top racing yacht and a cruising yacht. With the water ballast full the heel is reduced by 8 degrees as a result the crew have two options: carrying sail longer and using water ballast for more power, resulting in high 'normal' high angles of heel in the low twenties, or reducing sail as you would on a yacht without water ballast and then using water ballast for a reduced angle of heel and increased comfort while maintaining a good speed. The water ballast greatly assists steering and increases speed when running in strong winds but if ballast tanks are not fitted the keel weight may be increased to maintain stability. In the cockpit the crew will find many angled surfaces for the feet and grips for the hands to make life less tiring when sailing to windward. Her pilothouse is a joy to behold, fitted with a heel adjustable chart table seat, with all navigation instruments coming easily to hand, combined with views of both the sea and the sails. This consideration to comfort at sea is not confined to the pilothouse, a great deal of thought and consideration being given to the accommodation below deck. Four watertight compartments keep the vessel afloat with ample freeboard, so if any other compartment is flooded, in fact even with the two middle compartments flooded, the yacht remains buoyant. The use of the liferaft would only be necessary in the unlikely event of fire. All lifesaving equipment is stowed in a wheelhouse recess and cannot be washed overboard. Consideration has been given to sailing in light ice, so as a result the Bestevaer 53ST has no seacocks, but standpipes, and internal cooling for the engine with a dry exhaust. Reinforced 10 mm plating and a strong longitudinal girder in the bow all add to peace of mind. Central heating adds to the creature comforts, as does the coal burning stove.
Designing any boat is a balancing act between many desirable characteristics and inevitability the end product is a compromise and never perfect in all respects, however the Bestevaer 2 comes close to my ideal.