SCHEVENINGEN – Menno van Dijk’s Studio Delta turns 20 this year, boasting a portfolio of achievements from modest runabouts to superyachts. That portfolio of 30+ naval architecture projects reveals a knack for picking winning brands.
Can’t be coincidence, can it?
In its anniversary year, Studio Delta’s fingerprints are all over craft from 2 highly successful, Dutch motor yacht makers that did not even exist a decade ago.
For Vanquish Yachts, maker of superfast aluminum dayboats, Studio Delta drew its 58ft (17.7m) flagship that debuted this year. It also worked on a 32ft. (9.8m.) super yacht tender. “We have by now drawn about 10 Vanquish Yachts projects and variations,” says Van Dijk. “For the Vanquish 58 we drafted 3 propulsion systems.”
Studio Delta also works for Steeler Yachts, a 3-time Motor Boat of the Year winner at Duesseldorf (2015, 2016 and 2019). In 2017 and 2018, Steeler, which makes up to 20 cruisers of 43 to 67ft (13 to 20.4m) a year, was an award nominee.
How do you pick winners in this business? “This industry is about building relationships,” explains Van Dijk. “Our work is our biggest ambassador. It doesn’t just dovetail nicely with what a designer does, but also with what a yard needs in terms of build process preparation.”
His first Steeler project involved optimizing a below-the-waterline hull. Van Dijk, “We clicked well and Steeler asked us to work on a 61ft (18.6m) yacht next. The owner wanted not a steel, but an aluminum boat for speed. With storage for 8,000 liters of fuel for long-range cruising.”
His studio recently started on a 3rd Steeler: a 55ft (16.8m.) aluminum boat with a 30kn top speed. “It’ll be a cross-over between a sport boat and a traditional cruiser. You’ll see that in the use of outside spaces,” says Van Dijk. “It redefines a sport boat.”
This year will see the launch of an innovative concept in which Van Dijk’s naval architecture delivers a tender with retractable foils for easy storage and transport! The foils can be angled to generate a speed up to 40 knots.
Studio Delta provides naval architecture and project consultancy for yachts, from the concept stage to new builds to refits. Five years ago, it dropped design work. Van Dijk, “I chose to be more active in naval architecture. At heart, that is what we are, naval architects. Not professional designers. We are not trained in making experiences.”
In its anniversary year, Studio Delta handles a healthy workload: 2 large yacht tenders (including a 10m composite hull craft), various refit and newbuild super yacht projects and drawing for KM Yachtbuilders, a motor-yacht version of its 53ft (16.2m.) Bestevaer explorer sailing yacht.