DUESSELDORF _ The Steeler NG 65 S _ an entry of Steeler Yachts of the Netherlands that caters to boaters with special needs _ was named Power Boat of the Year (displacement category) at the 2019 Boot Duesseldorf.
It bested 3 other nominees. From the Netherlands: Linssen Yachts’ Grand Sturdy 45.0 Sedan and Holtermann Shipyard’s 53 Commander and Mazarin German Yachts’ Silent 55.
The jury of 8 leading European watersports magazines was charmed by the fact Steeler Yachts caters to disabled boaters. “It proves it is also possible to build modern, smart steel boats for the disabled,” it said. “The Steeler NG 65 S is equipped with everything that disabled people need to cope with life on board. Clear lines, no frills, exquisite finish – the Steeler NG 65 S meets all of these requirements.”
The 19.5m NG 65 S ‘Li-Janne’ is the largest boat Steeler Yachts ever made. It developed the yacht from the bilge up to meet the needs of the disabled daughter of the yacht’s owners. The yacht has wheelchair access, an engineering high-wire act.
“We can create wheelchair access because we are a full-custom builder,” Steeler Yachts owner Hans Webbink told DutchYachtBuilding in an interview in 2018.
The aft sections of both side decks slide out. The wheelchair rolls onto the extended gangway and is pushed onboard through special railing doors. In front of the wheelhouse, an elevator of 1.5×1 m. (4.9×3.3 ft.) takes the wheelchair down a deck to a wheelchair-adapted cabin.
Webbink: “The sliding gangways, the railing doors, the elevator, the adapted cabin contain so many different parts and angles and reinforcements. We can do this because we are a full custom yard.”
Webbink has shaken up the Dutch yacht building sector with very edgy designs, like the 16m. Steeler Panorama Flat Floor 53 (left). Steeler Yachts won European Motor Boat of the Year awards in 2015 and 2016 and was twice nominated, in 2017 and 2018.