Foto Nigel Pert

EDAM _ Some say cheese put this postcard town near Amsterdam on the map. Others swear it is Andre Hoek and his amazing portfolio of classic sailing yachts including J-Class racers, superyachts, daysailers, tenders and expedition motor yachts that grace oceans everywhere.

The Dutch naval architecture and design icon’s name is indelibly linked to the J-Class revival. He researched 5 designs _ Lionheart (photo above), Topaz, Svea, J9 (unbuilt 1936 design) and Enterprise _ and developed Velocity Prediction software to determine the exact performance of specific J-class hull shapes.

Tank testing data from a 6m J-class model and wind tunnel data were used to calibrate this software. Existing and potential J-class designs were tested to determine the effects of different hull shapes on performance. The best models were then also subjected to Computational Fluid Dynamics software.

Hoek’s bias for sailing yachts is rooted in the classic side-board yacht his parents owned when he was young. An independent designer since 1986, he draws modern yachts with elegant lines and a classic touch. “We focus on performance, styling and detailed finishing,” he says. “And on exterior esthetics. Graceful lines and round forms make for a more beautiful boat.” One outstanding example is his Truly Classic (left). Stretching from 51 to 90 ft. (15.5 to 27.4m), it oozes the elegance of the 1930s but has a modern underwater hull. It has a flush deck, an aft cockpit, a low deckhouse, a sweeping sheer and long bow and stern overhangs.

Hoek’s 16-strong studio has to date designed 300 side-board and 140 keeled yachts. Lately, power boats have been creeping into his portfolio. “The key driver in our motor yacht concept has been to combine a retro style above water with a hypermodern planing underwater configuration,” says Hoek.

Currently in build (at Claasen Shipyards) is a 24m superyacht tender and a 56m (184ft.), classically lined hybrid-powered expedition yacht at Turquoise Yachts in Turkey (right). In 2019, Vitters Shipyard will deliver a 50m (164ft.) Hoek-drawn ketch.

Hoek shuns yacht building and builders, saying, “As a designer I want to be impartial and not participate in a company that builds yachts.” Last year, half of Hoek Design’s shares went to Ruurt Meulemans. The longtime associate is “an excellent and experienced naval engineer,” says Hoek. “I have no plans to quit. Just preparing for when that day comes.”