ROTTERDAM – Mention a Dutch designer and people think superyachts. Yes, the Dutch make very big, swanky yachts. But look behind their sprawling, gleaming yards and you’ll find people crafting smaller, more modest but no less innovative masterpieces. People like Arthur Peltzer whose fingerprints are on a range of remarkable sailboats, small and large.

Key among them: the Waarschip, a multi-articulated chine keel boat, the first of which was built in the Dutch town of Waar in the 1960s. DIY-ers could get it semi-finished. They were also built under license, for instance by Denmark’s Dantec Marine. At least 3 Waarschip generations have been built. Recently, Peltzer began a new one: an 11m.Waarschip-36 (left) for the 2018 World Championships, fully optimized for IRC and ORC handicaps. Its red cedar hull strips are covered by glass-fiber and epoxy for stiffness and strength. The built-for-speed boat weighs under 1200 kilos (2645 lbs.), has a flush deck and a forward helm.

“We don’t pursue a mass audience,” says Peltzer (left). “We fill a niche. Yes, boaters are graying, but there are still sailors out there keen to order a new boat that fully meets their wishes. The Waarschip brand is flexible. We can change the cabin and layout without ordering up a new mold.” Germany is a market showing good interest.

The latest Waarschip heralds a new era _ of yachts from 36 to 43 ft. (11 to 13m.) _ with full cabins: the ‘GO,’ (cruiser-racer), the ‘Duo’ (shorthand sailing), the ‘Life’ (cruising) and there are plans for a foiling ‘Fly.’ Under 36ft are the Waarschip 700 LD and the 1010 LD both sporting a wood core bottom for minimal resistance and less maintenance.

Peltzer also designed the 15.8m. Trintella 52 C, a wood-core and composite racer. And a Gran Turismo series of cruiser-racers. These start at 30ft (9.1m.) with a boat whose interior is an integral part of the hull making it a ton lighter than production rivals and stretch to the 23.8 m.  GT Turismo Deck Saloon-80 (right), a gentlemen’s yacht for the Med featuring a prominent deckhouse. The latter’s forward hull has a chine for extra lift when running deep and to keep the glass deckhouse free of salt and spray.

In an age of ever longer, ever more ambitious designs, Peltzer relishes small projects.
He has designed 3 Solar Challenge entries for the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. His modern take on a traditional 12m (39.3 ft.) Dutch leeboard fishing vessel makes it more performant and endows it with a more spacious cabin than the original. His 6.4m Evertson-21 is a seaworthy dayboat. Based on a former navy dinghy, it is a popular craft for Dutch sea scouts, can be sailed single-handedly and is trailerable.

Peltzer’s design ingenuity is perhaps most evident in the 6.5m (21ft.) version of the humble Kolibri (left), the Netherlands’ most enduring daysailers that was launched in 1964. Well over 1,000 have been made, starting at 5.6m (18ft.) all the way up to 11m (36ft.).

Peltzer’s 6.5m version returns the brand back to its roots. “People are tiring of money and time-consuming 30, 40-footers. There are long drives to the marina. And once there, getting big sailboats ready to go is a chore,” says the site of Kolibri Jachtbouw, the dinghy’s manufacturer.

Peltzer’s design of the 6.5m Kolibri gave the brand a sophisticated upgrade. The latest design knowhow has given the multiplex boat (teak or mahogany) speeds matching those of 8 or 9m. (26 to 30ft.) craft. Inside the characteristic straight-up cabin are 4 berths, a small gas stove and room for a chemical toilet. The mast rests on top of the cabin so no mast is visible inside. The outboard can pulled partly into the cockpit to have no drag. The 6.5m Kolibri can handle inland and coastal waters.