When seen from afar, the Bestewind 50 may look like a traditional heavy-displacement long-distance cruiser. However, closer inspection reveals a very modern design that uses well-proven high tech materials to create a fast and easily handled light-displacement boat whose outward appearance belies its performance potential.
See for yourself with the Bestewind 50 video: first look aboard from Southampton Boat Show.
This is a serious long-distance yacht and yet it is still small and light enough to be handled with ease by two people. There is also enough space for entertaining, to accommodate guests easily and to allow for extended periods of living on board in an impressive level of comfort. The key design criteria were for comfort, both at sea and in harbour, safety and speed.
For more shorthanded long-distance cruising yacht reviews on boats.com, see: Rustler 37 cruising yacht video or GT35 review.
The pilothouse gives the boat a distinctive character as a serious cruiser and enables those on watch to safely con the boat from a sheltered position, with an unhindered all-round view, at least when the boat is not well heeled. In harbour it offers a room with a view and gives an extra space in which crew members can socialise.
There are easy steps from here that lead down into the well-appointed bright and roomy main accommodation. This is finished in a combination of mahogany and off-white, and maple floors, giving a bright and clean, but traditional appearance. Average headroom throughout is an impressive 1.97m (6ft 5in), which helps to accentuate the amount of interior space.
Accommodation includes an owners' stateroom forward, with the choice of a central or offset bed, and two guest cabins aft, plus a large galley and impressively spacious saloon. The galley is of a good size, with a 130 litre front opening fridge, three burner gas stove, twin sinks and ample worktop and storage space.
On deck and performance
The hull shape sports a modern vertical bow, combined with a more traditional transom stern that helps to maximise both waterline length and space on deck, while the underwater shape is unashamedly up to date, including a deep bulb keel. The beam of 4.4m is very moderate by today’s standards, while both forward and aft hull sections are relatively fine, which will undoubtedly make for a well-mannered boat with a comfortable motion.
The powerful double spreader rig has the option of sloop or cutter-headed arrangements, the latter with both headsails on furlers, while the main is fully battened with three slab reefs. All halyards are led aft from the mast, and concealed below the coachroof, giving a neat layout that’s easy to manage.
This can be expected to be a yacht with excellent manners that effortlessly eats up the miles on a long passage irrespective of the wind direction.
Equipment and options
Not unusually for a yacht in this sector of the market, there’s a wide range of possible options including different keel and rig configurations. There are also different layouts available for the owner’s suite at the front of the yacht, while one of the aft cabins can be arranged as a workshop and storage area for those planning on long-term voyaging.
There’s also an option for carbon spars, as fitted to the first boat delivered to the UK. The advantage of this on a boat of this style is significantly reduced weight aloft and therefore increased stability and sail carrying ability, along with reduced pitching in a head sea.
Bestewind 50: what it does best
This is a very appealing boat for anyone wanting a long-distance yacht that will be easy to handle and enjoyable to sail while also offering attractive and spacious accommodation. The pilot house offers a valuable extra aspect to the accommodation, providing both shelter when under way in inclement conditions and an additional socialising area when in harbour.
The hull shape, with moderate beam and relatively fine ends, does reduce the volume of accommodation – if sheer space is your key priority there are roomier 50 footers. Equally, there are lower priced boats of the same size, but again they don’t deliver the quality and attention to detail of the Bestewind 50.
Other models in the range
The Bestewind 50 is built by K&M Yachtbuilders in Holland, which specialises in custom and semi-custom aluminium yachts of up to 100ft. This boat is the yard’s smallest model and the only one built in fibreglass. It was designed by Dykstra Naval Architects and is based on Gerry Dykstra’s own aluminium custom-built yacht.
While there are a number of quality deck saloon yachts in this size range, such as the Oyster 475, there are surprisingly few true pilothouse models like the Bestewind 50. Nevertheless the revamped Hallberg Rassy 48 Mkll has a lot to offer and X-Yachts’ XC50 has an optional wind shield with integrated spray hood that’s designed to maximise protection over the cockpit.
Bestewind 50 specifications
Displacement: 16 tonnes
Draught: 2.15m (1.8m, 2.5m and lifting keel options)
Mainsail area: 64sq m
110 per cent genoa area: 50.6sq m
Downwind sail area: 200sq m
Fuel: 420 litres
Water: 420 litres