Designer Olivier Van Meer about the IJver Class:
The riddle of the sands..
You would expect that by now all kinds of boats for inland and mudflats sailing exist.
That’s what I thought as well. The only thing is that I kept remembering my dream from when I was a young boy. The dream in which I return to my childhood memories; scratching and messing around in the Dutch, German and Danish mudflats and along the coastal areas of the North Sea. It still remains the basis of my urge to ‘draw boats’.
A steep bow, not a thoroughbred cutter, but not a luxury motor yacht either. Sophisticated but not too round. Her own signature. A ‘cargo hold’ with various layout options; from open box beds to luxury cabins. No concessions made to her appearance. She must belong to the pre-war image of the Amstel, but also fit into the silhouette of the Bosplaat.
Staying upright when drying out. Sailing over the slack tide but also comfortably sailing through the ‘pits’ in front of Stavoren with southwest wind force 6. Equipped with many possible options, such as a really comfortable way to come aboard and disembark, or to easily step into the sloop while anchoring, using a refined folding transom staircase that does not disfigure the boat. Or the option to equip her with a well-insulated, removable hatch cover; enabling dining and sleeping under the night sky. Easily accessible space for all necessary and optional technology such as a generator, a Seakeeper stabilizer, etc.
An easy-to-handle boat, safe and hassle-free. Not only for Friesland, because perhaps you’d also like to sail the Danube. “Easy and simple” is much harder than it looks. But it’s also important. As one of my Puffin owners reminded me once again; “If you want to sail on for a lifetime, you should have the ability to be very lazy.”
Therefore, the entire boat is also low-maintenance, because maintenance is a waste of your time and money. She also has a very strong hull, as you never know where you will end up. While drawing, the seemingly simple list turns out to be non-existing in this combination at all.
Despite our 38 years of designing experience, the short summary is still a puzzle. A puzzle with a lot of unusual combinations and utterly detailed solutions. A special example of this ‘Mystery of the Mudflats’ was launched in the summer of 2020 at VMG Yachtbuilders in Enkhuizen.
IJver klasse IJ1