Dutch designer Pieter Beeldsnijder, whose career spanned nearly 60 years, died on March 21. He was 78 years old.
Boat International's U.S. Editor-At-Large Marilyn Mower reflects on his extraordinary career:
Pieter Beeldsnijder, the quiet, perfectionist designer from Edam, The Netherlands, is known in the superyacht world primarily for his breathtaking, wood-lavished interiors, yet his naval architecture and engineering business stretched from the design of small traditional Dutch open boats for inland waterways to hullform development, speed and stability calculations for all manner of boats and ships.
One of his first large yachts was the 31.3 metre Tonga launched in 1985 at Hakvoort Shipyards, a yard that created many of his designs. His first true superyacht was the 49.8m Jefferson Beach, now Braveheart, built at Oskarshamns in 1989. Although that yacht’s interior was a departure in terms of its contemporary surfaces, the curves of the furniture and details were classic Beeldsnijder.
He’s is perhaps best known for his sailing yacht interiors, many of them winners of ShowBoats, International Superyacht Society and World Superyacht Awards, including three for Jim Clark: Hyperion, Athena and Hanuman. The interior of his first Royal Huisman ketch, Volador, set a standard for performance cruising yachts for years, but the 43-metre Juliet, launched by Huisman in 1993 was the yacht that brought Beelsnijder to the world stage. He once said that yacht design was an “emotional act.”
Beeldsnijder, who strove to create “unfussy” interiors, had worked on more than 2,500 vessels in his 55-year career. Currently under construction is his design for the interior of the newest J Class, Svea.