I was looking on the Internet for a motor boat with open cockpit. I found 4 motor boats that I liked and therefore shortlisted. As the HISWA was being held in Amsterdam at the time, I made appointments with the shipyards for viewings. We didn’t like these 4 vessels either because of their hull designs or because they were from companies who chartered out the boats but did not construct them and were simply brokers.
So at the HISWA we went from one motor boat to the next. All boats had something we didn’t like. But this was never an obstacle for the salespeople: as we heard time and again: ‘No problem, we’ll change that, we’ll fix that’. After having looked at all interesting boats, we went for a coffee to consider our decision. Our decision was: let’s go to the harbour, seek out the boat that we do like and go on board. We didn’t need to search for long in the harbour: we decided right away to choose the Steeler NG 40.
We went on board and immediately felt great there. We were most warmly welcomed by their friendly salespeople and – which was very important to us – they all spoke perfect German. The Steeler crew understood us, and we understood the Steeler crew. Our ideas and preferences were taken up very well by Niels and Peter, both of whom understood our thoughts very well.
We made an appointment in Steenwijk, where we put our ideas on paper once again, and quickly came to an agreement since we really wanted to have the Steeler boat. As our ideas and preferences had been carefully implemented on paper, we now needed to monitor and audit the construction process of our Steeler. Niels always informed us by email or phone about each stage of construction. We were informed immediately of any improvements and proposals during construction, and we could discuss these with the shipyard to see if we were happy with their proposals. As Steeler boats are not mass-produced but individually unique boats, new and improved ideas were circulated all the time.
We were very happy with being able to look at the skeleton interior fittings at the shipyard. Having the fittings before our eyes at a 1:1 scale enabled us to better understand everything we had previously seen on the drawings, so there were no problems making a few changes here and there.
Our first contact with the Steeler team was in Amsterdam. They were all very sympathic and friendly from the very first day, always ready with a smile and eager to act on our wishes. Since we only speak basic English it was a great thing for us that they all spoke perfect German. Niels and Peter were always professional contacts who knew their job. We can only congratulate the Steeler shipyard for having these two people on board.
Our wish was to have a motor boat that we could use to sail to Helgoland, into the Wadden Sea, and to Berlin.
It had to be seaworthy for the coastal waters, stand on the mudflat (Steeler made custom bilge keels for us to achieve that) and it shouldn’t be too high so we could easily pass under bridges. All of these features are united in the Steeler NG40.
Since the Elbe river has a 5 nautical mile current at times, and unpleasant waves may arise when sailing against the current in windy weather, the vessel should have adequate engine power. On trips to Helgoland or on the Baltic it always felt good to have enough horsepower available.
When we sail the NG40 offshore on rough seas there is no doubt in our mind and we don’t see any risks due to the fact that she is very comfortable in these rough circumstances. We were very often complimented with our beautiful boat We are proud and happy to own a Steeler.
Niels Tuininga, general manager from Steeler Yachts: The ‘Katharina von Raa’ is being sailed under the most extreme sea conditions in which a category B certified yacht can be utilised. The feedback Steeler Yachts received from the Heitmann family, despite the fact that the NG40 is compatible with CE category B, resulted in modifications which provide even more comfort and safety at high seas. For Steeler Yachts the ‘Katharina von Raa’ contributes in further developing our yachts for which we are grateful to the Heitmann family for sharing their experiences.