Het begon allemaal met een suggestieve naam, de Winnetou, het eerste schip dat de Willy Dehler scheepswerf verliet. Van dit type, gebouwd in een voormalige bioscoop, werden er 400 verkocht. Nadat hij zijn broer overtuigd had om met hem te gaan samenwerken, ontwikkelde Willy Dehler zijn paradepaardje, de VARIANTA, die één van Willy’s eerste tot ieders verbeelding sprekende innovaties bezat: de ophaalbare kiel en een afneembaar kajuitdak. Dehler zag als eerste het voordeel van het gebruik van polyester bij de bouw van jachten. Het gebruik van kwalitatief hoogwaardige materialen heeft altijd voorop gestaan. Na de Varianta, waarvan er vandaag de dag nog vele rond zeilen, kwamen typen als de Optima, Delanta, Sprinta en Duetta. Dehler staat bekend om haar innovaties. Het Central Winch Systeem en de keerfok zijn hier voorbeelden van. Dehler heeft door de tijd prijzen gewonnen in de meest prestigieuze regatta’s uit de geschiedenis. Tijdens de Olympische Spelen in Montreal haalde een door Dehler gebouwde 470 zelfs een gouden medaille. De Sprinta Sport was de eerste IOR-Eenheidsklasse in Duitsland. De ene na de andere benijdenswaardige prijs werd vervolgens in de wacht gesleept. Dehler richt zich nu vol inspiratie op een nieuwe toekomst. Na duizenden jachten op het water te hebben gebracht bouwt Dehler met volle kracht door aan het versterken van haar reeds uitstekende reputatie.
De verschillende typen
Dehler's first sailboat, the innovative and high-quality Winnetou dinghy, is launched. It is followed immediately by the Pfeil S, a high-performance dinghy that led to the foundation of the Dehler factory in Freienohl, in the Sauerland region of Germany. The facility has remained in the same location ever since, and incorporates Research & Development, prototyping, administrative and production sections into four dedicated buildings.
The Varianta, named for a variable interior, is launched and firmly establishes Dehler as an innovator in the sailing mainstream. 4,250 are built. 1969 The first Optima is developed, the 27-foot 83 model. The Optima formula would be continuously expanded in future years and would set the theme for all Dehlers since: rugged sailboats that are equally adept whether racing or cruising.
The Delanta 75 is introduced, furthering the dual-purpose Dehler ethos. Timschal became World Champion in the Quarter-tonner class. 1976 A Dehler-built 470 wins the Olympic gold medal in Montreal, becoming the most sought-after boat in the class. 2,000 are sold.
The Sprinter range is aimed at the burgeoning IOR classes. The Sprinta Sport, a Quarter-tonner, would become the largest IOR one-design class in history. Today, they continue to sail at the front of regattas and will often have 30-boat-strong one-design sections in major European regattas.
The first DB (Dehler-Beilken) is introduced. The Dehler DB1 is a racey yacht developed specifically for regattas, and succeeded in sweeping the board in virtually every race they were entered.
The DB2 is launched as a refined and optimized version of the DB1. Positron sweeps the Three-Quarter-tonner World Chamionships. The Optima 101 is developed directly from the the DB, incorporating a cruising interior and cockpit, and simplified sailplan into the successful DB hull. The Optima 101 remains a highly sought-after boat.
The Optima 101 evolves into the Optima 106, and it can still keep up: in 2004, Froschkonig was German Sailing Champion.
Caliente, one of perhaps a dozen Optima 101s in the United States, is delivered to Chicago and promptly beats up on the established racing fleet. Lying on a mooring several rows away is Perception, a mid '70s 36-foot Pearson. On board is a 19-year-old "lifelong" sailor and naval architect wannabe who takes note of the intriguing and innovative German.
The Dehler 36 CWS arrives with a real innovation: the Central Winch System. Each and every sheet and halyard was led to a single winch, leading to ease of handling that was simply unheard of. Continuously refined and implemented on a number of Dehlers, CWS is a feature of today's Dehler 41 and 47.
In cooperation with the German Sailor's Association, Dehler returns to its dinghy roots by introducing a modern, high-performance training dinghy to the market. 600 Teenys would be built.
The naval architect wannabe, now in his early 20s, is a broker at Chicago's best all-sailboat yacht brokerage, and reputable dealer for some of the top brands in sailing at the time. In a run-of-the-mill encounter, an owner phones to list his boat for sale. It's Caliente, shown here in a current-day photo. Upon close inspection of the boat's features and construction, one individual's fate was sealed. "Why doesn't everyone do it like like this?"
The Dehler 33 is introduced in three variations from cruise to full competition. It is the first Dehler designed by Judel/Vrolijk (with interior by Matteo Thun) and one of the first production designs to embrace the wholesome intentions of IMS. It is an astoundingly successful collaboration of designers and builder. In Competition form, it would become the first German Sailing Champion, and is often found in the top spots today.
The first-generation Dehler 41 Deck Salon is launched, heralding the acceptance of new trends by a yard that was used to producing sporty yachts. She is full of innovations beyond the all-weather comfort of the pilot-salon. We see the prototype during one of her show appearances ("Why doesn't everyone do it like this?"), promptly beginning the research and discussions into representing Dehler. The 41DS will enter a second generation in 2000, and in 2010, remains the benchmark by which every pilot-salon must be judged.
The stars finally align, we take a deep breath, swallow hard, and form Dehler Great Lakes. In an unusual strategy, it was built from the ground-up to be an innovative, small, agile dealership focused solely on what we believed to be the best all-around builder anywhere. Taking delivery of and living extensively with a newly-launched Dehler 29, we were not dissapointed. She would be followed by the first of the second generation of the ultimate expression of Dehler, the 41DS. By 2002, our expertise led us to become, in some way, involved with the vast majority of Dehlers to reach North America.
The Dehler 39 wins the German National Chamionships, IMS World Championships and countless other regattas right out of the box, and heralds an entirely new market segment! Although flattered by the imitations from other builders, Dehler would launch a refined and faster version, the 39SQ, in 2005. The winning continues.
The largest Dehler to date is launched. The Dehler 47 has the performance and accommodations of larger boats, while being easy to singlehand, qualities that were once mutually exclusive.
Dehler is purchased by enthusiastic sailor Wilan van den Berg, who embarks on defining the next generation of Dehler. The 2006 launch of the forward-thinking, Simonis-Voogd designed, Dehler 44 is met with accolades. A paradigm is set, a new Dehler 34 follows close behind, and development of Dehler's most ambitious project, the Dehler 60, begins.
Well-meaning intentions, strong vision and lofty goals are offset by those same lofty goals, the onset of a worldwide recession, and radical market shift. By December 2008, it is too much for the small yard to handle, and formal insolvency proceedings are announced.
Dehler becomes an independent member of the HanseGroup family, which includes Hanse Yachts, Moody Yachts and Fjord motoryachts. The small yard immediately benefits from improved purchasing power, and the HanseGroup's immensely impressive development and tooling capabilities. The Dehler 35 becomes the first launch from the revitalized builder, the Dehler 32 is developed from the keel-up and launched in 2010, alongside the Dehler 45, an evolution of the D44. While times change, Dehler's Core Values-- Innovation, Build Quality, Balanced Performance, Value-- are very much intact.
Dehler, a leader in design and innovation for 48 years, introduces the next era of modern-yet-wholesome fast cruising yachts, the Dehler 41. Like the DB, Optima, 33 and 39 before her, she'll be remembered for her sporting feel, picture-perfect aesthetics, exquisite accommodations and always-astonishing construction.