The recent announcement by Feadship of its intention to open a fourth construction and refit facility in Amsterdam is the latest example of an impressive wave of expansion by the Dutch superyacht cluster. As the latest industry figures show an ongoing growth in the number of deliveries and orders, members of the HISWA Holland Yachting Group are responding to market demands in a variety of innovative ways.
The latest superyacht construction and order figures illustrated the exceptionally strong position of the Dutch industry. Dutch yards launched 22 superyachts in 2015, six more than the year before and worth an impressive €1.18 billion. This growth is set to continue for the foreseeable future as members of the HISWA Holland Yachting Group received orders for another 24 superyachts during 2015, an increase of 26.3% on the 2014 figures. And with 25 deliveries expected in 2016 adding up to a total length of 1425 metres, it is clear that the Dutch superyacht cluster is doing well.
Retaining the Lead
“There are a number of key reasons why the superyacht industry in the Netherlands has come through the global downturn in rude health,” explains Jeroen Sirag, export director of the HISWA Holland Yachting Group. “One critical factor has been a longstanding commitment to investing in the future during both good times and lean, with Dutch yards keen to ensure they retain their globally recognised lead in quality and innovation. The same applies to the Dutch equipment suppliers who consistently seek new ways to ensure their first-class products and technologies adorn the finest superyacht builds both in the Netherlands and further afield.”
The fact that Feadship is investing in a brand-new facility at the heart of the Dutch capital speaks volumes about the confidence of Dutch yards in the coming years and their ability to meet growing market demands. Heesen Yachts also recently started construction works for a new 85-metre dry dock at its facility in Oss which is scheduled to be completed by October 2016. A new 98-metre building hall will replace will ensure that Heesen can meet the growing requests from its clients for larger motoryachts.
Other leading Dutch yards have recently completed expansion programmes. At the end of 2014 Oceanco brought the total size of its yard to 120,000 m² by adding a 15-metre-long building shed, 2,800 m² of offices and 13,000 m² of workshops. Meanwhile, AMELS has opened a new covered dry dock which is 204 metres in length and covers 7,400 square metres. This added to its two existing covered dry docks (215 and 145 metres), two building bays and outfitting quays totalling over 300 metres.
Hakvoort Shipyards invested in a large new shed just 200 metres across the harbour from its facility in Monnickendam. This means the yard now has an in-house spray cabin and can take on maintenance and refit projects for yachts up to 40 metres. Mulder Shipyard had already opened a second yard in Zoeterwoude Rijndijk in 2013 covering an area of 7000 m², focused on the maintenance, refit and new build of yachts between 18 and 40 metres.
Sailing yacht yards have also been busy with expansion programmes. Royal Huisman has increased the capacity of two halls in order to accommodate new build and Huisfit projects up to 60 metres. Holland Jachtbouw now has a 60m by 26m state-of-the-art build hall and extended its former main construction hall to 55m. Growth of a different kind has seen two of the leading superyacht builders in the Netherlands join forces. Vitters Shipyard and the management of Claasen Shipyards have together acquired Claasen Shipyards and will now form the new owners and management team of the yard, leveraging on the individual strengths of the yards to operate in tandem.
The marine equipment supply companies which form an integral part of the success of the Dutch superyacht sector are also expanding their activities and facilities. Hydromar Marine Equipment moved in 2015 to an impressive new production facility, enhancing its partnership with Cramm Yachting Systems in the superyacht hydraulics market. At the end of 2015 Tijssen Elektro completed a major rebuild of its headquarters, smoothing the companies anticipated growth by adding 315 m² of facilities. And Van Berge Henegouwen has recently moved its offices to Amsterdam where it now has dedicated testing facilities and a professional workshop.
Some supply companies are expanding abroad too. Huisman Maritiem has extended its service for clients in the Mediterranean region by establishing Huisman Etech Yacht Services in Monaco, which is now available 24/7. Heinen & Hopman has opened a ‘one-stop-shop’ called MY TECH TEAM in Antibes in partnership with Zenoro and De Keizer Marine Engineering, providing advice, technical support and service for HVAC, electrotechnical systems and generators for superyachts. De Keizer will also open its seventh location in West Palm Beach this September as it extends the reach of its Managed Premium Service for superyachts in the world’s key sailing areas.
“All these new initiatives and investments showcase how the members of the HISWA Holland Yachting Group are looking to continue offering the best possible services to their clients,” concludes Sirag. “Equally important, of course, is the industry-leading experience and skills of the workforce at the various yards and supply companies. This remains the backbone of the Dutch superyacht cluster and the number one reason why Holland continues to rule the waves.”