Dutch Superyachts take a global position
In a sector defined by one-off projects and low profile owners, superyacht market intelligence can often include an element of speculation. However, the rise of Dutch shipbuilders in the sector over the last decade has been a matter of fact, with a global share growing from 9% in 2009 to 12% (of a larger market) in 2018.
A willingness to innovate and meet demanding customer requirements has been central to establishing today’s orderbook of 39 superyachts under construction in the Netherlands, with around 23 high-end craft due handover this year.
The collective strength has been acknowledged in a new grouping of prominent Dutch companies active in the sector which, together with trade association Netherlands Maritime Technology (NMT), form the newly established Holland Superyacht Platform.
With the global superyacht market estimated as being worth €4.1 bn every year, according to NMT, the trade association says it is proud to have the vessel type 'on board’. "We now represent even more the Dutch maritime sector has to offer,” says NMT Managing Director Roel de Graaf.
Superyachts provide a specific area of focus at Europort 2019 between November 5-8th, where more than 40% of exhibitors are developing or supplying technology and/or services for the specialized vessel type. The event provides a unique opportunity for decision-makers to move seamlessly on from 'just browsing’ on design to home in on the stabilizers, dynamic positioning systems, podded propulsors and pilot control technology that truly provide voyage comfort.
Builders within the region have certainly been gearing up. Feadship, for example, opened a new yard in May this year in Amsterdam, in a cooperative venture between Royal Van Lent Shipyard and Koninlijke De Vries, to build and refit larger and wider superyachts up to 160m in length. The main building hall occupies an area of around 425,000 cubic metres and is considered the most eco-friendly superyacht yard in the world.
The new yard’s first project is the innovative Syzygy 818, which demanded specific performance criteria from the yard before work could even be initiated. "Computerised 3D design needed to progress to the point where an extraordinary amount of curvaceousness would be possible in both the glass as well as the overall yacht,” the builder says.
Oceanco, meanwhile, acquired the premises of Heerema Zwijndrecht earlier this year, 10km downriver from its existing yard, and investing in new facilities to create a superyacht design and building hub that allows different parts of the supply chain to work together on a single site. In line with Europort’s 'smart’ agenda, the new facility has rapidly become known as the 'superyacht brain park’.