DEN BOSCH – Moonen Yachts says it is pleased that it joined the Netherlands Maritime Technology trade lobby after the 2019 collapse of the superyacht unit of the HISWA watersports trade group.

Managing Director Marianne Hendriks says being part of the 400-member, Rotterdam-based NMT gives her company a global reach. “We see NMT’s strength in cooperation, knowledge sharing and image expansion,” she says in NMT’s Aug. 18 newsletter.

Any company would welcome that, but especially Moonen Yachts, a specialist in 30-50m, semi-custom yachts. Moonen looks back on some hardscrabble years culminating in a July 2019, bankruptcy that saw the exit of then-owner, Mexican steel giant Altos Hornos de Mexico. A month later, Moonen was back, now owned by Australian industrialists Matthew and Louise Baxter.

Marianne Hendriks

“I see ample potential,” Hendriks tells this newsletter. “Our new owners are very motivated people.”

While very large, high-end Dutch-made superyachts – of, say, well over 70m – inevitably hog the limelight, Moonen Yachts serves the 30-50m segment which accounts for almost half of global superyacht sales. Big-name rivals deliver serial-built yachts whereas Moonen markets semi-custom ones.

“Moonen Yachts may look the same on the outside, they are very different on the inside,” says Hendriks. “Only the crew areas are the same.”

In the HISWA days, she adds, the focus lay on ‘Holland Branding’ which stressed informal social exchanges and hospitality. NMT focuses on trade promotion and the “professionalism and quality of Dutch superyacht building. The Netherlands builds the world’s best yachts. We have to maintain that position.”

NMT promotes Dutch maritime know-how and expertise worldwide. Its membership represents hundreds of companies active in commercial shipping. The group is now crafting a superyacht unit for 30-odd Dutch builders and suppliers. They include Feadship, Heesen, Moonen, Royal Huisman and Contest Yachts.

NMT is keeping a porchlight on for other candidates.

“Moonen is doing well,” says Hendriks. “We even sold a yacht in these tough COVID-19 days and have 2 yachts under construction.” The yacht Moonen sold to a Mideast client is a 36m sister ship of the yard’s award-winning Brigadoon. The yard prefers spec-building so that when a buyer shows up, it can offer a drastically reduced delivery time.

Hendriks says the coronavirus has made employees, suppliers as well as customers “more inclined to use online communication tools, such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams. It’s convenient, efficient, cost-effective and saves time,” she says. “As far as I am concerned, we’ll  definitely keep this up!”