Swish Arctic Project's San Gottardo

RAAMSDONKSVEER – Altena Yachting marked its 50th anniversary this year by delivering an aluminum, 15m (50ft) semi-displacement trawler – for a downsizing repeat client – and building an 18.6m (61ft) Vripack-designed Altena OC.

Half a century of steel and aluminum yacht building at Altena Yachting has left a mark.

The family-owned yard has to date built more than 800 motor yachts, from 12 to 20m (39-69ft). Mostly trawlers. In 1969, founder Gerard Pols – then a diesel engine repairman – started his yard by finishing someone else’s 9.5m cruiser. Soon he was building his own, 10 a year.

Ah, life was a such breeze then. Boat drawings were simply scaled up a tad, if a client wanted a slightly larger boat. These days, Altena Yachting builds 2 or 3 full-custom yachts a year, with chine or multi-chine hulls. All luxury craft, rated for inland, coastal or white-water yachting.

Altena Yachting is one of two dozen or so Dutch builders making premium quality, under-30m (98ft) luxury cruisers and trawlers. Many are from the boards of house designer Otto Brinksma who is responsible for the yard’s Blue Water Trawler and Coasthopper. Altena has also relied on designers Pieter Beeldsnijder, Theo Werner and the Vripack studio.

18.7m Vryburg PB61

“We build everything, also for other shipyards”, says Altena Yachting Director Marcel Pols.
“We are always open for cooperative projects.” A good example: the Vryburg PB61 (18m), launched in 2018. “We also completed one in 2016,” says Pols. The 18.6m (61ft) Altena OC (open cockpit) he is now building – a Vripack design – is a 46-ton displacement yacht powered by twin 220HP John Deere diesels.

Altena’s Blue Water Trawlers have been a hit from the day in 1994 when the first slipped into the water. By now, it has sold 40, from 48 to 58 feet (157 to 190ft). A steel displacement yacht designed for coastal waters and open sea, the Blue Water Trawler has a no-nonsense, classic look, a flared bow and comes in single and double-prop versions.

The boat has 5 watertight compartments, including the engine room, fore and aft ship accommodation. The aft-placed owner’s cabin has an en suite bathroom. Forward are a guest cabin, a dinette, bathroom and toilet and galley. There is a deck house steering position and saloon below the flybridge.

15m. Altena 600 Raised Pilothouse

New versions of the Vripack-designed Altena 500 and 600 Raised Pilothouse, designed by Vripack, have recently come onto the market

Altena Yachting also takes on challenging repair and rebuilding jobs. Most notable among them has been the transformation of a Dutch fishing cutter into an expedition vessel for the Swish Arctic Project. The San Gottardo ship was given a new wheelhouse, accommodations and a mast with an observation crow’s nest. The ship sails from Spitsbergen.