HINDELOOPEN _ It began building aluminum boats in 1975 and by now demand for Aluboot’s expertise is brisk. The yard is a go-to aluminum builder. It cuts aluminum build kits for boat builders, crafts remarkable private sailing and motor yachts itself and has to date delivered 20+ lifeboats to the Netherlands’ main SAR organization.
An early milestone was Philips . It. Skippered by Dirk Nauta, it placed 2nd in the 1985–86 Whitbread Round the World Race, the precursor of the Volvo Ocean Race. Today, Aluboot is a full-service company. It has its own joinery and painting units and computer-steered cutting machines that eat their way through aluminum up to 150 mm thick.
But good economic times come with a downside. Like many in boat building, Aluboot Director Klaas Borneman worries about a skills deficit in days of good economic growth. He finds technical training sadly undervalued in the internet age and keenly accommodates internships to combat a shortage of welding skills. “They are a good way to find qualified personnel,” he says. “Right now, we really need quality welders.”
This winter, his yard works on a 23.5m Hoek Design sailing yacht for a European owner keen on long-distance voyages. He opted for aluminum because of its good strength-to-weight ratio. Aluboot does the technical installations and the painting and the joinery. The rigging is by A+ Rigging of Medemblik. The yacht will get a Steyer diesel with a built-in generator. Aluboot uses a Hoffman vacuum bench to shape interior parts more evenly than traditional glue tongs can.
Also in the works now: a sleek, go-anywhere, self-righting Long Range Cruiser-58, a design by New Zealander Dennis Harjamaa. The fuel-efficient, 17.6 m. live-aboard passage maker is suited for offshore, high seas and inland cruising. It has a 4m beam and a light diesel engine (75–90HP) that achieves a cruising speed of 7 to 9 knots, and a top speed of 11 knots.
The LCR-58 is for a Russian client and is Aluboot’s second. In 2017, the company built the first for Rob Westermann of Artnautica Europe which markets the LRC58 in Europe.
Borneman expects to build several more LCR-58s in the years ahead.
This winter Aluboot is also refitting 2 sailing yachts, including Dixbay, a 22m Hoek Design Truly Classic-73 that Aluboot delivered in 2004.
Borneman is upbeat about the future. “A design like the LCR-58 offers great opportunities. I can see orders for longer models than the 58ft. Especially from abroad. In Russia, for instance, there are many wealthy customers. We can build to 28m. To 30m, if necessary.”