As 2021 fades away, Dutch yards thrive at both ends of the sector

HEEG – Dutch shipyards look back on a big year. Large yacht makers enjoy well-filled order books. And at the other end of the spectrum, makers of daysailers also report healthy sales and growth. A glance at Jachtwerf Heeg:

2,100+ Randmeers have been built. Wijma shows latest model

In the watery heart of northern Holland, Jachtwerf Heeg builds half a dozen daysailer brands and the Pointer sailing cruisers of up to 30ft. The sprawling yard is adding 700m² of covered space, a capacity increase of 70%.

“I winter-store up to 40 boats and am running out of space,” says owner Geert Wijma.

In the past six years, he sold 51 Pointer cabin cruisers of 22ft, 25ft and 30ft (6.7, 7.6 and 9.1m). Starting at €90,000, they are Ocean-B rated and buyers can choose a color scheme online. In September, Wijma introduced the Pointer-30 which offers the option of a tilting steering wheel or tiller.

It comes standard with a closed transom and swimming platform. With a shallow 1.25m (4.1ft) draft, it can access a large sailing area. Key design points: the Pointer-30 had to have a comfortable workplace, a coffee bar and an easily accessible galley.

Jachtwerf Heeg’s Pointer yachts

The elegant design embodies modern comfort and luxury. The design of the Pointer-30 offers exclusive rotating armchairs, 4 spacious berths, each 2.10m long, an enclosed toilet, and a separate double cabin.

Wijma’s star performer is the 6.2m (20.3ft) polyester, open-cockpit Randmeer of which more than 2,100 (!) have been sold since 1962. They start at €25,000 and Wijma still builds 15 a year. An E.G. van de Stadt design, the Randmeer is popular with racers and cruisers. Scores of Randmeers show up for races in a class boat equipped with a trapeze and spinnaker.  The hull weighs 500 kilos, and the draft varies from 0.55 to 1.15m (1.8 to 3.8ft), courtesy of a centerboard.

Jachtwerf Heeg owner Geert Wijma

In 2021, “the second-hand market and our servicing operations also did well,” says Wijma. “My service department is growing. Clients want us to do all the maintenance.” The 2021 COVID-inspired ban on foreign travel pressed many Dutch people into staycations. Standing in a door of a cavernous, half-finished boat hall, Wijma says he is ready for another good year. “Our capacity expansion will be completed in March, I hope.”