SHENZEN _ At the 2017 Shenzen International Boat Show, 5 Dutch companies active in yacht design, engineering and consultancy laid the groundwork for knowledge-sharing, networking and collaboration in recreational and superyachts. Together with Wuhan University of Technology, they hosted a conference at which they and Chinese counterparts gave design and production presentations.

Says Jacques Hoffmans of MasterShip Software BV, one of 5 companies comprising the Royal Dutch Yacht Consortium: “Does China lag behind? Not in overall technical matters, but certainly in applying technical processes across yachtbuilding niches.” Chinese yards build sequentially. Dutch builders construct exteriors and interiors simultaneously. Also, outsourcing is more common in The Netherlands than in China. The Chinese prefer to keep all disciplines within their own company.”

Hoffman says “to become a player in the export market, Chinese shipyards must meet high quality norms. Vibration and noise absorption must be taken to a higher level.”

He adds collaborating with Chinese builders is not about “surrendering knowledge and craftmanship that the Dutch have built up in centuries of maritime history. “We must be realistic,” he says. “Collaborating today can build networks and business opportunities. If we don’t reach out to China, others will. The Australians, the Americans, the British etc.”

Dutch maritime companies “can offer innovative design, engineering solutions and software tools. Our expertise, products and services give us a competitive edge.” China is not an unknown factor. In 2015, Pride Mega Yachts delivered an 88m motor yacht (photo) designed by Azure Yacht Design and Naval Architects and Sinot Exclusive Yacht Design, both Netherlands.

The Royal Dutch Yacht Consortium partners are MasterShip Software, MasterShip Services, MHE Engineering (HVAC piping drawings), Pontis (composite products) and SARC (naval architectural calculations and software).