DÜSSELDORF — Ask Wies Hokwerda about the year 2019 and a big smile lands on the face of the CEO of Dutch motor yacht builder De Boarnstream International . “An excellent year!” she beamed at the 2020 Boat Duesseldorf show. “De Boarnstream was founded in 1964 and 2019 was our 2nd best year ever.”
Linssen Yachts, maker of highly customized steel motor yachts of 9 to 15m (29.5-49ft), last year delivered 65 new yachts. More significantly, the company returned to the US market and found a Canadian distributer near Vancouver. And Van den Hoven Jachtbouw, builder of 55 steel yachts since 1992, began work on its first aluminum Voyager 61, a high-end motoryacht.
At Duesseldorf, Dutch builders were in an upbeat mood. Last year they reeled in discerning clients in Europe and beyond with customization, innovation and smart engineering.
“In the United States we sold 2 yachts – one each on either coast,” Linssen Yachts owner Yvonne Linssen told DutchYachtBuilding at Duesseldorf. “And we found a Canadian distributor in NW Explorations of Port Sidney, near Vancouver. It’s a company that stages flotilla sailing events to Alaska.”
Van den Hoven’s maiden aluminum Voyager 61 will have twin Volvo Penta engines. “Our traditional markets are the Netherlands and Germany,” said CEO Bart van den Hoven. “But we have gotten good feedback about the Voyager 61 from other markets. In fact, I see a good market for our aluminum yachts over the next 10 years.
Hokwerda showed a Boarnstream 1440 at Duesseldorf, the biggest center sleeper under 15 meters.
Linssen Yachts has been building boats since 1949. Its water-displacement craft are “the ‘ultimate loopers’,” says Yvonne Linssen, referring to the Great Loop of 6,000 miles (9,700 kms) of waterways in the eastern half of North America. At Duesseldorf, Linssen premiered the SL (Sport Luxury) Series that targets younger clients with hipper colors. “Our new models are never as revolutionary as you see in other brands,” says Linssen.
Boot Duesseldorf also revealed unity among Dutch builders when it comes to electric boating. It is generally seen as a technology whose time has not (yet) come for recreational boats of 10m and up. “In our boats electric propulsion would add €150,000 to a boat,” says Hokwerda. “There is no way you’ll earn that back in fuel savings.”