Coronavirus tanked Aquatec’s launches, but not its restructuring zest

WOUDSEND – Aquatec Industries had high hopes for the 2020 HISWA Amsterdam Boat Show.

The builder of Makma, Maril and Antaris tenders hoped to show off 2 new fancy models: the 8.55m Makma Cayos 28 and the 10m (33ft.) Antaris X. The launch event was to cap 3 years of culling Acquatec’s fist-thick portfolio and make new, bigger, swankier models.

Not so much tenders anymore, but comfortable cruisers.

The coronavirus closed down the mid-March HISWA Amsterdam Boat Show after only 2 days, but left unspoiled Aquatec Industries’ zest for a root-and-branch restructuring.


10m Antaris X

Its 2 newest models show how sophisticated and luxurious Dutch-made tenders have become. And no yard does that better than Aquatec Industries.

Its new flagship, the 10m Antaris X, oozes a contemporary design of clean lines, a spacious and modern interior and a high-quality finish.

It is a fast day cruiser for the whole family that can do 17.6 knots and go out to sea with a CE category B offshore cruising rating. It comes standard with an 80HP Yanmar diesel although the first vessel was given a  250HP Yanmar.

“I think we can appeal to a new target group with this,” Aquatec Industries Director Klaas Schiphof. “And some of the customers will come from abroad.”

Klaas Schiphof

The Antaris X has a steep bow, spray rails and a straight stern with an integrated swimming platform. The spacious cockpit holds a corner sofa, an outside galley and convertible steering. Down below are 4 berths in 2 cabins and, to port side, is a separate toilet/shower room.

Aquatec is also releasing this year the Makma Cayos-28, a Vripack-designed sporty weekender with a sunbed, a galley with hob, sink and 70L fridge in the big cockpit and, under the foredeck, overnight accommodation for 2. The  Cayos-28 features a lockable toilet and comes standard with an 80HP Yanmar diesel. The first model gets a 250HP Yanmar. The world will soon see Cayos-27.

Aquatec’s strategy is to introduce a new model every year. “You must continue to develop. If you dare not take risks, you won’t advance,” says Schiphof. “Also, we know the market well, don’t rush into new models and consider the wishes and comments of own clients.”

His 3 brands – Antaris, Makma and Maril – date back to the 1980s when they were separate companies. Over time, they were folded into Aquatec which moved production of all 3 brands to a single site and reduced its portfolio that once held 50 models.

Crucially, Aquatec (50 employees) upgraded the 3 brands from simple inland dayboats to very sophisticated cruisers with diesel and/or electric propulsion. An advertising agency helped nail down each brand’s market segment.

“In 10 years, we launched 9 new models that account for the lion’s share of our turnover,” says Schiphof. He became a part-owner of the company through a management buyout with some investors in 2016.

“I see the future positively,” he adds. Although he sees boaters boating differently now, there is no cause for panic. “Yes, people are less inclined to go away for a whole weekend, but they still like to sail and enjoy themselves on the water. So, they still invest in a new boat.”  / /