Damen Yachting launches strategic shift in its sherpa yachts marketing

FLUSHING – Damen Yachting has sold a 53m (175ft) Yacht Support, the first in a new series of its sherpa vessels that carry the water toys, tenders, helicopters, and other hardware around the world of a mother superyacht.

The inaugural 53m Yacht Support will be delivered in 2023 and become part of billionaire Anthony Hsieh’s “unique and extensive private fishing program,” says Damen Yachting.

The Dutch superyacht maker, part of the Damen Shipyards Group, has built 20 or so Yacht Support vessels in the past decade. The yard says the YS 53 range marks “a strategic shift” in the marketing of its Yacht Supports.

“It represents the next generation of Yacht Support vessels,” the yard says.

Anthony Hsieh

“What we are planning to do with the YS 5301, no one has ever done before,” says Hsieh, CEO of US nonbank mortgage lender loanDepot.com. He is a successful and driven offshore fishing enthusiast. “I think this will set a whole new tier of adventure for future sportsmen to explore,” he adds. “My hope is that this ambitious (YS) program will inspire a whole new generation of sportsmen to create their own programs. It will be good for the sport, yachting and the fishing industries.”

The first 53m from the Damen Yachting’s Yacht Support range will be delivered in 2023 and be part of Hsieh’s unique and extensive private fishing program.

Damen Yachting Yacht Support 5301

Hsieh has big goals for the YS 5301. It dwarfs his 44m Bad Company-144 when it joins his Bad Company fleet. Primarily located in the Indian and Pacific Oceans, the craft will be the flagship of his extensive fishing program that will incorporate fishing in barely chartered waters and support marine conservation projects.

The YS 5301 will carry a 43ft Release Game boat and a 32ft Blackfin that was Hsieh’s first sportfishing boat more than 30 years ago. Both will be deployed into areas where the program does not (yet) have a Bad Company fleet.

The program’s Atlantic operations are covered by the 46m YS 4508, which Damen Yachting delivered in 2019 and ended up in Hsieh’s Bad Company fleet in 2021.

John Hogerwou, Damen Yachting’s Commercial Executive, says the YS 5301 “is one of the most exciting projects we have worked on. Not only is this the first of our new YS 53 range, but this is also the first Yacht Support we have built that will be used exclusively as part of a sport fishing fleet and program.”

The 499GT YS 5301 can host 6 to 16 guests and carry a crew of 11, including the captain. Damen Yachting did the design, in and out, and the naval architecture. The YS 5301 features a 15-ton deck crane and two main engines, good for a top speed of 19 knots. The vessel will be IMO Tier III compliant, reducing harmful emissions by 70%.