VLISSINGEN – This windswept North Sea town is a far cry from Monaco. But that did not stop Damen Yachting from staging a ‘Private Boat Show’ here to undo the marketing damage done by the cancellation of the 2020 Monaco Yacht Show.
At its sprawling home base (Vlissingen is a centuries-old center of Dutch shipbuilding) Damen Yachting spent 3 days flaunting the variety of its high-end yachts. These included the 77m (253ft.) SeaXplorer La Datcha, the 55m (180ft.) Yacht Support Blue Ocean, 2 Amels superyachts – one of 74m (243ft.), the other of 62.5m (206ft.) Inside, more superyachts, including the 3-year-old, 83m (272ft.) Here Comes The Sun undergoing a refit.
“We are working on 20 projects in various stages of refit and new build,” Rose Damen told this newsletter at her show. “When we have an order, we generally start right away. Clients don’t want to wait. The construction time of an average project is 3 years.” Damen also does spec-building to accelerate building time for clients but if they enter the build process late, there is little room for flexibility in the ship’s design.
Damen Yachting has 450 employees. Add supply company staffers and 1,500 to 1,800 people can be working at the yard on any given day.
In the past decade, Damen has significantly ramped up its choice of yachts. This is very visible in its 2020 launches: at least 2 SeaXplorers, 3 Amels Limited Editions superyachts, a Yacht Support vessel and several refits. It has also returned to full custom building. One such project is a 77.8m (255ft.) yacht with an amazing 2,865 GT volume.
At the ‘Private Boat Show,’ Briton Andrew Tree, the owner’s rep, says it is a most unusual yacht with 2 elevators: one for guests, one for the crew. The pool can be emptied in a matter of minutes by shifting 27 tons of water into a below-deck tank. The engine room has a glass ceiling so guests can watch it from above. And, says Tree, the vast foredeck has “a fire pit and the firewood will be stored under a hatch.”
The yacht is the 3rd full custom project in Damen Yachting’s order book. Rose Damen: “It is for a repeat customer. We have an excellent team for this project and, of course, a great pool of talented suppliers and subcontractors who are located nearby”.
The biggest surprise at the ‘Private Boat Show’: Damen Yachting will soon start on a 120m (394ft.) Espen Øino-designed yacht that has a 2025 launch date.
Project Signature, says the yard, will be the largest superyacht built to date in the Netherlands. It is the 9th Amels project since 2009 that brings Damen Yachting together with Monaco-based Imperial Yachts which represents the client. Says Imperial Managing Director Julia Stewart, “Working with Amels and Damen Yachting is logical. They have an excellent reputation. We appreciate their high standards and ability to deliver in record time.”