AALST _ Elling Yachting Director Anton van den Bos is a man in a peculiar place. In a nation of scores of shipyards turning out aluminum and steel yachts, he builds a limited but top-quality range of polyester luxury motor yachts.

Since its founding in 1997, Elling Yachting has rolled out only 3 models _ the E3, the E4 and the E6. To date, 276 semi-custom Ellings have been built, gaining favor especially with German and Russian clients. Van de Bos came away from the 2018 Southampton Boat Show sensing “Brexit is making the Brits hesitant. We used to always sell a couple of yachts (at Southampton) but not this time.”

He has high hopes for the US market, however. He says his 19.8m (65ft.) flagship E6 is ideal “for the American market,” he says. “It is big, has ample interior space and is one of the safest boats in its class. And we are well placed to compete with US brands, almost all of which are made in China.” The E6 pilot house can handle 8 guests in comfort, boasts 2 helm seats and a double sofa. Below deck are 2 double-berth and 2 single-berth bedrooms.

Van den Bos recently attended a Trawler-fest in Baltimore, Maryland, showing off an Elling E4 he sold there last year. “Because the E4 goes faster than an average trawler yacht,” says Van den Bos, “we showed it as a High-Performance Trawler. Small shows like these are very interesting for us.”

Elling exteriors are designed by Frank Mulder and Cor de Rover. Britain’s Ken Freivokh drew the interiors. Ellings are sturdy and come with remarkable features, not least of which is “capsize technology.” Check out a 2014 YouTube video that shows Van den Bos doing a complete, controlled roll-over in an Elling E4.

Van den Bos came to Elling from AkzoNobel, maker of Twaron, a super-strong fiber used in many industries. Among many other applications, it makes body armor bullet-proof. Added to the hull of an Elling yacht means the boat will sail away intact from a collision with a floating container.

The 13.8m E3 was launched in 1997, the E4 (14.9m) in 2006. When clients asked for longer, the E6 followed in 2016. Elling Yachting’s 46-strong staff turns out 4 E6 yachts a year. The 6th has just been built. It can be semi-customized based on a client’s wishes.

Van den Bos says he constantly upgrades his yachts with the latest technologies. “We were the first to install LED lights onboard. More recently we switched to lithium-ion batteries. These are 8 times more costly than conventional ones but are – in the end – cheaper,” he says.

Also, Elling yachts come with an advanced power system from WhisperPower. And the E6 has a light, 27HP Yanmar or Volvo Penta emergency engine. It is an option on the E4. “People think that on a yacht with 2 engines, they can always use 1 in case of an emergency,” says Van den Bos. “Not true. If the source of a breakdown is dirty fuel, then both engines go out. Our emergency engine has its own fuel tank and will give the yacht a speed of 6 knots.”