GROOT-AMMERS – When Zeelander Yachts flaunted its brand-new flagship, the 22m Z72, at the 2021 Cannes yacht show, it had already sold four in the United States, a country where the brand is well known.
Cannes also revealed the 48ft Zeelander 5, a new model that replaces the Z44, which had some disadvantages. It lacked a side boarding door and easy access to the swimming platform. The new model addresses those concerns.
Since Sietse Koopmans founded Zeelander Yachts in 2002, the company has built 68 fast, high-end motor yachts that – unusual for a Dutch brand – come in three polyester models.
A recent Italian Z-72 buyer said he couldn’t find what he wanted in Italy, home of the oh-so-stylish stylish Riva brand. Says Zeelander Commercial Director Menno Versluis: “It’s special for a Dutch builder to sell a boat like the Z-72 to an Italian. Our client flew to Rotterdam, was impressed by a yard visit and signed the contract in a matter of days.”
“In the US, Zeelanders travel long distances,” he adds. “The Z72 boasts three 1000HP IPS-Volvo Pentas that render a top speed of 42 knots. Acceleration from zero to 40 knots takes 22 seconds and keeps noise to 72 dB, courtesy of vibration-free engine installation and sound insulation. Also, a big advantage of the IPS system is that the owner can sail the yacht without a crew, although accommodation for a crew member is possible on the Z72.”
It’s easy to regard Zeelander as a Wajer Yachts rival, but Versluis says he works in a different market. “Wajer builds a beautiful high-end speedboat, say, a Mercedes. We build a ‘Bentley,’ i.e., an exclusive, fast motor yacht with extreme finishing.”
The Z72 has a Seakeeper 18 gyroscopic stabilizer with Humphrees Interceptor Trim Tabs. A Williams Sportjet 345 tender fits into the garage, as do a Seabob underwater scooter and other toys. The main deck has “privacy glass” with push-button tinting. Down below are three cabins. On the main deck is a salon. A hydraulic gangway on the stern is for reverse docking to the quay, like in the Med.
The Cor D. Rover-designed Zeelanders are built with vacuum injection technology in fiberglass with vinylester. The yard uses Awlgrip paint systems as standard and boasts a packed order book. “We are now working on two Z72s, two Z55s and four Z5s. European orders are now coming in as quickly as from the US,” says Versluis. “Zeelander is doing well in America but is also growing in Europe.”