Feadship’s complex fun ‘platforms’

SCHIEDAM _ Feadship will soon launch Project 1007. The 4-deck, 110m (361ft.) displacement yacht will be its largest. But not for long. Soon, the Dutch maker of full custom superyachts opens a 4th yard, in Amsterdam, where it can build to 160m. and boost its refit activities.

Dutch-built superyachts are getting smaller and bigger, at the same time.

“Threshold yachts” of only 20m can brim with stem-to-stern superyacht finish. And at the top, Feadship’s one-offs are growing longer. And endlessly more complex. Brand and Marketing Manager Farouk Nefzi his company’s superyachts have become “platforms.” That sounds very clinical and unromantic in industry that deals in dreams and emotions.

Speaking to the Dutch maritime trade site MartiemNieuws.nl. recently, Nefzi touched on an issue that is often overlooked: As yachts grow longer, but that means they become extraordinarily complex.

Nefzi: “Large yachts house more facilities. Like beach clubs, submersibles and diving, water ski and parasailing centers. Superyachts have become platforms to generate the most amazing moments in the life of for our clients. These are people who already have everything. Adding complexity are built-in features such as a helicopter garage, underwater lounges and hybrid propulsion. These features require an enormous degree of innovation” in both materials and construction techniques. Nefzi added that in its drive “to be one of the world’s best yacht builders, Feadship invests considerably in developing and upgrading workforce skills … to offer our staff the possibility to advance in their own area of expertise.”

The rising demand for skills is no small issue in the Netherlands whose superyacht builders launched two dozen semi and full custom vessels in 2017 valued at 1.19 billion euros. A recent survey found a third of technical companies suffer from a shortage of skilled workers. And 80% see that shortage continuing for at least 5 years.