WASPIK – Invite yachting media types to your yard and you have a captive audience to hear the story of your brand.In 2017, this true-and-tried marketing trick had an eye-opening effect on Van den Hoven Jachtbouw.
“We hosted visiting journalists from Italy, Spain and Scandinavia,” owner Bart van den Hoven remembers today. “We showed them our steel-hulled Executive motor yacht series. They loved the design and finishing, but said I would not be able to sell my yachts in their countries. Too slow! The long distances there require a yacht to achieve at least 21 knots.”
A Eureka moment! Van den Hoven commissioned designer Rene van der Velden to draw a fast, 18m yacht. The aluminum Voyager series will boast a Van Oossanen Fast Displacement Hull with a plumb bow and twin 6-cylinder Volvo Penta engines for a maximum speed of around 21 knots.
Van den Hoven is not alone. Recent visits by Dutch Yacht Building to half a dozen yards making motor yachts to 30m showed several to be adding fast series to their portfolios.
Like the vast majority of Dutch yards, he builds in steel.
His Executive series (15 to 21m) is designed for navigating Europe’s inland and coastal waters. He launched a 17m Executive MK2 fairly soon after introducing his new 1500 Mk2 and 1850. The 1500 Mk2 is a versatile craft with a fully foldable mast for low bridges. The hull design includes the stepped bulwark, resulting in a low freeboard. The use of a 225 hp Volvo Penta engine limits consumption to 10.7 liters an hour at a speed of 7.1 knots. The 1500 Mk2 can be equipped with a flybridge.
By building in steel, Van den Hoven gives clients a great deal of design and layout input in addition to the choice of materials, color schemes and engines.
Today, he builds his 53rd yacht, a planing Voyager series is for people looking further afield. “This could include anything from sailing from fjord to fjord in Norway,” says Van den Hoven. “Or island hopping in Greece, or going around the British isles.”
Increasingly, Van den Hoven is focused on reeling in refit work to keep existing clients.