STAVOREN _ With the aid of a Fort Lauderdale agent, Sturier Yachts owner Auke van der Werff is taking on America. He knows what he is up against and says he does not underestimate the challenge ahead.

“The US is a huge market. I’m sure orders will not exactly come flooding starting in tomorrow,” says Van der Werff. “But there is a market there. And we want to explore it.”

He banks on the fact that American yachtsmen know the quality of Dutch superyachts. And that they will appreciate the high-end finish of the Sturier range.

Trans-Atlantic cultural differences don’t scare Van der Werff. “We see differences within Europe,” he says. “East Europeans like classic boats, dark wood interiors. Northern Europeans like blond wood. We cater to all.”

Van der Werff builds about 5 yachts a year, mostly for clients in the Netherlands and Germany. In recent years, he has been casting the net wider, engaging agents in the Czech Republic and Italy. “The US agent came to see me in late 2017. He said he had seen our yachts,” says Van der Werff. He builds yachts in steel and aluminum and has developed a new range of yachts – the Dutchman Explorer. The longest in that series is a 5-cabin, 4-bath trawler (photo) that stretches to 24m (80 ft.) and has a 4,000-nm range.

Sturier Yachts, founded in 1918, has to date focused on the north European market. The Dutchman Explorer range is a serious break with that tradition. It is available in full and semi displacement versions that reach speeds of up to 24 knots Options include a fly bridge.

“The Dutchman Explorer means boating in style, all over the world,” says Van der Werff. It is a long-range yacht with a modern interior and packed with sophisticated craftsmanship and innovative technology.”