Moonen beefs up management to boost brand after lean years

DEN BOSCH _ A year after a leadership shuffle, Moonen Yachts sees blue skies and is taking to the Cannes and Monaco shows a new management team tasked with repositioning the superyacht brand after several lean years.

The mood at Moonen is upbeat these days. This year, it launched the 26.3m (119ft.) Brigadoon “and we have a fantastic sister-ship currently underway,” says CEO Johan Dubbelman. “The future is bright for Moonen.”

Then head of marketing, Dubbelman took the helm a year ago in a management overhaul. He has reeled in new talent to target new clients for his yard’s high-quality 30 to 50m yachts.

Marianne Hendriks, formerly of Alewijnse Marine Systems, has joined as head of marketing and communications. Sytse de Vlas, a veteran of Jongert and other top Dutch yards, has been named sales chief. Brand Manager Maarten Hogeweg will focus on ramping up brand awareness and new business.

With the launch of Brigadoon “a new era has started,” says Hogeweg. “We’re seeing our clients wanting to step out of traditional yachting in favor of real travel to luxurious adventure and a new yachting lifestyle.”

A priority is expanding the reach of Moonen worldwide. 80% of Moonen clients are in the UK, followed by Americans. “Our focus is on new opportunities,” says Dubbelman. “We’re reaching out to a new clientele.”

The yard is emerging from several years of financial hardship. It targets younger, more adventurous owners with yachts from premier designers. Topping the yard’s to-do list: shorter delivery times.

Moonen is owned by the CEO of Mexican steel giant AHMSA that a few years ago ran into financial trouble. Funding for Moonen was halted but was later restored.