Mulder Shipyard: an 80-year-old family affair on a roll

ZOETERWOUDE-RIJNDIJK – It took 3 Mulder generations 80 years to make their shipyard a premier market force. Crowning that achievement, recent years have seen Mulder Shipyard on a roll. In 2016, it won a World Superyacht Award for its 34m (111.5 ft.) full-custom Solis, the yard’s 100th yacht. It won again this year, for its 36m (118ft.) Delta One, a Mulder-ThirtySix.

Commercial Director Nick Mulder tells Dutch Yacht Building the yard’s 2nd Mulder-Thirty-Six _ his yard’s 110th yacht _ will be ready for delivery in early 2019.  “But I cannot tell you anything about timing for a 3rd Mulder-ThirtySix at this moment.”

His yard entered the 34m Solis (left) into Boat International’s 2016 superyacht award event at the very last minute. And only after an outsider nudged the yard in doing so. “Indeed, that’s true.” says Mulder. “And Solis won in the “displacement yacht below 500GT category at the World Superyacht Awards 2016 in Florence. It was a one-off.”

Solis and the Mulder-ThirtySix projects have brought Mulder Shipyard together with the Claydon Reeves design studio and Van Oossanen Naval Architects. The latter gave the Mulder-ThirtySix their Fast Displacement Hull Form that generates significant fuel savings:  only 73 liters (less than 10 gallons) of fuel per hour at 10 knots.

So, what is that works so well for the Mulder-ThirtySix (left)? “It offers the best atmosphere on board for hands-on clients who want to travel,” says Mulder. “The length is just perfect. You have everything on board you need. And it’s not too big to enter picturesque marinas or amazing bays which require a shallow draft.”

The 2018 superyacht awards jury added, “Delta One’s masculine profile conceals a spectacular beach club in the stern … and a traverse garage large enough for a 6.25m (20.5 ft.) Williams tender. Mulder-ThirtySix yachts are aluminum hulled with interiors that can be customized.”

In 2013, Mulder Shipyard expanded, adding halls _ in Zoeterwoude-Rijndijk, a 15-minute drive from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport _ where it can build, maintain and refit yachts from 15 to 45m. (49 to 148 ft.) The nearby old yard has has remained a place for work on smaller yachts and storage.

“The expansion was a significant, but successful investment. As a traditional family business, we prefer to be slightly conservative,” says Mulder. “We are currently focusing on increasing and optimizing the team before planning on building new shipyards again,” he says, adding, with a wink, “We do have dreams, though.”

Mulder Shipyard has a rock-solid reputation as a maker of high-quality, comfortable motor yachts starting at 15m. (50 ft.). The yard remains true to that category.

“It’s important not to forget how to profitably build 50ft. yachts,” says Mulder. “If a yard has only 1 or 2 large yachts in build, it’s difficult to keep high productivity levels in all disciplines. We have, on average, 10 yachts in build. At different stages of completion, from drawing board to commissioning. That requires an agile organization to keep unproductive hours as low as possible. Constructing top-quality yachts for competitive prices means being innovative and to continuously improve efficiency of internal processes.”

The 34m Solis tested Mulder Shipyard’s mettle. The owners wanted the yacht to be built in only 20 months, i.e. be ready in mid-2015. Mulder needed only 20 months.