Port of Amsterdam rolls out carpet for superyacht builders

AMSTERDAM _ In 2018, the Port of Amsterdam invested €50 million to attract companies in circular, renewable and other sectors not usually associated with a commercial harbor. Like, superyacht building.In its annual report, Amsterdam’s port authority says becoming “a yacht building center” is part of a strategy to lure new industries to the waters outside the Dutch capital.

Opening party Feadship’s Port of Amsterdam build hall

In May, Feadship opened the world’s most eco-friendly superyacht a yard, after 5 years of  planning, design and construction. Feadship can build yachts there to 160m (525ft). Royal Huisman has followed suit, settling into 3 halls.

The port’s 2018 annual report reveals sunny financials: a net profit of €68.5 million (+ 12.5% from 2017) and a 5% hike in revenues (to €157.4 million), mostly the result of higher harbor duties and leasing more land to non-traditional companies.

The port authority speaks of “pivotal” times in which traditional shipbuilding yards are fading.

In 2015, Feadship asked the port about space with good access to the North Sea, only 20 kms (13 mi) away for its deliveries and sea trials. Building bigger yachts means Feadship needed an alternative to the millimeter work of maneuvering large yachts through narrow Dutch canals and town centers.”

The request proved a catalyst. It has fed the Port of Amsterdam’s drive to get involved with the superyacht business, until then unknown territory.

The port has had intensive conversations with Dutch builders and suppliers and their trade lobby, the HISWA Holland Yachting Group. The outcome has been a joint effort to promote Amsterdam as a yacht building center and a stopover on a northwest European support yacht route. The Port of Hamburg has signaled its participation in the latter.