MIAMI _ For 2 Dutch makers of superfast, luxurious day boats, appearing at the mid-February Miami Yacht Show was a smart move. Wajer Yachts and Vanquish Yachts sold 8 yachts between them here.
Long overshadowed by the nearby Fort Lauderdale show, the Miami Yacht Show moved from traffic-choked Miami Beach to downtown Miami this year. A big improvement!
“Miami was for us a mega success. We sold 3 boats there,” says Hannie Steeman, head of marketing at Wajer Yachts, a brand known for high-end finishing, comfort and performance. “What works very well for us is our collaboration with Dutch superyacht builders.”
Wajer shuttled its own clients around Biscayne Bay’s turquoise waters and those of superyacht makers Feadship and Amels. In 25 years, Wajer has built 400 yachts that over time have grown from 37 to 38 to 55ft. April will see the introduction of the 55S, a lighter, faster version than its 55ft. sibling. It has a center console concept. Down below are quarters for up to 6 people and a fully equipped bathroom.
Steeman sees more day boat rivals entering the market. “We also see, of course, a trend to larger day boats.” Wajer meets that challenge, she says, with scaled client services _ from winter storage to maintenance to providing captains. Wajer Yachts has service hubs in St. Tropez and Ibiza where it looks after 50 and 20 Wajers, respectively. This year, it opens a hub in Mallorca.
One zestful rival is Vanquish Yachts which sold 5 boats at Miami. Founded in 2013 only, it has already built 38 high-end motor craft _ from 16 to 54ft. _ that all achieve a top speed of 40 knots. In the past two years, it sold a dozen super-fast Vanquish models in Florida alone.
“Our high-end, high-performance motor yachts are built by hand using the very latest construction techniques,” says Vanquish founder Tom Steentjes. “We were at Miami because it brings in the high-profile clients we seek. We just opened space for berths, yacht servicing and storage at Pompano Beach, just north near Miami.”
Vanquish plans to double production next year. It will soon launch its first wheelhouse VQ58, followed by a new VQ40 and VQ11 tender. Its growth stems from recent participation in the company by Dutch investment company TransEquity Network. Vanquish is finishing a 72ft cabin yacht (a legacy of the defunct Storm Yachts yard) and a 78ft catamaran motor yacht. The company insists these are 2 one-offs.
Vanquish says its strength lies in quick, efficient production. A certified welder, Steentjes says his yard can deliver a 40-foot aluminum hull in only 6 months. Longer yachts take about 10 months.