The Italians have their Ferraris, Lamborghinis and Maseratis, the Brits their Rolls-Royces and Aston Martins, the French their haute cuisine and fragrances. But the Dutch are probably making the most expensive kind of gift that only the richest people in the world can afford, the superyacht. SWZ|Maritime’s September issue features a special on the Dutch world of superyachts.

From a very small niche market in the fifties/sixties, it developed into a serious branch of Dutch shipbuilding. A development that found its confirmation in October 2019 with the affiliation of superyacht builders with trade association Netherlands Maritime Technology.

The Maritime Monitor 2020 states that the construction of superyachts has its own dynamics within the shipbuilding sector and is mainly focused on export. About twenty yards in the Netherlands are involved in superyacht construction (>24 metres). Superyacht building in the Netherlands focuses on custom built production. This means that design and construction take place according to the wishes of the client and that there is no or only limited standardisation.

Also read: Student visit to Royal Huisman: ‘Hybrid yachts are a market for the future’

This requires highly specialised craftsmen. In 2019, the yards already employed over 3300 persons and that number is still growing. According to the Monitor, the industry has experienced strong growth in recent years. Consequently, superyacht builders are expanding their yards. In the port of Amsterdam, there is currently a clustering of several large companies that have established themselves here or have plans to do so.

Dutch superyacht order book

In their orderbook per 1-1-2021, the Dutch superyacht yards had noted 61 ships with a total of 245,350 compensated gross tonnage, almost half the total tonnage all the Dutch shipyards had in their orderbook at the beginning of this year. Last year, the yacht builders delivered sixteen ships with a CGT of 49,969. And even better: they received orders for another 27 yachts of 99,784 CGT. The total orderbook is valued at € 5.380 billion.

So, plenty of reasons for the editors of SWZ|Maritime to zoom in on the success of the Dutch superyacht builders and the current developments and trends for the future. Our colleague Sander Klos coordinated this special. Also many thanks to our other contributors Bram Jongepier (Feadship) and Robert van Tol (Water Revolution Foundation) who wrote about YETI, an energy label for superyachts, James Roy (Lateral Naval Architects), who discusses the electrification of superyachts and Moritz Krijgsman (MARIN), who describes research into future power, propulsion and energy systems, and all the others that provided interesting articles for this September edition.

Also read: The owners of superyachts built in the Netherlands revealed

Picture: In 2020, Royal Huisman carried out an extensive refit of the “classic” Feadship motor yacht Broadwater (ex Rasselas). The work included a four-metre extension of the hull (picture by Royal Huisman/Onne van der Wal).

This is editor-in-chief Antoon Oosting’s editorial accompanying the September 2021 issue. Unfortunately, our digital archive is currently unavailable. So, our magazine is only available to subscribers at the moment. Not yet a subscriber? Visit our subscription page.