With the outbreak of war between Russia and Ukraine, the focus of the media was immediately on the superyachts of the Russian oligarchs. Except for the problems with the Russian ownership of Heesen, which has been transferred to a Dutch foundation controlled by CEO Arthur Brouwer and chairman of the supervisory board Anjo Joldersma, the consequences for the Dutch superyacht building industry are limited. As far as we know, no superyacht yards have gone bankrupt or closed down.
Customs did place fourteen yachts owned by Russian owners under enhanced surveillance at Dutch yacht builders. These include twelve yachts under construction, including superyachts over 35 metres, and two yachts undergoing maintenance. When they are eventually confiscated, there is a very willing market waiting to buy these Dutch top products.
Some people think differently about having success and the right to create private property, but the fact that the richest people in the world come to the Netherlands to have their luxurious toys built at Dutch yards by Dutch craftsmen can also be taken as a huge compliment for our knowledge and skills. Know-how and abilities that have grown during at least four centuries since our Golden Age, when increasing wealth brought the first opportunity to build yachts just for leisure and to enjoy being on the water of the many lakes and canals.
Broader industry of yacht building
While our September issue last year focused on superyacht construction, this year, SWZ|Maritime offers a glimpse of the broader industry of yacht building, including the smaller boats. The coordination of this issue was in the hands of our colleague Sander Klos, who toured several well-known yacht and boat builders to provide a proper insight in an industry that has such a long tradition in our Dutch history. But an industry that also has to innovate, as one can read in this edition.
It is also notable that this industry, in contrast with a lot of other branches, got through the Covid-19 crisis fairly well. Because just as the rich went on ordering their superyachts at Dutch yards, the less wealthy also turned their interest to leisure on the water with their own or rented boat. It offers holiday pastimes within the enclosed space of the yacht with your own family or selected guests without too much risk of being exposed to the general public and more chance of catching Covid.
I hope our readers will once again enjoy the commitment of our colleagues and have a good time reading this edition of SWZ|Maritime, on the job, at home or maybe even on the water.
This is editor-in-chief Antoon Oosting’s editorial accompanying the September 2022 issue.
Our digital archive is once again available to subscribers and they can read the digitial version of our September issue there. Subscribers can register here to gain access. Not yet a subscriber? Visit our subscription page.
The articles in SWZ|Maritime’s September issue
In addition to the regular sections such as Dutch news, Markets, Maritime monthly, Global news, Book reviews, news from the KNVTS and Mars Report, the articles (some in Dutch) in the September issue are:
- Good times for yacht building
- Balk to target yachting
- Wajer lays out future fuels and H2 plays part
- Energy takes centre stage at HISWA yacht symposium
- Hydrogen ships: Whistling in the wind or inescapable?
- Slepen van een superjacht vergt nautische precisie
- From €15,000 you are safe from storms and floods
- ImpacD aims at growth of 3D printed motor boats
- Met een cursus overstap maken naar de jachtbouw
- Education and training of pilots in the Netherlands
Picture: In July, the 52.42-metre Feadship superyacht Gallant Lady transited the Dutch canals after undergoing a year-long refit at Feadship’s Aalsmeer yard. The refit included an update of the engine room and interiors (photo Feadship).