YARD UPDATE ‘06: Amels Holland...

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YARD UPDATE ‘06: Amels Holland...

Yard Updates

Semi-custom success.

JUNE 2006

Amels now concentrates all its activities at its impressive facility in the heart of Vlissingen (Flushing), having sold last year its original Makkum facility in the north of Holland to Feadship yard De Vries. It first started using the Vlisssingen facility, which belongs to its Damen Group parent and has direct access to the North Sea, a few years ago. The site used to be the Royal Schelde naval yard.
Amels has delivered five yachts from Vlissingen thus far — the 61.5m (202ft) Solemar (’03), 52m (171ft) Amevi (’03), 52m (171ft) Aidre (’04), the 52m (171ft) Lady in Blue (’04), and more recently at the beginning of this year yard number 447, a sleek 58m (190ft) Andrew Winch-styled motoryacht, whose name curiously still remains a closely guarded secret at the yard, despite the fact that the yacht has left the yard. The grapevine has it, however, that she is simply Gu. She was the first of three ’06 launches.
The other delivery earlier this year was yard number 446, the 68.5m (224ft) big-volume motoryacht Lady Anne, although she was actually completed at the Makkum facility, the last Amels to do so. She was styled inside and out by Rome-based Walter Franchini, who sadly passed away a few months ago. Her interior is modern and minimalist, although said to echo the best of Art Deco design.
The third and final delivery of ’06 will be yard number 449, a 64.50m (212ft) Terry Disdale-designed motoryacht, the name of which has yet to be released.
Beyond that, Amels work in progress includes four of its new 52m (171ft) 650GT semi-custom ‘Amels 171 — Limited Editions’ models, which are respectively yard numbers 451, 452, 453 and 454. The first two deliver for April and June ’07 respectively and the third and fourth should complete for April and June ‘08. The first three are sold and the forth is said to be close to signing. Tim Heywood was responsible for the wonderfully sculptured styling of the 171, but interiors will be custom affairs. For instance, the first will feature a striking Laura Sessa and Amels-conceived interior. The second 171 will also have a slightly different exterior too, in that it will be a ‘wide-body’ version, meaning no full side decks at main-deck level. In all a 171 should take around 22 months to complete, which includes approximately six months for fabrication and 16 months for fit out. Amels learnt a lot building motoryachts of this size, following its success with the 'Tigre d’Or Series'.
Also on the schedules is the first of a new 65m (212ft) semi-custom model, now referred to as the Amels 212. She has been styled externally by Tim Heywood too. Metal will start being cut for that one in spring ’07, which is when a yard number will be allocated.
Employing 300 or so people directly, although with subcontractors over 400 people can usually be found on site, Amels capacity at Vlissingen is now at least 200m (656ft), plenty big enough for all current yachting demands. However, only the fitting out work is done there, as Damen Group shipbuilding facilities in Gdynia, Poland, handle the fabrication work.
Since it started in the yacht sector in ’82, Amels, which actually traces its roots back to 1918, has delivered no fewer than 27 new-builds and completed several significant refits. Its annual turnover is currently around €60 million, which translates to two superyacht deliveries a year. For instance, the offer price for a 52m (171ft) semi-custom 171 is around €30 million.
With annual sales of around €1.4 billion, the Damen Group — which majors on shipbuilding, commercial and military vessels — employs around 8,700 people across 34 operating companies scattered around the world. In all it usually has around 150 projects in hand at any one time.

For more, www.amels-holland.com.

© Phil Draper