YARD UPDATE '07: HJB (Holland Yachtbouw)

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Yard Updates

Two new-builds and a major refit… June 2007

Holland Jachtbouw’s Athos is now well underway after a slow start. Eventually measuring 62m (203ft) LOA, 55.9m (183ft) over the deck and displacing 370 tons, this André Hoek-designed centerboard schooner, yard project 088, is not only the yard’s biggest new-build project to date, but also she will number among the world’s biggest schooners when she launches for spring 2009, although she will still be able to pass beneath the ‘Bridge of the Americas’ on the Panama Canal, which is important as she is intended for world-cruising. She will have Rondal carbon spars and probably PBO rigging.
With her hull and deck currently still being fabricated by subcontractors, the fit-out work will not commence until she arrives at Holland Jachtbouw’s Zaandam facility in November. Her classification is Bureau Veritas/MCA. The final cost of Athos is likely to be around €25 million. Her commissioning Dutch owner currently has the André Hoek-designed 33.05m (108ft) aluminium cutter Shamoun, which launched from the yard back in ’99, so he will have a very good idea of what he is getting.
Holland Jachtbouw’s project 089 is a 42m (138ft) all-aluminium motoryacht, which has been commissioned by the same US client that took delivery of the yard’s previous 32.09m (105ft) Cassiopeia, which delivered in ‘04. The exterior and naval architecture is the work of Bill Langan, who also created Cassiopeia inside and out, but this time the interior is the responsibility of Rhoades Young. Intended for a charter role, the new one’s name has not yet been decided. Hull construction begins in November this year and she should arrive at Holland Jachtbouw for fit-out in spring ’08. The handover is scheduled for October ’09.

Capacity at its canalside Zaandam facility is soon to be boosted by a major €2 million re-development... 

Also in progress is a major refit project Life Saga, formerly the charter yacht Blue Harem. This 42.43m (139ft) motoryacht was originally launched from Heesen in ’94 and is being transformed into a very private yacht for her new Russian owner, whose previous yacht was Hearbeat of Life. She gets new engines and generators and her exterior profile is being extensive changed, not least with a substantial new extension to the upper part of her superstructure that will add on a skylounge, which has a lot to do with her displacement increasing from the original 289 tons to nearer 320 tons, 13 tons of which is in the form of additional balance. Her new ultra-modern interior has been conceived by Art-Line. Such is the scale of this project that it will to all intents and purposes be a new yacht on completion. For instance, one of her owner’s requirements is that she should “look new, smell new and be extremely quiet”.
“The value of the original vessel, plus the extensive Holland Jachtbouw refit component, will probably weigh in at something in the region of €16m, says Holland Jactbouw managing director Paul Dielemans. “For an equivalent new-build it would be, say, €25 million… But for some owners buying a yacht and refitting it is not about saving money… Some owners are more comfortable with refit projects for the simple reason things are so much easier to visualize… What is possible and what needs to happen is a lot more real when one can physically walk onboard.”
Zaandam-based Holland Jachtbouw now employs 60 people directly, although there are usually at least 80-85 on site these days. However, generally the yard does not make its own hulls, leaving that to local subcontractors in the usual Dutch tradition. Capacity at its canalside Zaandam facility is soon to be boosted by a major €2 million re-development that will see the site with three major buildings and capacity pushed up to 65m (213ft) or a bit beyond. The idea is that the company will be able to support up six projects at any one time — two at the fabrication stage, three in the halls, and one outside/in-water. Chris Gongriep, owner of the Holland Yachtbouw-built schooner Windrose, still owns the yard.
Last year saw the yard handover the 37m (121ft) ultra-modern and very fast Alustar aluminium sloop YII. Designed by Bill Dixon, she features a very minimalist pearwood interior by John Munford. Her commissioning owner’s previous yacht was the Vitters-built That’s Y, hence the name for his second yacht.

© Phil Draper