YARD UPDATE '07: Moonen Shipyard

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Yard Updates

Pocketsize superyachts… June 2007

The Moonen Shipyard is currently busier than ever building what it terms its ‘pocketsize’ superyachts, says managing director Emile Bilterijst, and there’s no sign of things cooling off either. No fewer than three Moonen motoryachts will deliver from its facility in ’s-Hertogenbosch this year and three more are scheduled to complete during ‘08. Moreover, beyond that, the next available delivery slots stretches into 2010.
The first project to complete this year was yard number 184, the first of the yard’s new all-aluminium Rene van der Velden-designed Moonen 94 series, prices for which incidentally start at around €7 million. Called Nilo, she features a light anigré interior. Particularly interesting is the propulsion package that includes twin 1,800hp Caterpillar C32 ACERT V12s and Servogear (Norway) controllable-pitch propellers, which are rarely seen in yacht specifications. Her propellers run in tunnels and provide an efficient 18-19-knot cruise and a top speed of around 28 knots at half load. But, of course, the big benefit of CPP installation is the manoeuvrability. Servogear also supplied her rudders.
Next away will be the second all-aluminium Moonen 94 Infinity, yard number 185. She will have a more conventional powertrain — twin 1,610hp C32 Cats and fixed-pitch props. She is scheduled to leave in September and will be MCA compliant. The more powerful ACERT engines used aboard the first 94 would not have been suitable for this one as they are not MCA approved.
Then finally at the tail end of the year the seventh Moonen 84 Etoile d’Azur, yard number 186, is expected to hand over. The Rene van der Velden-designed has proved a successful development of several previous Moonen designs of around 25-26m (82-85ft) or so. Present prices for the Moonen 84 start at around €5.5 million or €215,000 per metre. The other 84s were Yawen (ex-Mimi), Pheonix (ex-Gogar Lass), Moon Bels, Aurora, Sofia and Far Niente. And the eighth Moonen 84 Blue Band, yard number, is also under construction currently too.

The majority shareholders in Moonen are four Scottish brothers — Alistair, Malcolm, Gordon and Euan Snowie... 

Also in hand are two displacement steel/aluminium Moonen 97s, respectively build numbers 187 and 190. Both of those are currently being fabricated by subcontractors and being built to Lloyd’s Register classification and MCA certification. They will deliver to previous Moonen clients in 2008. Neither has a name at the moment.
Then comes the yard’s biggest ever project, yard number 189, a 37.8m trideck Moonen 124 also designed by Rene van der Velden. Her interior will be the work or Art-Line. She should deliver for mid-2009. This project really defines Moonen’s capacity, as its existing location couldn’t really cope with anything much beyond. The longest yacht the yard has built thus far was the Moonen 120 Victoria del Mar (ex-White Heaven III), a 36.50m (120ft) steel motoryacht that delivered six years ago, but the 2006-launched 34.8m (114ft) Moonen 114 Explorer My Issue had the biggest displacement.
The last project on the current order book, yard number 191, stretches into 2009 also. It is an all-aluminium 30.2m (99ft) Moonen 99, which is essentially a stretched version of the 94.
Moonen claims to have built around 60 motoryachts since it started back in ‘81. It now employs a regular workforce of around 50 people. The majority shareholders in Moonen are four Scottish brothers — Alistair, Malcolm, Gordon and Euan Snowie — the original co-owners of the Moonen 84 Gogar Lass (now-Pheonix). The fifth shareholder with 20 per cent is MD Emile Bilterijst.

© Phil Draper