YARD UPDATE '07: Vitters Shipyard

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Three major new-builds…

JUNE 2007

Vitters Shipyard had three significant sailing superyachts at various stages of completion as of summer ‘07. One was completing imminently and two for 2008.
The most advanced of the three was the beautiful Nirvana, an Ed Dubois-designed 53.5m (175ft) all-aluminium flybridge ketch with tumblehome stern and a lifting keel capable of varying draught from 3-10m (10-30ft) — quite something. She is similar to Tiara, which launched a couple of years ago in New Zealand. Her displacement is around 155 tons and she includes. Created by Josep Juanpere Miret of GCA Arquitectes in Barcelona, her interior is modern, majoring on light-dark contrasts provided by pale oak and leather and mahogany veneers. She was due to splash in September and deliver officially in October ’07.
The next to deliver should be Sunshine, a 39m (128ft) carbon-composite lift-keel sloop designed by Bill Tripp. Outwardly this one will really turn heads. Beyond the square stem, pronounced counter, carbon rig and roller-furling boom, she will sport two prominent deckhouses, each with masses of glass and all-round views — a very modern, very clean interpretation of a classic formula. Her hull arrived at Vitters from contract laminator Green Marine in July this year. Conceived by Donald Starkey, the interior scheme makes use of cherry, Swietania mahogany and anigré. She is scheduled to deliver for late summer 2008.
And following close behind is Boreas, a 52.5m (172ft) all-aluminium traditional sloop drawn by André Hoek, who incidentally has had four other sailing yachts built by Vitters over the years. This one looks like a really big Truly Classic. Her finished hull, fabricated by subcontractors, arrived at Vitters in August. Her interior has been conceived by Redman Whiteley Dixon. Eventual delivery to her owner will be in late ’08.

  'The yard currently employs around 60 people directly...'

And earlier this year saw the relaunch of Tiziana, a ’63-built Abeking & Rasmussen 35.6m (117ft) sailing yacht, which had been into Vitters for a major refit.
And last year of course saw Vitters deliver Mystère, the 43.2m (140ft) modern sloop designed by Bill Tripp and with a Rhoades Young interior.
Based in Zwartsluis to the northeast of Amsterdam, the Vitters Shipyard began 16 years ago as a contract hull builder, but within 18 months from start up it began building its own projects for in-house finishing. The yard soon built up an enviable reputation for good-quality aluminium sailing yachts. However, as it doesn’t do its own fabrication anymore, it is as happy fitting out steel, aluminium or composite hulls. It will also entertain the odd motorcruiser or motoryacht.
The yard currently employs around 60 people directly, but normally with subcontractors at least 100 people are working in the yard and sometimes up to 150. The yard’s policy is to outsource everything that it believes it get done better by contractors. Its current practical capacity is said to be around 60m (197ft), although its newest shed is actually 70m (230ft) long. Its older hall is 55m (180ft) in length.
And Vitters also now has interests beyond Holland. It is involved as a joint-venture partner in Cyrus Yachts (formerly known as Lenny Yacht) in the Antalya, Turkey. This operation began semi-custom building a 33.2m (109ft) semi-displacement flybridge motoryacht model designed by Rene van der Velden. Two have so far been delivered and others are said to be in the pipeline.

© Phil Draper