Superyacht industry propelling Netherlands’ economy forward despite global woes

With demand exceeding supply, the Dutch yacht building industry is seeing a new high.

Continuing its maritime tradition and on the back of technical superiority stemming right from the 17th century, which is also known as the Golden Age, the yacht industry in Netherlands is carving out a prominent place for itself.

With 3 lounges, an open-air jacuzzi, 3 dining rooms, 6 luxury cabins, and a bar the 50-metre “Aster” is one of Heesen’s, a Dutch shipyard, more modest super yachts.

“It’s a big year for us,” said Johan Kaasjager of Heesen Yachts at his shipyard in Oss. “We’ll have delivery of three yachts this year and still a lot to come. The order book is very good at the moment so we’re full till 2020.”

Heesen Yachts’ construction dock is so large, employees fondly refer to it as“the cathedral”. At 90 meters long, it will allow Heesen’s engineers to build the Cosmos, a 80-metre super yacht.

Heesen has found a sweet spot in the 50-80 meter segment in the yacht building industry: demand is so strong that it cannot keep up with it despite the addition of this new facility.

Incidentally, Netherlands, is ranked as the world’s second biggest super yacht builders, behind Italy.

“The reason for strong demand is that people are more trying to escape daily life,” said Kaasjager. “A yacht of course, when you’re out at sea, is fully private so it’s the perfect way to relax and be with your family.”

After the global financial crisis of 2007-2009, the super yacht industry is seen as blending the lines wih larger cruise ships and typically come with features such as swimming pools, waterfalls that double up as projection screens, helipads.

Germany dominates the market for mega yachts of over 100 meters. In the last decade top customers come from Russia and the United States, with the matter making up of 22% of existing orders.

The value of super yachts built in Dutch has risen from 662 million euros in 2014 to nearly 1.2 billion euros in 2017. As a result Netherlands garners nearly 30% of global annual sales of around 4 billion euros.

“It’s also the Dutch mentality to build good yachts, good quality, on time, and we do what we promise”, said Kaasjager.

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