2010 HISWA Yacht Valley TourA Dutch Treat for Yacht Lovers! by Carl Camper Translated into English, HISWA is an acronym for the "The National Association of Watersports Industries in the Netherlands", an organization that promotes the Dutch Yacht Building Industry. Each year, HISWA organizes special tours for the media, naval architects and interior designers, to visit selected yards and become more familiar with their manufacturing processes, engineering and capability. The organizers of the 2010 HISWA Tour made an extraordinary, well orchestrated effort to accommodate writers from all over the world with travel, hotel, dinners and drivers. None of the attendees needed to be concerned with navigation, accommodations or scheduling. It was all done for us, so we could concentrate on the task at hand… to be better informed about the Dutch yacht building machine. Over the course of the five day event, visiting 2-3 shipyards each day, I came away with a new level of respect for the logistics these yards are managing. I was also impressed with the “anything is possible” approach behind their engineering. These are the people that most of us will never meet, but they are shaping the future of design, engineering and execution. As an engineer who has been exposed to most facets of boat building, I found the depth of knowledge, attention to detail and work ethic among the project managers, design engineers and craftsmen was exemplary. It is worth noting; some of these yards compete with one-another, but each of them was respectful of their competitors and in most cases, would refer a client or customer if another yard was better suited. It appears the Dutch are not only great craftsmen, but ambassadors to business too! Surprisingly, many of the yards use the same contractors, shuffling them around as needed, helping to further hone and diversify their skills. In fact, it’s so common that we saw workers in one yard wearing the t-shirts of another yard. Much like the World Soccer Championships, the Dutch Yacht Industry rallies to support a common goal; to take care of the people that help them produce some of the finest yachts in the world. The pride these people take in their work is evident at every turn.