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Special Feature: The 2010 HISWA Yacht Valley Tour!

Discussion in 'Special Features & Live Show Coverage' started by YachtForums, Jul 16, 2010.

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  1. Albert Hakvoort, Sr. took us through their latest launch, the 39-meter “Pretty Woman”, a round-bilge displacement motoryacht that captures a certain Hakvoort element; modern, yet conservative – which best describes their approach to building yachts, as well as their business model. Pretty Woman was designed by Cor de Rover, based on a steel hull and aluminium superstructure with a modern, yet nautical interior by Michela Reverberi. A pair of C-18 Cats give her a cruise of 10 knots and sprint of 13.5 knots.
  2. Onboard Pretty Woman, Albert Hakvoort showed this articulated, double-hinged door that is both seamless and lays flat against the inside bulwarks. As Albert walked us through the boat, you could see the pride he took in their work. He is still very much in touch with the builds, pointing out unique attributes as we made our way around.
  3. Pretty Woman was still slightly skeletal, but by the time the HISWA feature is published on YF, she'll pack on a few pounds and strut her stuff.
  4. Bloemsma Van Bremen Shipyard

    With any yard I visit, I naturally gravitate toward engineers. We may not speak with the same native tongue, but we speak the same language. Over the course of the 5-day tour, I met with engineers at each yard and was impressed by their fortitude and methodology, but none more-so than Nico VanBreemen. This is one of those guys you could talk to for hours… and learn something new every minute.

    In years past, Nico built superstructures for Feadship, before breaking out on his own to build entire yachts. And wow, can he build a boat! Nico is an incredibly knowledgeable engineer with an attention to detail that can only be described as Mil Spec. And his yard reflects the same. Clean, well laid-out and modern, it takes up most of a peninsula in Makkum.
  5. By a stroke of luck, two of his builds were at the yard on the day we arrived; “Griffeon” and “Valquest”. Although we didn’t have time to board Griffeon, it’s an all-time personal favorite. Nico is helping the owner sell the boat because he’s getting up there in years and no longer uses it to cruise. If anyone reading this is looking for a canoe stern, true, rough-water trawler with redundant engineering and high-style, take a look at Griffeon! You won’t be disappointed.
  6. Saving the best for last on this day, BvB’s performance sailing yacht “Valquest” was at the yard. Although it was originally launched last year, the owner asked Nico to keep the boat at the yard, because he needed to focus on his business for a few months.
  7. While many of us who follow yachting have seen Valquest in press releases, or on BvB’s website, the pictures don’t come remotely close to showing the level of quality to be found in this build. The interior joinery, fit & finish is world class. You will find none finer and certainly not for the price.
  8. Setting aside design, lay-out, fit, finish, materials, etc., there is one place onboard that epitomizes Nico’s work; the engine room. Sailboats aren’t known for engine room space, so space utilization and access becomes an art form and Valquest’s engine room was a Picasso.
  9. The organization and access, given the allotted space, was a maze of simplicity. And as we all know, there is an artform and science to keeping highly complex systems… simple. I have a ton of pics that will be used for an upcoming feature, but here’s an overview…
  10. Thursday, June 17th​

    Amels Vlissingen Shipyard

    I’ve long heard Amels was one of the most capable yards in the world. After seeing Vlissingen operation, I now understand why. This is essentially a commercial/military yard with a yachting division. The procedure, organization and execution at this yard is much like a naval shipyard. I was right at home!

    Pictures were not allowed, but Amels MD Victor Caminada gave a presentation of Amels corporate, along with current builds and future projects, before taking us on a tour of their facility and a couple of Limited Editions that were in various stages of build. The facility is massive and so are the bays. The finishing departments had professional level environmental control and were run like scientific clean rooms.
  11. Amels has found a niche in semi-custom yacht building, utilizing the talents of designer Tim Heywood to base their “Limited Editions” series on. The Limited Editions start at 171 feet, but are now growing into the 177’, 199’ and 212’. Here's the new blunt-bow 199'...
  12. While the exterior design remains fairly constant across the LE range, the interiors are highly customizable. Most importantly, the real beauty of these boats is the level of engineering and care used throughout the build process. I came away from Amels most impressed. Apparently, a few others have too because Amels is ‘full-up’ with 4 boats in build. Soon, this new 212' will join the civilian fleet...
  13. Amels parent company Damen is expanding the Sea-Axe fleet. They’ve built quite a few of these boats, with 24 now sold and 18 delivered. These are superfast supply boats, capable of 28 knots, are fitted out with luxury interiors not before seen on tag-alongs.
  14. At the press breakfast, Victor announced a new Sea Axe 6711, a 67-meter lumberjack in the Fast Yacht Support Vessel class. This toy hauler on steroids is beyond big. It’s an island unto itself with every toy needed to explore the same. It will be built by Damen Shipyards and boasts 360 square meters of exterior deck space and 140 square meters of interior deck space. It’s scheduled to for delivery in Spring 2012, at which time it will be declared a new continent.
  15. Moonen Groot-Ammers Yard

    The next stop on Thursday was a lunch date with ‘Livia’, Moonen’s latest 97’ for a cruise up the river and a chance for the press to unwind and enjoy the subject we write about. We arrived at the Groot-Ammers facility, recently acquired by Moonen to build yachts up to 50-meters, further expanding Moonen’s capacity from the ‘s-Hertogebosch facility that builds up to 35-meters.
  16. Moonen’s Emile Bilterijst and daughter Dorien were present to greet the press and get us underway. Once aboard Livia, we were met with an Artline interior, as well as the designers Marilyn Bos-de Vaal and Frank Pierterse. But Livia had another special guest onboard, YF’s very own ‘Nilo’, Salim Erdem who recently acquired Moonen and has partnered with Emile to expand the brand.
  17. Moonen recently accepted a contract for a half-built boat. An owner who had Dixon 120 design in build at Royal Denship found himself in the unenviable position of having to find another builder when Royal Denship was unable to finish the boat. So, he went to Moonen. Just one little catch; the half-built boat was fiberglass. Moonen builds in metal. Never one to turn down a challenge, the Moonen crew has taken up the gauntlet and bringing in Green Marine to finish off the fiberglass aspects of the build. The rest will be standard Moonen procedure.
  18. Moonen recently signed a contract for their biggest build to date, a 133’ styled by Rene van der Velden, named Sofia III. She will be a world explorer, both above and beneath the ocean because she’ll be toting a submarine. More on this build as information is released.
  19. Oceanco Shipyard

    Transcending time, space and the logical mind, we arrived at a very secure facility. Armed with a guard gate securing a very ominous looking building, it felt like a throw-back to the cold war era; top secret stuff. Insurgent spy and HISWA tour driver Paris Boulamis, aka Oceanco’s public relations manager, led us through the gate where we were promptly ID’d, tagged and had our cameras removed. It felt just like old times. I knew I would be right at home here.

    Entering Oceanco’s command center, a place we fully expected to be run by a military regime, overseen by political dignitaries, we were quickly surrounded by dozens of the curviest models in the Netherlands. Not your average swimsuit models, but big, maximum draft types. The kind that make grown men groan and young girls squirm… oh yes, Oceanco’s fleet of mini-me models, standing like testaments to shrunken shrines, these models are large enough to strap an outboard on and go fishing. Not your typical boat show display models, they could easily be berthed in their own slip.
  20. Oceanco had several advanced projects in build and I think we went onboard one of them, but I can’t remember anything after we visited the debriefing room and I had a flash stick waived in front of my face. Must be one of those… “if I tell you, I had have to kill you” things. However, I was able to squeeze off a few shots from my cufflink camera and they made it through the de-magnetizing scanner after the tour. Sorry for the quality. It’s the best I could without getting caught…

    The first is Oceanco’s ES117. The ES stands for clothing designer turned yacht stylist Elie Saab. The number 117 designates meters. I’m guessing Elie never had a model this big doing the catwalk. Personally, I’m not a fan clothing designers jumping ship, sorta speak.
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