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Moonen Quality......

Discussion in 'Moonen Yacht' started by JohnS, Apr 5, 2005.

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  1. JohnS

    JohnS Member

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    I have heard much about the quality of Moonen Shipyards, however, little seems to appear within the forums about Moonen.

    My suspicion is that this is due to the fact that Moonen (up until now) have only built up to about 120ft (White Heaven III) and most people seem more interested in talking about the yachts above 150ft!!

    The 84' range (Mimi, Gogar Lass, Moon Bels, YN180 etc..) are beautiful yachts, and so are those in the previous range of 80-83ft yachts (Dolce Vita, Blue Symphony VI etc...)

    So why do Moonen not have the same sort of following as Feadship, Amels and other Dutch yards??

    Also, who else makes (steel hull, displacement) yachts of similar quality within this size bracket??


    I hope this stimulates some discussion and look forward to reading some responses!

    Regards

    John C S
  2. AMG

    AMG YF Moderator

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    Hi John,
    there was another member asking about Moonen last week and I have given him some general advice since I have spent more than three years living on a Moonen 85, the classic canoe stern yacht. I also followed the construction.

    I think the reason we don´t have any discussions on Moonen is the fact they have not built so many yachts yet, some are also built for other brands.

    But today they have little competition, the other dutch builders have moved to bigger yachts or closed, such as Lowlands who were building similar yachts.

    I have made a couple of designs that I would like to be built by Moonen, you can see them in the "Perfect Yacht" thread, one is 85´ and one is 100´. This size is what they can build without any problems, bigger than 120-130 have restrictions to get out to the sea, which I think is just as good! Better to see them be the best in it´s class than in worst case fail among the big guys... ;)
    /Lars
  3. JohnS

    JohnS Member

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    Thanks for your rapid response!

    Interesting to note the reason that Moonen is limited is by the sea passage! I wonder if they will ever be able to overcome this. Although i agree wholeheartedly with your statement about remaining "best in class".

    With much experience of these yachts, how do you percieve the quality of construction? Being a dutch yard, i guess the quality is impeccable, but how does it compare to, for example, feadship?

    Just out of interest, do you have an opinion on the direction you see Moonen going in in the next 10 years or so??


    Regards

    John

    P.S - the Moonen 85 (Jumbo, Mayflower...) range is also a beautiful design - i didn't mean to leave it out of my previous post!
  4. AMG

    AMG YF Moderator

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    I am not sure, but I think they will never be able to get higher yachts under a fixed bridge, but certain things, masts and arches can be fitted outside.

    On quality, they should be equal to Feadship if the buyer are willing to pay for it, since as you probably know, they have access to the same subcontractors.

    The two sisterships of Moonen Princess and Moonshadow where I was involved, were almost over-engineered. The quality was on top, but the yachts were a little too small to have all of this equipment and also we were very early with that amount of electronic stuff that have since become more easy to install. So the kind of technical problems we had were mainly because of too high ambitions from both the buyer and the shipyard

    With new owners you can´t tell how it will look in ten years time, but most of the old staff is still there and their after sales service has always been good.

    There is no reason why they should not stay on top as a unique mini-superyacht builder.

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  5. JohnS

    JohnS Member

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    That looks like the bridge on the Canoe Stern Moonen 85 - Mayflower!

    I have some pictures of the Moonen 84 YN180 - and the interior quality appears to be top drawer. In fact, the whole interior design is as good as i have seen on yachts in a much higher price bracket and size.

    To me, it seems as though Moonen should be the choice for those wanting the best of the best, but limited to 25 - 30m. (The Feadship - La Masquerade also springs to mind however!)

    Is there anywhere we can find a list of all the Moonen yachts ever built?... i have tried to compile one but am finding it difficult to know where i stand with regards to number of yachts in each series etc...


    John
  6. AMG

    AMG YF Moderator

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    Yes, I think it is Mayflower. Our boats had even more electronics... ;)
    Mayflower had a less classic interior and you can see the mirrorlike support under the handrail going down, this was otherwise in burmese teak.

    Best if you like to know all the boats built must be to contact the shipyard? I only kept track on the 85´:s where Cassiopeia was the first.

    On the teak joinery which was made inhouse, I once had Carlo Riva as a guest and he was really impressed and added; As I have built 2.000 wooden boats, I should know! :cool:

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  7. JohnS

    JohnS Member

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    Well, that certainly is some praise for moonen craftsmanship!


    Also, Cassiopeia:
    do you know if this is anything to do with the 32m Holland Jachtbouw yacht delivered last year with the same name? same owners maybe?...

    Can't seem to find any info about Cassiopeia the Moonen 85 either.
  8. YachtForums

    YachtForums Administrator

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    Now we're talking about Cassiopia? OK... you've got my attention. I love this boat! As best I remember, the new Cassiopia was built for an American owner based out of... I think, Chicago. Was the original Cassiopia (Moonen) owner from the states?
  9. AMG

    AMG YF Moderator

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    I am not really a ************ and not very interested in the owners either but from what I remember, Cassiopeia S was built by Moonen in 1986 for a German owner, later sold to a Norwegian and renamed Midnight Saga II. This owner also ran the 188´ Cammenga (ex Feadship-yard) Midnight Saga, as a charter yacht through a company in the Bahamas. This big and beautiful yacht is a W. de Vries Lentsch design built in 1978 which later got a decoration by no less than Jon Bannenberg. She was built as Majestic M, and is today under the name of S Cape.
    I believe that Midnight Saga II is also sold as the owner built a new Willem de Vries/Ken Freivokh design at Hakvoort in 2002. She got her build name of Midnight Saga replaced by just Saga and has a norwegian flag.

    I don´t know if there is any connection between this new Cassiopeia and the Moonen 85´, which btw had MAN diesels of 450 hp while the following boats of this class had MTU 409/420 hp.

    Here is a picture of the 2002, 111´ Saga from Hakvoort, another classic beauty:

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  10. JohnS

    JohnS Member

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    How do Lowland yachts compare?? They have built some nice yachts in the 24-30m bracket in the past, and:

    "All of the Lowland yachts exhibit Dutch quality in their construction"
    (www.yachts.com)

    Any ideas??

    John

    [Sorry if this slightly off the topic - couldnt find a "Lowland" section]
  11. AMG

    AMG YF Moderator

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    I have inspected a number of the smaller Lowlands for a buyer and they are nice little ships, I think they were all W. de Vries designs. Somewhere I have the specs, but anyway the quality was diffferent in between them, some seemed to be built on low budgets and a few were top. The last I remember to have seen is the 32 m Evnike which was of the same quality as Moonen. I think she was built after an old Feadship more or less. The faster boats that was built under the Netship brand I never saw in detail.
  12. WrittenWord

    WrittenWord Guest

    Moonen Yachts

    Hi All: I'm a Johnny-Come-Lately (actually Jackie) to your Forum, but I happen to know a bit about Moonen, as I'm writing a book about their 25-year history for publication end of 2006.

    The Moonen 85 Cassiopeia S (launched 1985) was the first of six built to DIANA design, and yes for a German client. The others were Lady M (1987), Moonen Princess (1989, Marly Queen (1990), Moon Shadow (1991), and Mayflower (1992). They were the big break for Moonen's entry into that size market, and really put the yard on the map. I personally love the DIANA design as an example of the ideal Mediterranean style, truly timeless, and in talking to some of Moonen's odlest employees I get full agreement, although below you'll see how things are looking up at the shipyard.

    Since they moved over to building designs by Rene van der Velden, they have had a resurgency (after some tough times in the 1990s under some, well, weak management). But they are building the seventh Moonen 84 in just four years, and have recently delivered the first Moonen 96, and will this year deliver the first Explorer 114, an ice-class vessel for an owner who really plans to get into the ice. They also have just signed orders for two new all-aluminum 25-knot 94-foot models.

    Yes, they still have the problem of getting big boats out through the bridge, but worse they can't get anything big back in for the lucrative refit business.

    As to the other Cassiopeia she was built by HJB for an American, who lives not far from me in Connecticut. You can check my review in ShowBoats International last year, but I can't recall what month. Check their website.

    More later.

    Jack
  13. KCook

    KCook Senior Member

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    Moonen is one that we don't hear a lot about. Thanks Jack!

    Kelly Cook
  14. AMG

    AMG YF Moderator

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  15. WrittenWord

    WrittenWord Guest

    Moonen quality

    I promise, guys, therr will be more. Right now I have a book to write. But Happy Hew Year all around. Jack
  16. JohnS

    JohnS Member

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    Another Moonen fan! excellent!

    I'd be very interested to know any more details regarding your book!

    Its Moonens 25th anniversary this year is it not?!!

    HAPPY NEW YR TO ALL!!
  17. WrittenWord

    WrittenWord Guest

    I'd be interested also, but as the author I guess I'm on the hotseat!

    The book will recount more than 25 years of Moonen history, as the predecessor of Moonen was a small shipyard, de Ruiter, in Harndixveld, which moved to Moonen's present location in 's-Hertogenbosch around 1980. It went belly up and Rien Moonen, who was a client trying to build a boat there, decided to take over end of 1981. (You've heard that one before, Mr. Trump, havent you?)

    The book covers the rest of the history, right through most of this year with the launch of the Moonen 114 Explorer and development of the new "Alu" line of 94-foot semi-displacement boats (one of whose clients has contributed to this thread).

    We will publish before the end of 2006, possibly in time for the Monaco Yacht Show in September, if the author does his duty! If not, it will be ready at year's end.

    Stay tuned . . . .
  18. Mov-it!

    Mov-it! New Member

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    I never understood why Moonen never concidered in building larger yachts.
    It would be so easy to build the yacht and simply add the flybridge and radar tower at a subcontractor near the sea. Concirning the bridge, it is only a couple off meters that block the clearance. I agree on their yachts being over-engineered. Also their styling is up for renewal. If I compare the 84 to for example the Mulder 88 you can see that the glory years of the 84 are fading away.

    On the other hand it is probably a good idea for Moonen to stick to their size limits. We already have a wide range of mega yacht builders in Holland.
    I can state a few like, The Van Lent / de Vries Feadship group, Amels, Pantera, Vitters, Holland Jachtbouw, Heesen, Jongert (sails), Bloemsma&van Breemen, Hakvoort, Kuipers, Oceanco, Royal Huisman and some others.

    I'm still happy to see that there still is also an interest in he smaller dutch shipyards.

    Kind regards,

    Björn Moonen
  19. WrittenWord

    WrittenWord Guest

    The bridge problem is greater than you think. When Moonen launched the 120-foot White Heaven III a few years ago, it not only had to leave the antenna arch and flying-bridge windscreen off, but had to fill the bilges and tanks to sink her so she could just squeeze under. Moonen has been trying for years to get the local government to raise the bridge by replacing a span section with a hydraulic one that would lift when a big boat comes through. There's a containerport right across the canal from Moonen and they (the government, which owns the propery, I think) would love to be able to bring in ships with one more stack of containers! But the highway (A59) is a busy one and bureaucracy and technology don't seem to mesh.

    Moonen is putting its big 114 Explorer in the water soon (higher displacement than White Heaven III) and it too will be "topless" as well until is passes under the bridge.

    Moonen has been looking for a place to move to but has been unsuccessful so far.

    Stay tuned.

    BTW: With a name like Moonen, what's your connection???? Come back!
  20. Mov-it!

    Mov-it! New Member

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    Actually there is no direkt connection between me and the yard. We come from different bloodlines. I'm descended form nobilty and entitled as esquire and they are not. But that's ancient history. In the present they make tons of money and I have to work to make a living. Funny how times change.:( .

    I know the issue with the bridge at first hand. I worked for Heineken and we wanted to ship out more export beer on larger vessels. Take it from me, that bridge will never move an inch. As far as the state is concerned, it is Moonen's own problem that their ships don't fit under it. They should move to the Rotterdam or Zeeland area. That would take care of their problems.

    How did you get the idea of writing a book on Moonen?