The end of 2017 saw a surge of Dutch yacht builders and suppliers setting up shop Florida to address growing demand for high-end, Dutch-built motoryachts and in the Caribbean for installing and troubleshooting onboard engineering.
Moonen Shipyards and Vanquish Yachts, builders of motoryachts to 160-feet (49-meters) and fast cruisers to 90-feet (27-meters), respectively, have opened a joint office on Fort Lauderdale’s 17th Street.
Oculus Technologies BV, the Dutch infotainment company active also in the superyacht sector, recently opened a demo center in West Palm Beach. CEO Peter Aarts says his company enjoys “an expanding product portfolio and growth into new market sectors.”
De Keizer Marine Engineering, builder of electrotechnical superyacht systems, has opened an office at Rybovich Shipyard in Riviera Beach that already employs 4 engineers. And audio-video-IT integrator Van Berge Henegouwen has deployed 4 people to a new Fort Lauderdale office.
“We’ll double in size over the next eight months,” says Michael Silverman, VBH’s Fort Lauderdale contact.
Silverman tells Yachts International that servicing Van Berge Henegouwen’s “existing fleet is our major focus. We can handle A/V, IT and security issues without flying in a team from the Netherlands.” VBH will pursue refits, bid on new builds and connect with US owners building abroad.
De Keizer Marine Engineering Marketing Manager Frans van der Vegt says the “need for quality servicing is growing as yachts are increasingly run more professionally. Marine systems are getting more complex.”
De Keizer is moving into Rybovich primarily for its large-yacht refit capabilities. “We already have four people there and plan to turn that office into a serious company unit,” says Van der Vegt. In recent years, De Keizer opened offices in France and Spain. Its Riviera Beach office is the first in the US.
Moonen’s Caribbean series of seven steel-hulled superyachts stretches from 85 to 160 feet.
“It’s a range with potential in Florida,” says interim CEO Johan Dubbelman who in October succeeded Emile Bilterijst. “We see good opportunities, a broadening of the market.”
Moonens are made of lightweight, high-tensile steel. The yard’s 120-foot Martinique can do almost 17 knots. At the 2017 Monaco Yacht Show, Moonen unveiled the 155-foot Navarino, a crossover design for the Caribbean but also polar regions.
From Fort Lauderdale, Vanquish Yachts will service US clients. “This year, we have already built 12 boats—six of 43 feet, four of 48 feet and two of 54 feet,” says Vanquish Yachts owner Tom Steentjes. “We build superyacht quality, in aluminum, not polyester.”