Ron Cleveringa on the Future of Burger
Founded in 1863, Wisconsin-based shipyard Burger is a pillar of American shipbuilding. With yachts range from 14 to 47 metres, the shipyard represents an important part of the US market. BOAT catches up with its vice president of sales and marketing, Ron Cleveringa, who offers a glimpse into what’s next for the prestigious shipbuilder...
A New Flagship
Cleveringa revealed the builder has been developing plans for a new 65.4 metre flagship over the last few years, despite most of Burger's inquiries sitting beneath the 50 metre mark. The 214 Tri Deck concept, as featured in the Virtual BOAT Show, was designed in-house in collaboration with Gregory C Marshall, and will become the yard's flagship if built. Highlights include a sundeck swimming pool, helipad and accommodation for up to 12 guests.
On the other end of the spectrum, Burger recently made the move into the small cruiser market off the back of a chance encounter with a new client. The first 48 Cruiser was built as custom and hit the water in 2018, christened Blue Boat Home. Much to the delight of Burger, the cruiser sparked so much interest the yard began building the second hull on speculation, which was delivered earlier this year, and even started construction on an all-new 50 Cruiser. “It's a great entry point for someone looking for an alternative to production boats, something that they can customise and make their own."
The new-build market has seen a clear shift towards explorer yachts in recent years, with owners ranking adventure and blue water capability above all else. Burger is known for its aluminium builds but the yard dipped its toe into the bourgeoning explorer market with the launch of Northland in 2017. The 31.5 metre Northland was the first steel-hulled motor yacht from the yard in over 50 years and surely won't be the last we see from Burger.
Burger is known for its pedigree custom-built boats and its Wisconsin yard has the capacity to build yachts up to 60 metres in length. “We're always looking at different opportunities. We are a custom yard. That's our DNA. Building custom boats is our comfort zone."
Commercial Refit & Repair
As well as superyachts, Burger is heavily involved in the construction, refit and repair of commercial passenger vessels on the Great Lakes. “They keep us busy,” said Cleveringa. In fact, it’s this leg of the business that has allowed the shipyard to continue operations throughout the COVID-19 crisis. "Since passenger vessels are part of the transportation infrastructure we were deemed essential so were able to remain open.”