Amels set to build Full Custom superyachts
by Risa Merl
Venerable Dutch yacht builder Amels has announced its move into custom superyacht building.
Amels Full Custom will produce one-off yachts in the 80- to 110-metre segment, complementing the builder's successful semi-custom Amels Limited Editions range, which spans from 55 to 83 metres LOA, and its Amels Refit division.
Renown for its Limited Editions range, with exteriors by legendary yacht designer Tim Heywood, Amels Full Custom will pick up where its the successful semi-custom offerings leaves off, with a slight overlap in the 80-metre range. "The difference with our Amels Full Custom offer is that in the 80- to 110-metre segment we're really talking about a quite small market for very high-value, one-off creations," says Amels Managing Director Rob Luijendijk in the latest issue of Inside Amels, where the news of Amels Full Custom was announced. "Our clients can decide for themselves which better suits them."
Amels is responding to client feedback – and a shifting market – with this latest move to large, custom yacht building. "What we've seen is owners coming back to us and asking for larger yachts and, in particular, full custom yachts," Luijendijk says. The trend towards larger yachts has caused the Limited Editions range to expand in recent years, with Amels' largest yacht yet, the 83-metre Limited Editions 272 flagship currently in build and due for delivery at the end of 2016. Amels is unwavering in its commitment to its Limited Editions range and sees its entry into fully custom building as adding to its potential offerings.
Despite having a full order book, with nine yachts in build as reported on this year's Global Order Book, Amels is confident in its capacity and capability to take on new custom projects. "Over the years since introducing the Limited Editions concept, our team as perfected our build process to a very high degree," says Luijendijk. "So while we are a full yard, it's very smooth production, very predictable and well-planned and that's why we feel ready to grow with this step into full custom." In order to accommodate larger builds, Amels is adding to its existing facilities with the commissioning of a modern, climate-controlled 200-metre covered dry dock
It doesn't hurt that Amels is backed its parent company, the family-owned and financially secure Damen Shipyards. The Amels yard benefits not only from Damen's financial stability, but also Damen's R&D programme and access to its facilities with expertise in full SOLAS shipbuilding.