The History Of Amels Yacht Builders

What was the process that helped Amels reach the point it is now?

Amels was established in 1918 by the late Mr Amels in Makkum north of Holland in the north of Holland as a family business. Amels began building commercial vessels as well as fishing boats but as shipbuilding decreased throughout the 70s Europe Amels needed to diversify and so they moved to yacht construction. The first yacht they launched was KATALINA that was 48 meters – which was it was a huge boat. It was no surprise that Amels is accustomed to build large commercial vessels, and right from the beginning, they entered the market with a higher quality. Damen purchased Amels in the year 1991 and saw an opportunity to get into the market of superyachts. Damen generally rebrands the businesses they buy, but Amels was already an established brand in the world of yachting that it was unwise to let it go and put Amels to the Damen brand. Thus, Amels was retained and the company was able to grow from there.

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Let us know about the yard’s first boats.

LADY GEORGINA (ex. KATALINA) began operations in the year 1984, and it is sailing to this day. It was an interesting project which was our first collaboration in collaboration with Tim Heywood, at the time of the Bannenberg design. KARIMA (1993) is the very first truly purpose-built exploration yacht to be built that was built in this world. The MONTKAJ (1995) is which was a Terence Disdale design was the largest vessel constructed in the Netherlands in the early 1990s – it’s still a stunning boat , and it’s ageing very well. The TIGRE DOOR (1999) is the very first MCA certified vessel anywhere in the world. ILONA (2004 picture left) remains among the most technologically advanced vessels on the sea, just 15 years since her arrival.

What was the origin of the famous yard’s limited editions get their name?

In the past, we’ve completed all custom yachts. In the aftermath of 9/11, less orders were received. Mr Damen was able to achieve his name by introducing the idea of standardisation in the year 1969: making tugs and the standardisation of them. He realized that the fundamentals of shipbuilding are the same, and he was able to anticipate what was required before a contract was signed. He could build these boats and be ready to go and the owner could choose the color and name, as well as the engine size and the boat would be ready in just two months. And he was a businessman He was doing business! Each boat he built, he made improvements, and doing the same thing over and over meant he had less time and resources to construct them. Thus, he gained an advantage over his competitors because he could offer quicker, with an affordable price, and better quality. Many people would appreciate this!

He wondered, why don’t be this happening in the market for yachts? The same principle applies to every market, why is it not the same for yachting? It’s a common practice when you’re talking about smaller boats, like such as a Sunseeker or 43m Benetti However, for boats that were larger than 500GT, it was unusual. Each design, we get our team together, we draft an GA, we create each of the specifications for technical aspects, locate an exterior designer who was always Tim Heywood, we find an interior designer, then we construct. We don’t have a client at this point, but for us to know the market, to identify the right spot to design an appropriate boat: that’s the expertise of Amels. Today, we have a fleet of six vessels. We have just completed delivery of number 23 of those designs and we are currently working on 12 projects that are under construction at present! Customers can buy a vessel that is in construction, choose for an interior architect and then have their boat delivered (depending the time they are able to enter) within about 1.5 years. This is a strong idea.

What has changed for owners of yachts since Amels first launched?

In the past, we had a full-customized client predominantly Western European for Amels but then we began to see a shift toward the eastern European market, and I would say we are the market leaders. We are also witnessing the trend of younger owners, however our owners are family-oriented Not flashy men who like speedboats!

Are today’s owners pursuing more adventurous routes?

Absolutely. It is also the case the case that our vessels are ideal for adventure! We are accustomed to making strong, heavy objects because ultimately, we’re a shipbuilding company that is commercial within our DNA. We do not stand on the edge of our fingers looking to construct a larger vessel. Amels boats are too built. We saw people taking yachts to Antarctica that were not originally designed to travel there, but then returned! A lot of the ocean is stunning and one can enjoy the luxury, safety and comfort.

We strive to motivate our Owners because the boat is able to do it. In 2009, we introduced our Damen Yacht Support vessels for one of our clients who required help with logistical requirements for the fleet. It is a massive platform for storage, toys crew, beach landing craft fishing boats, tenders helicopters, garbage, supplies… Then we thought , hey, there’s a chance in the market for yachts for these vessels offshore. In 2009, “shadow boats were only operating at 8-9 knots and were unable to keep pace with the larger yachts. Ours operate at around 22. They’re purpose-built and are high-end instead of converted offshore vessels that are designed and engineered according to the superyacht standard.

What was the process that led to the SeaXplorer concept come about?

People were amazed at those Yacht Support vessels – they received more attention that the main ship! However, there were no guest rooms onboard. Damen is a highly business-oriented company, so they came up with develop a unique concept that could not only provide support, but could also accommodate clients onboard. The initial SeaXplorer was 90m in length, it could hold parties onboard with 300 people , and guests could wear shoes. The idea was a perfect blend of Damen’s experience in the building of robust ice-going vessels with Amels know-how in luxury guest rooms.

Also, we introduced Eos the world’s leading outdoor expedition firm, who have taken more than 100 superyachts into the Arctic. This allowed us to design the ultimate expedition boat with every aspect thought of including a mud room to changing into gear for expeditions and an observation equipment at the bow, where the whales and dolphins can be seen there, plenty of storage for trash as well as a double-acting vessel with an ice-breaking stern, something that was never ever before seen in yachting and the ability to accommodate two submarines, helicopters, and snowmobiles. It is not common to have 17 crew on a 55m yacht, however, a SeaXplorer is equipped with guides, ice pilots, doctors. They will also travel not just the Arctic but also , most important is in the Amazon River and other remote tropical regions that are far from the infrastructure. The boat is fully autonomous for 40 days without the need to return to the port for re-provisioning. The way we think is that the technical spaces on SeaXplorers are not at superyacht standards, but rather the owners and guest spaces are to Amels standard. This saves a lot of cash.