Busy time for Huisfit – The refit, repair and renewal unit by Dutch yacht builder Royal Huisman

Key facts about Huisfit

  • 3 climate controlled halls: 45m to 81m, with gantry cranes
  • Dedicated spray booths: up to 55m (masts up to 75m)
  • 3 covered dry docks: 90m to 144m
  • 4500 ton synchro lift: 120m
  • Electrical supply: up to 1000A @ 400V 50Hz

The word about Huisfit is spreading. Since 2011, when the shipyard renewed its focus on refit, repair and renewal, the division has seen year-on-year growth in yachts seeking to take advantage of Royal

Huisman’s quality guarantee, competitive pricing and reliable delivery schedules. Not to mention the exceptional facilities in Vollenhove and its deep-

water locations in Harlingen, or the comprehensive support package for crews and owners’ advisers.

Whether it is a ‘cosmetic’ paint job and interior refurbishm ent, or a more complex hull extension and new systems installation, Royal Huisman is able to draw on the skills and expertise of both a dedicated refit team and the wider resources of its new-build capability.

With four maintenance and renewal projects conducted in Holland (Flyer One, SAMURAI (ex Mari-Cha IV), Heartbeat, Juliet) and a fifth carried out by the Huisfit team in Antibes (Borkumriff IV), it has been a very busy time for the shipyard’s refit department so far this year.

Furthermore, Skat and Hyperion recently arrived in Holland to start their refit programmes and Huisfit is pleased to announce that Athena has signed up for Huisfit support in the Med the coming fall/winter season. In addition, Adèle has booked a slot for 2015-2016.

Flyer One delivered

A performance-oriented project, and a highly nostalgic one for Huisfit, the 20m/65ft ketch Flyer designed by Sparkman & Stephens was launched by Royal Huisman in 1976 for the late Conny van Rietschoten. The renowned Dutch sailor (who sadly passed away at the end of last year aged 87) famously raced the yacht to victory in the 1977-1978 Whitbread Round the World Race.

Flyer returned to the Netherlands earlier this year after being acquired by the “Revival of Flyer” foundation and having sailed more than 300,000 nautical miles as the sloop Alaska Eagle. She has been given back her ketch rig by re-stepping the mizzen mast, a deckhouse has been added and her aluminium hull has been overhauled and repainted the original dark blue.

The foundation ‘Revival of Flyer’ was initiated by Dutch sailor and entrepreneur Diederik Nolten, Els Vroegindewey, skipper Gerard Schootstra and Paul Wilms with the aim of returning the yacht to the country where she was built as a maritime monument under her original name. Gerry Dykstra, the founder of Dykstra Naval Architects, was navigator and watch leader aboard Flyer during the 1977-1978 Whitbread Race. Van Rietschoten went on to win the event for a second time in 1981-1982 with the Frers-designed, Huisman-built 76ft maxi sloop Flyer II.

Royal Huisman has supported the initiative from the start and, now restored to her former glory, Flyer departed Vollehove this summer. She will take part in various regattas and charitable events and will also be available for charter.

Images by Hans Westerbrink, Royal Huisman and Marlene Stoffelen

SAMURAI conversion

SAMURAI was originally built as MARI-CHA IV (and is also known as ex Senseo One). The 42m offshore-racer was designed by Philippe Briand and Greg Elliot. As MARI-CHA IV she broke the trans-atlantic record in seven days. She can reach over 40 knots and is the fastest monohull sailing yacht.

The client’s mission statement to Royal Huisman was that SAMURAI must be beautiful, stealthy looking, very fast, elegantly comfortable, technologically advanced and unforgettable to sail.

The conversion began with modifications to the carbon composite structure. Some carbon composite bulkheads have been re-installed to make way for an interior where once there was none. The new Japanese-inspired luxury furniture designed by Rhoades Young Design and built by Greenline Yacht Interiors is focused on being extremely lightweight yet comfortable.

The exterior has also been revisited by Rhoades Young Design and will receive a new deckhouse and cockpits, a completely new colour scheme and decks covered with easy-to- maintain, ‘teak’ surfacing. A swim platform will be added to the transom, which will be deployed manually using a halyard, as a hydraulic system would have added unwanted weight.

Onboard systems that the original race boat lacked (including alarm, monitoring, entertainment and navigation equipment) are being installed and high-speed hydraulic winches will substitute the manual winches. Her canting keel will be replaced with a lifting keel more suitable for cruising and access to shallow anchorages, in addition to a lightweight anchor system with a removable davit.

The Huisfit team is well prepared and fully equipped to work with carbon composites where optimum performance is the driving factor (Royal Huisman is also building a 20m/65ft sailing yacht with carbon composite hull, deck, spars and standing rigging, its 35th project with Sparkman & Stephens). As the hull and rig of SAMURAI have remained largely intact, after being thoroughly checked using laser and ultrasound equipment, the focus of the Huisfit team has been on modifications to the deck and interior composite structures.

Royal Huisman’s design manager Jan Knol comments

[quote]“The aim has been to convert a pure racer into a fast cruiser and still keep the weight below a certain threshold, which has been very challenging for the team. This has meant closely investigating the weight of both the interior and exterior components being added. Honeycomb substrates, for example, are used for the interior furniture, and titanium for items of deck gear instead of stainless steel.”[/quote]

The conversion of SAMURAI is scheduled for delivery in the summer of 2015.

Images by Hans Westerbrink, Renderings by Rhoades Young Design


Following on from her visit to Harlingen in 2012, the owner and captain of the motoryacht Skat were so impressed with the quality and timeliness of the refit programme, they returned for more. Work on the project has just commenced and includes:

  • Servicing main engines and gensets
  • Systems updates
  • New teak decking for all decks
  • Painting hull and superstructure
  • Servicing of all transom doors, passarelle, side boarding platforms, cranes, etc.
  • Overhaul of complete sewage plant

SKAT was designed by Espen Oeino and built by Lürssen in 2002.

Royal Huisman completes the refit with the Strametco shipyard.

Images by Kalle Borjesson and the crew of SKAT


The 47m sailing yacht HYPERION was built by Royal Huisman in 1998 for well-known yachtsman Dr. Jim Clark. Dr. Clark is an IT businessman. So HYPERION was equipped with the latest technologies to control the yacht via internet.

The yacht returned to her builder for replacements and updates after enjoying the summer in Scandinavia.

To-Do List:

  • Upgrading propulsion shaft and propeller
  • Replacement and installation of new gen sets
  • New main switchboard
  • Upgrading of navigation and communication electronics
  • Upgrading of PLC hardware and Alarm and Monitoring software
  • Maintenance, overhaul and painting of hull and superstructure
  • New teak decking

Images by Daniel Rawlins


Since her delivery 10 years ago, Athena has been engaged in some extensive world cruising. Taking advantage of a stopover in the Mediterranean, the Huisfit team will be taking care of:

  • Refinishing work on the interior varnish
  • Updates of the electrical systems
  • Rod inspection of her rig

Images by Max Cummings

55m Adèle 

Her owner’s team has booked Adèle into Vollenhove for a 2015-2016 Huisfit, which will include:

  • Servicing and overhaul of propulsion, gen sets, thrusters and various board systems
  • Climate control update incl. new chiller, fancoils and ducting
  • Replacement of batteries
  • Replacement of various existing lights with LEDs
  • Upgrade and replacement of various electronics (navigation, communication, alarm and monitoring)
  • Interior touch-ups and repairs
  • New teak deck and partial replacement of the caprail
  • Servicing of hatches, winches and various deck equipment
  • Painting of inside of hull and parts of the interior
  • Repaint/varnish of the hull, superstructures and rig

Images by the crew of Adèle