Amels 242 Superyacht Press Tour 2018

HISWA Superyacht Press Tour 2018

The Netherlands - land of bicycles, cheese, wooden shoes, awesome architecture, fields full of colorful tulips and the inventors of yachts.

The word “yacht” came from the Dutch word “jacht” that means hunt and were light navy vessels to chase pirates. Wealthy Dutch people used them also as pleasure boats.

I was one of the lucky ladies and gentlemen to attend to the Superyacht Press Tour 2018, organized by the HISWA Holland Superyacht Group that represents members of the Dutch superyacht industry.

Some weeks ago, I got an e-mail that I was nominated for the Superyacht Press Tour in its 2018 edition – A special thank you goes to the Amels shipyard who nominated me – I checked my calendar, changed some appointments I had in the week from the 28th to the 31st of May.

I got a programme with a list of journalists who are also attending. It was like the who’s who of the international yachting media. Also, the participating HISWA members are the best of the best (Feadship, Amels, Heesen, Royal Huisman, Wajer Yachts) who opened their doors for us nosy people.

Index (black text is linked for a direct jump)

Day One

Could Amsterdam a destination for superyacht owners?

The day began in Amsterdam in a meeting room of the citizenM hotel Schiphol with a meet and greet with the organizers and the other participating journalists. Furthermore, representatives of Port of Amsterdam attended to give us first insights into the plans what the Port of Amsterdam is doing to be attractive for superyacht owners. Usually, superyacht owners come to northern Europe to inspect their yachts during the building and refit process or maiden voyages in Scandinavian areas. The main area to enjoy their yachts is in the Med or the Caribbean. But if you have been to Amsterdam, you know it is a beautiful city with great architecture and all that you need. Recently, more yacht owners discovered also northern areas like Svalbard (M/Y Kamalaya, M/Y Latitude or M/Y Gene Machine). Amsterdam is on the way for a stopover and Het Scheepvaartmuseum is an awesome picture background for floating arts.

Faith Yacht Amsterdam

There are also other secured capabilities to dock a superyacht right in the city center like the Passenger Terminal and the UNESCO World Heritage City Center.


After the presentation of the HISWA and Port of Amsterdam, we headed over to the little island Kaag to visit the Feadship facility. In a presentation, we saw some renderings of projects till 2021. Feadship has currently seven yachts from 58m to 110m (Project 1007) in the outfitting stage by famous designers like RWD, Bannenberg & Rowell, Sinot Exclusive Yacht Design, and Michael Leach. Another designer is Jarkko Jämsén of the Finnish design studio Aivan who worked for XO Boats, Axopar, and some private clients.

Furthermore, Feadship showed us a rendering video of their new facility in Amsterdam where they can build yachts up to 160 meters with better access to the north sea without the complicated transport from Kaag.

Feadship's Global Order Book

40 – 60m

60 – 80m

80 – 100m

> 100m

Hiswa Superyacht Press Tour 2018

Following this interesting insights, we had a tour through the facilities and the support vessel SHERPA – a very impressive vessel. Outside the heavy duty industrial styled ship, inside the gentlemen styled interior with dark wood and an open fireplace in the saloon under the helipad.

Last but not least, Feadship invited us for a lunch at Tante Kee – a very exquisite restaurant in front of the shipyard with water view. Very professional service but it felt like eating at friends. Furthermore, we had the chance for a little cruise with M/Y AMMERLAND from 1966 that looks shiny like a new one. A nice detail for myself: Ammerland is a region next to my hometown Oldenburg and the first owners came from there.


Day Two


In the morning, we arrived at the historic administration building of Amels and Damen. Although Amels is the yacht division and Damen the commercial ship part, Damen builds the support vessels and the SeaXplorer. Both brands co-exist in the superyacht industry and working together from research to sales.

After a short press conference about the Limited Editions, the Yacht Support Vessels, and the SeaXplorer concept, we got a tour through the shipyard. Speaking of SeaXplorer, there are many bold concepts in drawers of shipyards and designers but Amels sold a 65m (for 2019) and a 77m model (for 2020).

In good company: Key Facts about the Damen group

100 %



companies worldwide





And also some key facts about the yacht division Amels

215 meters

longest covered dry dock at Amels


years of experience




yachts delivered since 1982

Limited Editions

The success of the Limited Editions is impressive. The first unit of this series was delivered in 2007 (still under the same ownership), over 40 yachts were sold, six model from 55m up to 83m are available. According to Amels, every yacht was delivered on time and on budget.

Why should a UHNWI buy a semi-displacement without a custom exterior?

  • Saving costs - About 15 - 20 % can be saved, delivery on budget.
  • Saving time - Delivery on time. The Amels 180 ELIXIR had a delivery time of just 8 months. The hull of the Amels 242 below will leave the dock in just a year. A custom yacht with the design process, engineering and building can take some years.
  • Proven platform - 33 Limited Editions are delivered. Enough to eliminate constructions problems and listen to owners and crew wishes.
  • Custom interior - You can bring an interior designer of your own choice
  • Value stability - timeless exterior design by Tim Heywood, dutch quality and tested yachts since 2007.

Overview of the Limited Editions

The owner of the 4th hull of the Amels Limited Edition 242 (sister ship here) gave the permission to tour through the hull. It is very interesting to see a semi-custom yacht concept in that size. Speaking again of saving time: The hull we saw arrived six weeks ago and will be launched a year later. Yes, we are still talking about a 74m superyacht. That’s super fast and the owner can enjoy the yacht with an interior of his favorite designer. When you prefer to own a yacht with a completely own exterior design, you have to wait some years.

Amels 180 vs. Amels 188

During our visit, the third almost finished unit of a 242 was moored at the yard, a new hull of a 180, a finished and just delivered 180 and the first Amels 188 christened Volpini 2  (a repeat client with interior design by Reymond Langton). Glad to be there at the right time for a real life comparison of the yachts with almost the same size. Although the 188 is just five meters longer, the yacht has more hull volume. The Amels 180 has a gross tonnage of 671 and the Amels 188 has a gross tonnage of 970. Furthermore, the 188 got fresher lines that makes her more looking sporty but the 180 looks sleeker.

What's about full-custom yachts?

Yes, Amels can deliver full-custom too. The yard delivered 29 yachts since 1982. A 78m Espen Oeino design is currently under construction with a delivery date for 2021. Furthermore, 44 superyacht refits up to almost 100 meters are completed to date.

Rendering of the 78m full-custom project

Next stop: Oceanco

Later this day, we arrived at the Oceanco shipyard in Alblasserdam – the birthplace of one of the most exciting sailing yachts: BLACK PEARL. The massive 90m Project SHARK (unfortunately no pictures allowed – just the official pictures distributed by the yard) was still there. It was a beautiful view when our tour bus drove along the yacht. Oceanco’s administration building is full of very big yacht models and a paradise for people who are interested in yacht or ship models. The staff of Oceanco toured us also through project JASMINE that will be launched in 2019.

After that tour, we entered the new Oceanco building where another press conference took place on the foredeck of the 105m project BRAVO (Y718). A new strategic partnership with BMT Nigel Gee where announced. The core team of the large yacht division works now under the brand Lateral Naval Architects. Because of their new slogan is Ask new questions, my claim to see new innovations is very high-leveled.

James Roy, Managing Director of Lateral comments:

“We will continue to offer our services to a full spectrum of stakeholders in the superyacht yacht industry.  With our core competence in naval architecture and engineering, Lateral will remain part of the BMT group and benefit from access to the full breadth of BMT’s diverse capability, whilst at the same time strengthening its own expertise and knowledge through the strategic partnership with Oceanco.”

Superyacht Press Tour Oceanco

Day Three

Breakfast with Moonen Yachts

Moonen Yachts (known for their ocean-going displacement yachts) joined us at the hotel in Made for breakfast and gave us an overview in a presentation by CEO Johan Dubbelman of the latest/current refit (M/Y Ciao) and new build projects like 36m motor yacht BRIGADOON (a Martinique model of the Caribbean-series) and a sister ship.

Breakfast Moonen Yachts

Tank Test Paddling at Heesen Yachts

Heesen Yachts welcomed us in a well-decorated drydock (I like meetings in an industrial environment) together with the naval architecture company Van Oossanen to give us an overview of the latest projects and futuristic yachts like Project MAXIMUS, the elegant Project AVANTI, (my personal favorite of motor yacht designs) and yachts with low noise and low vibration hybrid propulsion like M/Y HOME. During the lunch, we had the chance to talk with the Heesen staff.

Heesen Yachts prepared something for us. The tank test models weren’t just decoration – they were there for a tank test hull paddling contest. Kayaks with a bulbous bow and a semi-displacement hull by Van Oossanen are very rare but should be a must-have in each superyacht tender storage.

Heesen Yachts

Arriving Royal Huisman - The shopping mall of superyachts

Later this day, we arrived Vollenhove – the residence of Royal Huisman and its subsidiary Rondal. Why do I call it the superyacht shopping mall? Together with Rondal, Royal Huisman builds all main parts under one roof. The yard is about one hour away (by car) from the Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (with helicopter much more faster). When the owner wants to check his project during the building process, he can see the hull, the interior (will be build up first as a mockup before it comes into the yacht) and also all the other things Rondal builds for superyachts like masts, booms, doors, hatches and so on without traveling around to all subcontractors.

Royal Huisman gave us insights in both companies. The carbon booms of Project 400 are currently under construction – massive parts with about 15 meters in length. Looked like a kayak for 20 people – and the yacht will have three of them. In the joinery, they showed us the interior of the yacht with an awesome detail. Royal Huisman documents all interiors with numbers to deliver spares very fast. The crew gives the number to the yard and they can produce a replacement without flying down to check what is needed, flying back etc.

Another big project is the refit of the 39m Schooner-rigged sailing yacht VAGRANT from 1913. The hull has been completely stripped off (including all the interiors) and looked like a new build project in the first stage. There is a lot of work for the yard to prepare the yacht for the next 100 years. But they have experience with classic yachts like the extensive refit of the J-Class sailing yacht Endeavour (JK4).

Day Four

Wajer Yachts

On the last day, Wajer Yachts picked us directly at the hotel with a Wajer 37 and Wajer 38 for a sightseeing tour through Amsterdam with all the beautiful old canal houses and houseboats, houseboats and even more houseboats. By the way, a Wajer 38 had also a role in the movie “The North” together with the Amels 180 KAMALAYA. – a must-see video for yachting and Norway fans.

The destination was Het Scheepvaartmuseum (Dutch national maritime museum) where we got a video and scale model presentation of the new wajer 55S.


With VBH (Van Berge Henegouwen), we discussed entertainment and communication technology on yachts (exactly my topic as a technology-driven guy) and potential problems with state-of-the-art technology upgrades on refit projects.

Het Scheepvaartmuseum

We got also a guided tour through the museum. Unfortunately, the time was too short to see all but our tour guide explained really good and picked the cool things for our short timeframe – ask for Anna-Maria, capable and pleasant.

Het Scheepvaartmuseum has a virtual reality room in the replica of the EAST INDIAMAN AMSTERDAM (the original was lost in 1749). The tour starts at the place where you are but it is a time journey back to the Dutch Golden Age ca. 1650 built with historic documents to get a view of how Amsterdam looked at this time. A really cool experience.


The Superyacht Press Tour is an awesome opinion for the relation between media and the Dutch superyacht industry. Furthermore, it was also great to meet other well-known journalists like Marilyn Mower of Boat International Media, Diane Byrne of and so on. It is like a preferment or to have a backstage ticket for a rock concert with exclusive insights and very much input. The Holland Yachting Group did a great organization. I am very thankful for the experience and the insights – I really enjoyed the trip and hope to get the chance next year again.

Would you like to know more about the Dutch yachting industry? Check out the documentary by Discovery Channel

Brigadoon Yacht Moonen Martinique

Moonen Martinique BRIGADOON (36m)

Moonen launched the first Martinique model of the Caribbean-series with the name BRIGADOON.

René van der Velden designed the exterior lines of the Monnen Martinique while the interior design comes from Nauta Design. The first Martinique was ordered by a shareholder of Moonen but sold to new clients. The yacht will be displayed in Cannes and Monaco.

The displacement hulled yacht has a top speed of 17 knots and a range of 4,000 nautical miles.

Moonen Managing Director Emile Bilterijst explains:

“The advantage of using high tensile steel is that the construction can be made lighter and yet have the same strength of ‘normal’ steel. The Martinique will be a lightweight superyacht which, when paired with a smart slender hull design, will give a projected top speed of approx. 17 knots combined with a low fuel consumption at cruising speed.”

First launch pictures

Updated exterior renderings with bimini (April 30th, 2018)

Older renderings (April 3rd, 2018)

Emile Bilterijst continues:

“Leveraging on Moonen’s rich experience with fast displacement boats we have opted to add propeller tunnels to Martinique, who remains a naval architect in heart and soul. “One of the goals was to offer a limited draft – which will be a vital feature when exploring such wonderful places as the Bahamas  – combined with low fuel consumption at cruising speeds. This requires large propellers and CFD calculations have been used to optimize tunnel shape and positioning of appendages on the hull.

We are now shaping the hull and the tunnels in an optimum way within the set parameters in order to achieve the best possible propulsion outcome. With her exceptionally comfortable seakeeping performance, superior noise & vibration attenuation properties and low cost of ownership, I believe that the Martinique will change the way people view steel-hulled motor yachts.”

There are currently no interior pictures available but Emile Bilterijst describes the work with the designers:

“It is very inspiring to see specialists from different disciplines working together to find the perfect solution for each area of the yacht. The cooperation with Nauta Design has been very professional and the interior will feature a refined simplicity, clean lines and a significant use of natural light. There is still time for new owners to work closely together with the project team to define the interior atmosphere to their own preferences.”

Also from the Caribbean-line: The Matica model christened BIJOUX


Moonen Navarino

Moonen created with René van der Velden a new 47m explorer-typed motor yacht

This new concept is based on market research and client surveys. Moonen developed a modern and elegant explorer yacht within the 500 GT border for world traveling. The Navarino has no side deck on the main deck to increase the interior volume.

“In another new development, the aft deck lazarette of the Moonen Navarino is raised so that it is on the same level as the beach club. Dispensing with the normal split-level arrangement in this part of the yacht generates a considerable amount of space for enjoying the alfresco life and nature close to the water. The design team has lots of options for making the most of this unified space, the most pleasant place to relax when underway.”


“We designed this concept to showcase the different ways Moonen owners can enjoy a modern and innovative world traveling superyacht,” explains managing director Emile Bilterijst, a naval architect himself and part of the Moonen team that worked on this project with designer René van der Velden. “One of the reasons for Moonen’s reputation is our ability to offer motor yachts in all shapes and styles. In this respect, the Navarino can serve as a starting point for a client seeking a go-anywhere motor yacht or as inspiration to go in a completely different direction.” 

“In developing the Navarino we have moved away from the stereotypical image of explorer-type yachts as ‘toys for the boys,’” Bilterijst continues. “There is no golden rule which says world traveler superyachts need to have a masculine design. With her sleek looks and sophisticated main deck layout, the Moonen Navarino will change people’s perceptions of how an explorer should look or who might prefer to be on board. And this is why we prefer to call her a ‘go-anywhere’ superyacht.” 

Bijoux Yacht Moonen

30m Bijoux of the Caribbean-series by Moonen

Bijoux is the first unit of Moonen's Caribbean-series (Matica). She has a length of 30m.

Responsible for design is René van der Velden (exterior styling), Adam Lay (interior) and Diana Yacht Design (naval architecture). The entire transom can be transformed into a giant hatch.

Bijoux Yacht Moonen
Bijoux Yacht
Bijoux Yacht

The project manager commented:

“As launch customers for this model, the owners have had a significant influence on the design and layout of the first Matica. Although they have visited the yard on a number of occasions during the build, they were delighted that the yacht looked even better in the water than they had imagined. The owners were also impressed by the views from the pilothouse and the second steering position on the flybridge. And it was wonderful to see the superb color combination of a gray hull, white superstructure, and black striping comes into its own.”

Hull and Superstructure Marriage

Adam Lay says:

“Working with the Moonen team on the new Caribbean series Matica has been a wonderful experience. Once the fixed joinery was designed, Kelda – who is also a qualified interior designer – and I set about sourcing and specifying furnishing fabrics together with the owners.”

As experienced owners, the clients had a clear design brief in mind. “Our aim was to incorporate contemporary and cosy elements, with lots of natural light,” they explain. “Adam worked with us to achieve a sense of space defined by clean lines and highlighted by beautiful fabrics and wonderful abstract art. Durability was a major consideration for the fabrics as our teenagers bring lots of friends on board. At the same time, we wanted a modern, calming atmosphere as we intend the yacht to be a place of relaxation.”

Bijoux comes in at just below the 200 GT mark with the maximum volume possible. Her hull is based on the tried and tested Moonen 97, providing comfortable seakeeping and low fuel consumption. A steep bow gives a narrower waterline entrance and a longer waterline, adding to the comfort and fuel economy. The Matica models have a limited draught and well-protected propellers so that they can easily explore shallow waters.

Interview with the owners

Tell us a little about your first season?
It was August before we went sailing in earnest. We started in Malta and came back through Sicily, the Aeolian Islands, Corsica and the south of France. The seakeeping performance of the boat was exemplary and she was very comfortable even when we encountered some fairly big seas. She’s also super-quiet: you never notice the engines being started and it’s always a surprise to find yourself on the move!

The interior works very well too. Our aim with Bijoux was not to have a breathtaking boat inside… We wanted her to be modern but not in a fashionable way that would be out of fashion next year. Designer Adam Lay and the Moonen team did a superb job on creating a welcoming, contemporary and comfortable ambiance. The yacht is fresh, comfortable and a great place to live.

What are your favorite features?
There are so many as Bijoux is exactly how we wanted her. I’m really pleased with the grey-and-white color scheme with key lines of black. The bathing deck and the way the transom folds out to create a huge space and a very neat & sleek stern are great. Our full-beam owners’ suite is really spacious and gives the impression and reality of a big space when you walk in. Bijoux is a real family boat too. The accommodations are just right for us: we have four teenagers and the layout allows us to have guests on board with the kids.

How does the Caribbean line’s ‘fun on the water’ concept work in practice?

The Matica design connects very well to the sea. She has huge windows all around and it’s fantastic to sit in the saloon with nearly 360-degree views. The way that the cockpit and bathing deck work really makes you feel close to the water. And Bijoux has a huge amount of space so that everyone can enjoy their idea of relaxation – the foredeck, the cockpit, the upper decks, the bathing platform, the saloon and the rooms: you never feel on top of each other. As a 100-footer she allows us to go wherever we want and we love going to secluded harbors and exploring the local area. We personally think that the Matica is the prettiest in the Caribbean line, but then we would say that, wouldn’t we!

How has the service been?
Moonen has done a really good job. It feels like a family business and you can tell with the warranty work. We set up what needed doing at the Monaco Yacht Show and, according to the captain, who’s been with the boat throughout the winter, the yard did even more than it originally agreed. That’s a typical example of Moonen’s generosity.

What are your plans for the new season?
We’re starting with the Scandinavian fjords, then going down to Brittany, Portugal, Mallorca, Montenegro and back to Antibes. We won’t be on the boat all the time as passengers, but we do have a full season ahead. The boat will be used by the family pretty much throughout the season and we are excited to see what else Bijoux has in store for us all.

Sofia III Moonen Yachts

SPOTLIGHT ON: Sofia III by Moonen Yachts

Dutch shipyard Moonen delivered Sofia III to an experienced yacht owner.

Moonen Shipyards in the Netherlands has launched the 42-metre custom motor yacht Sofia for a repeat client. As well as being the largest superyacht launched to date by the yard, Sofia also features a three-seat submarine, a wide range of other technical innovations, and outstanding noise & vibration attenuation. Inside and out, this highly sophisticated custom project captures the essence of why Moonen is among the finest yacht builders in the world today.

A crossover between go-anywhere expedition vessels and the classic modern yachts that are Moonen’s hallmark, Sofia was custom-designed with safety, functionality and redundancy to the fore. Built to Lloyds and MCA, she implements the latest building techniques with top-of-the-line equipment and systems.

Sofia III by Monnen Yachts
Sofia III by Monnen Yachts
Sofia III by Monnen Yachts

The eye-catching yellow submarine tender is a C-Quester 3 by U-Boat Worx with a weight of 4.5 tonnes. It is stored on the bathing platform that has an integrated hidden crane to launch the submarine.

Sofia’s owner first teamed up with Moonen almost a decade ago. “In 2004 I embarked on a quest to find a high-quality motor yacht that would allow me to cruise the world in comfort together with the sail yacht,” he explains. “My research led me to Moonen Shipyards, where I purchased the brand-new Moonen 84 Sofia (now Eleonora). I then commissioned a new Moonen 97 to meet my personal requirements, which was duly launched in 2008.

My experiences with Sofia and Sofia II emphasized the quality of design and build of Moonen. The yachts were safe, solid and reliable even in rough weather. I welcomed many experienced sailors and owners on board, and all were impressed by the construction quality, low noise levels and immaculate carpentry work.

When the time came to fashion my new yacht, therefore, the choice to partner again with Moonen was easily made. This third Sofia would be the yard’s largest yacht to date and – unprecedented for her size – carry a private submarine. Although the design started with a two-seat craft, during the construction we switched to a three-seater. This decision influenced the complete design and made the challenge even greater, but Moonen responded with typical flair.”

Sofia 3 Moonen Yachts

Sofia also brings together some of the finest creative minds and hands in the Dutch superyacht industry. Designed by René van der Velden, Stolk Marimecs was responsible for the complex naval architecture and engineering. Frank Pieterse and Marilyn Bos – de Vaal from Art-Line then went on to develop the remarkable interior, which features a wide range of genuinely innovative features. The experts at Inoferro had their work cut out to incorporate the wealth of stainless steel detailing, as did the woodworkers and many other craftsmen across all disciplines from Moonen Shipyards. The result is a triumph.

Van der Velden also designed the initial layout for the interior before being joined on the project by Art-Line, who had also worked on the owner’s two previous boats. The result is a plethora of rounded curves, including the phenomenal oval staircase in the center of the boat with a skylight that bathes the interior with natural light. Art-Line also chose the woods and the fabrics in close conjunction with the owner. A unified color scheme applies throughout, combining traditional oak and Zebrano veneers with off-white and camel-colored materials such as coconut paper. All the cabinets have a high degree of complex horizontal joinery, and the entire interior is notably tactile.

“Spatial planning is a very important starting point for every design, and certainly on Sofia where the owner required as great a possible connection between the different decks,” explains Art-Line’s Frank Pieterse. “We set out to enhance the way space is experienced, how the perspectives work, how people move from one area to another. The desire for open spaces meant coming up with various innovative solutions, and our knowledge of the technical possibilities and limitations increased our room for maneuver. At Art-Line we are also very aware of how flexible Moonen is as a yard and we were able to lean on each other’s knowledge to create a very special interior.”

Main Specifications

Length over all:41.78 m
Length Waterline:38.60 m
Beam:8.90 m
Draft:2.45 m
Exterior design:René van der Velden
Interior:Art-Line Interiors
Top Speed:14,5 knots
Cruising Speed:12 knots
Range @ 9 knots:5,000 nm
Fuel:47,000 l

Profile & Layouts

yacht sofia by moonen yachts

Yacht Sofia III Moonen
Sun Deck

Sofia Moonen Yacht
Upper Deck

Moonen Sofia Yacht
Main Deck

Sofia Yacht
Lower Deck

More Impressions