Leaders in Luxury

The shipbuilding heritage of the town of Monnickendam, Netherlands, home to Hakvoort Shipyard, extends back over 400 years. The shipyard first passed into the hands of the Hakvoort family in 1919, when it was purchased by Albert Klzn Hakvoort who subsequently renamed it Hakvoort Shipyard. Initially the company was engaged in the construction of traditional local wooden fishing vessels, but as the business passed through the generations, the shipyard moved into steel fishing vessels. In the late 1970s the Dutch fishing vessel market collapsed, and subsequently Hakvoort built its last fishing trawler in 1981. The business was then approached by the US yacht company Striker – a specialist sports fisherman brand – and undertook a contract for a 70-foot triple deck sports fishing vessel. Both Striker and Hakvoort were known for their quality pedigree, and throughout the 1980s the shipyard produced 22 vessels under the Striker brand name. This partnership laid the foundation for Hakvoort’s current reputation as an expert in delivering best-in-class luxury yachts.

By way of an introduction to the company’s product portfolio, Klaas Hakvoort, joint managing director, says: “We can effectively build any type of yacht, although our main market is the traditional displacement motor yacht in the range of 20 to 50 metres. In addition we also construct high-speed aluminium yachts, which can reach speeds of 45 knots, and sail yachts.” These vessels are mainly sold to private individuals based within the US, Russia, and Europe.

This versatility is one of the fundamental strengths of Hakvoort’s business approach, and one that the company prides itself on offering to the market, as Klaas highlights: “Increasingly shipyards are moving away from custom build vessels because of the expense and moving towards a semi-standard platform with custom elements. At Hakvoort we are still able to offer a fully custom built yacht at a very competitive price level, due to the active role in the business that our shareholders and management take. This enables us to keep costs at a very competitive level, without sacrificing the high quality that we are reputed for.” Supporting these bespoke capabilities is Hakvoort’s wholly owned partner company – Unlimited Interiors – a dedicated interior construction workshop, making the business one of the few shipyards that as well as building the vessel itself, can also offer clients a fully custom built interior in-house.

In terms of the challenge in balancing these two, often conflicting, requirements Klaas explains how Hakvoort’s family-owned structure is its greatest asset: “Being a smaller company our directors and shareholders have direct control over exactly what is happening on the workshop floor. Additionally the small scale of the company enables us to give our full attention to the client, through much shorter lines of communication. We undertake our own engine room construction, interiors, piping, air conditioning, and stainless steel work in-house, which means we can actually determine all of the separate technical aspects of yacht construction. The majority of the larger shipyards are dependent upon subcontractors, so they don’t have this control in-house, whereas if we subcontract work we know exactly what kind of price level should be attached to it because we also have those capabilities.”

Unlike many other businesses around the world, Hakvoort has felt little effect from the economic downturn, due to the five years worth of contracts it had in place when the crisis hit in 2008. In fact the shipyard is so busy that it currently has an additional 20 employees on site, as well as its permanent staff base of 90. The company’s most recent vessel deliveries are the 49-metre ‘Mirgab VI’ and 39-metre ‘Snowbird’. At present the ‘Snowbird’ is being refitted in line with its new owners requirements, and is due to be shown at the Monaco boat show in September. Hakvoort is already working on its next two contracts – a 45-metre canoe stern displacement motor yacht with traditional appearance, and a more modern looking 40-metre motor yacht.

Given this influx of work, Hakvoort is looking to expand its current two construction shed capacity even further, by replacing its slipway and extending the main shed, which will enable the shipyard to take on projects up to 60-metres in length and increase its weight limit from 500 to 1000 tonnes. Looking further ahead from this investment, as part of its development plan for the next 20 years Hakvoort is looking to build another two construction sheds. “I hope to have ukat least one of the two prospective building sheds completed in the next five years, which is in line with our aim to have the capacity to build more vessels at the same time, as opposed to aggressive growth in our boat range. In order to incorporate larger vessels of 70 to 90 metres we would have to relocate the business and this would be to the loss of our attractive current location. We intend to maintain the full custom build capabilities that we have at the moment, and as more shipyards move away from this service, I believe that Hakvoort is slowly becoming unique in the market and we can capitalise on this to obtain new orders,” concludes Klaas.

Extensive shipbuilding experience

Full custom build capabilities

Expanding current facilities