On the cutting edge

Over 100 years old, Nobiskrug is a German shipbuilder based in Rendsburg, north Germany, along the River Elder. Managing director Susanne Wiegand talks more about the yard’s background: “The company can look back on a fluctuating history. Within the time of its existence it has developed from a yard that simply repaired dredgers and lighters into one of the leading shipyards specialising in building new yachts and naval vessels over 60 metres, as well as repairing / refitting ships of almost every type. In addition, Nobiskrug has always been known as a shipbuilder of performance hulls. In former sailing eras this meant the relation between capacity and speed; today it is about fuel consumption. Over 750 newbuilds and numerous refits have been done since the company began. Since summer 2009 Nobiskrug has been part of the Abu Dhabi Mar Group.”

The move into megayachts began in 2000 and 12 years later, Nobiskrug has become a leading light in the sector. Four hundred and fifty highly skilled staff are employed to deliver the high standards it has become known for. Its world-leading reputation for quality in shipbuilding, refits and conversions of megayachts is the result of the company’s dedication to detail at every stage of a project. This means vessels that are elegant yet sophisticated – such as the Sycara V, which won the World Superyacht Award in 2011 for its design – as well as a 24/7 aftersales service that makes the client feel comfortable. Consequently it has gained a global customer base, with its strongest regions today in the Middle East, Russia, and the US.

“We run a dedicated system of quality assurance throughout our company,” elaborates managing director Holgar Kahl. “Highly skilled staff are invested with education and training. Furthermore we only work together with carefully chosen partners and suppliers. The close co-operations offer the possibility of constantly high quality standards and innovations. Last but not least, our basis for success is good project management informed by experience.”

Some of the most notable vessels delivered by the yard in recent years include: the aforementioned Sycara V; the Siren, which also won the World Superyacht Award in 2009 as well as the ShowBoats International Award for ‘Best Custom Motor Yacht Interior 60 metres and Over’; and the Triple Seven, a 68 metre vessel that won the International Superyacht Society Award in 2007. Currently the yard is working on numerous new projects including the Explorer, designed for arctic voyages; the 90 metre Conqueror, flagship of the Messerschmitt series; and the uniquely designed Touch 60, intended to meet the reduced length requirements of St Barth Harbour, Gustavia, the Caribbean.

Apart from megayachts, Nobiskrug also has its own naval vessel design known as the Nobis-FAC60. This cutting edge vessel is a small but high performance ship capable of combat, anti-piracy, counter-terrorism and anti-smuggling duties. The Nobis-FAC60 offers a high speed of 35 knots, and excellent manoeuvrability, Scanter 4100 Weapon Radar, fittings for two main guns and eight support weapons, and ESM and decoy systems. It is therefore ideal for close-to-shore operations, and can have its details tailored to the specific needs of its end user.

As well as boat construction and technical services, the yard is heavily involved with research and development of new materials to continue improving its ships. “Two of our main goals,” says Susanne, “are the reduction of fuel consumption and the improvement of the yacht’s performance in rough seas. For this reason we currently work with glass-reinforced plastic (GRP) in the superstructures of our yachts and are developing new solutions for deck gear, components, and other crucial elements in vessel reliability.”

Given the quality of Nobiskrug’s products, and the type of client the brand attracts, it is no surprise that the company has performed well during the last 18 months. “2011 was the most successful sales year in the history of Nobiskrug,” Susanne says. “The order intake was equivalent in size to three or four average annual turnovers.” These are impressive figures even for a sector that remained relatively sheltered from the financial crisis, and testament to the trust the yard’s customers place in its abilities.

Nobiskrug continues to fare equally well this year as well and already has several building projects underway. “Beside the yachts that are currently under construction, we look forward to exciting new projects. We are confident in closing one of these projects within the next few months,” Holger points out. The yard has a very firm vision for the long-term future of the company that the managing director, concluding, outlines: “We remain committed to our strategy of offering the best possible quality in our three pillars of yachts, naval vessels and repair / conversion / aftersales services. We will strengthen our brand by growing a fleet of Nobiskrug yachts on the oceans. In particular this means that we can carry on focusing on our custom concepts to offer every client an exclusive and fitting solution.”

Many new projects underway
Very high quality vessels
Excellent business performance