Interviews

Moonen ‘Pocket-sized’ Superyacht Perfection

Emile Bilterijst, Managing Director of Moonen Shipyards
Emile Bilterijst, Managing Director of Moonen Shipyards

At the end of a successful year for Moonen Shipyards, we met with Managing Director Emile M.M. Bilterijst to hear more about the Dutch shipyard’s recent achievements.

Can you tell me about Moonen Shipyards and the philosophy behind the shipyard?

“Moonen Shipyards has been here now about 28 years. Since 1981 we were concentrating on what we call pocket-sized superyachts, which means that they are relatively small, but of the highest possible quality. And the first real pocket-sized superyacht we built was the Moonen 85, in the eighties, which was when we established the name of Moonen as a top-quality yacht.

Today we are building yachts of between 20 metres and about 45 metres. Last year we built our biggest yet. Our aim is to build the highest possible quality in this bracket, between 20 and 45 metres.”

Could you tell me a little bit about your latest yacht, which launched in August?

“Our yard number 189, that’s a Moonen 124, which is our biggest Moonen so far at 124 feet, or 38 metres. We launched her in August 2009, and we had her at the Monaco Boat Show. She is a full three decker, steel hull with aluminium superstructure. A real long range displacement yacht with a lot of comfort.

Our yachts are very reliable long distance cruisers, with extremely low noise and vibration levels, exceptional sea-keeping and extremely low fuel consumption.”

2009 has been a succesful year for Moonen hasn’t it?

“Yes, and we are still very busy, both with new-build projects as well as refits. We do several refits most of the time for Moonen yachts, but we also do refits on other yachts. Because we have new facilities now near to Rotterdam without any height restrictions, we can now handle refits up to 50 metres. During these economically more difficult times, this is a very important addition to what Moonen Shipyards can offer.”

What does the future hold for Moonen?

“I think we all have to face that it’s not so easy at this moment to sell yachts. We’re not the only ones, so let’s hope that the market will pick up soon. In the last three years we have been able to triple our turnover, and in spite of the current market, we are still doing well, we can keep the turnover stable at this moment, which is important.

What we’re building at this moment is two 97s; one for early 2010 and one for late 2010. We just started the design process for a brand new Moonen 110, which should be delivered in 2012 and we are close to signing a contract for a 126’ displacement yacht. Then we have a number of refits. We are just finishing a big refit on a Moonen 84 and we still busy with a big a refit of a Moonen 89alu, which came all the way from Vladivostok to Holland. That was quite an interesting trip because the boat came on its own from Vladivostok to Hong Kong and then was brought on a container vessel from Hong Kong to Rotterdam.

And we recently got a 120 foot. The build started at Royal Denship, Denmark, and has been brought to us. Most likely we are going to finish that boat, so that’s also a nice big project, which will take about a year from now to complete.”

 

...very reliable long distance cruisers, with extremely low noise and vibration levels, exceptional sea-keeping and extremely low fuel consumption.