Claasen Shipyard - Classic Sailing Yacht Construction

By B.Roberts

After landing in Amsterdam yesterday, the Yacht Valley Press Tour – organised by HISWA – started in style as we were taken straight to the Claasen Shipyard by the River de Zaan for a master class in truly classic sailing yacht construction.

Sat in the stunning 17th Century Vleethuis Warehouse, the only one of its kind left in the world, Anco Kok, Marketing Director of Claasen Shipyards, and Henk Brouwer, Owner and Managing Director of Piet Brouwer Electro Technical, welcomed us to the traditional yacht building facilities of Claasen Shipyards by introducing the latest projects currently under construction.

As we entered the homely Dutch shipyard (and watched a well-trained dog ring a bell to signify the 40-strong crew’s lunch break) we were firstly introduced to the 72 foot sailing yacht Bougainville.

She may only be 22 metres, but this sleek and elegant performance yacht due to launch next week caught my attention thanks to her distinctive colour, sleek Berret Racoupeau exterior style and promising Rhodes Young interior.

We were also told that Claasen Shipyard has yet another edition of the 90 foot Truly Classic range in construction after their most recent launch of Atalante in 2009.

However, this isn’t what kept our attention. After the successful debut of Firefly, the world’s first F-Class superyacht, in the Palma de Mallorca regatta last year, we were told the yard will be beginning construction on a 126 foot "Truly Classic"  in August later this year.

Claasen Shipyard is best known for its expert construction of the largest J-Class in the world, Lionheart, but now a new and exclusive project is waiting to renew the yard’s reputation as a classic yacht builder. The 41.5m project SVEA is based on Tore Holm’s original design and is estimated to be the fastest J-Class yacht on the water.

Claasen yachts seem to have a way of representing the classic identity of Holland, imbued with expert craftsmanship, high-level electronic mechanisms, passionate construction and a strong history in the yacht building industry.

By B.Roberts
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