German shipbuilder and superyacht specialist Blohm + Voss has revealed it is entering the semi-custom superyacht market with it’s new BV80 concept. The yard hopes this departure from their full-custom manufacturing will realign its brand firmly in the minds of brokers and clients worldwide and reinvigorate its new-build operation.

“With BV80, we’re applying the yard’s manufacturing capabilities to a platform that relies on detailed pre-planning and flexible customization in the areas owners care about most,” said Patick Coote, sales and marketing director of the Hambug-based yard. “We can start a build immediately and deliver in 2017.”

The striking 80m, 2,300gt design is by the ascendant London-based firm Eidsgaard Design, who’d previously crafted the lines of the Feadship-built 77.7m Tango. The design’s two-tone colouring (customisable by the client), outdoor fire-pit, touch-and-go helideck forward and extensive beach club should have broad appeal to the market Coote is focusing on.



First look: Blohm+Voss' new 80m semi-custom BV80 concept, from Eidsgaard Design
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Eschewing the ranks of top current designers, Blohm + Voss settled on Eidsgaard Design’s youthful, open-minded approach. “We compiled a list of key features that we felt our customers would expect, and Eidsgaard pulled them together in a design that we’re very excited to be briefing brokers on,” Coote confirmed. “BV80 is for a new generation of owners who see yachting as an outdoor pursuit. We’ve created a platform that has 50/50 indoor and outdoor space, and possesses, we think, key ‘wow’ elements.”

Known in the superyacht industry for its often astonishing full-custom projects including the Philippe Starck-designed A, the curvy beauty of Palladium and the largest yacht in the world at the time of her launch, Eclipse, Blohm + Voss’s decision to move into semi-custom manufacturing puts it in direct competition with the Dutch yard Amels, who also build limited-edition superyachts. But Coote is quick to point out the yard is still marketing itself as a builder of full-custom projects, and they have not abandoned their collaboration with designer Zaha Hadid on ‘Unique Circle Yachts.’
 
While Blohm + Voss’ build quality is generally accepted to be excellent, the yard suffered in recent years from perception issues arising after superyacht contracts negotiated by the yard’s previous owners, ThyssenKrupp had proved challenging. “Since the yard’s sale to Star Capital, we are fully dedicated to building superyachts,” Coote said. “This BV80 concept, we believe, puts us firmly back in contention for the big new contracts.”



Coote was reluctant to divulge exact numbers but confirmed that the BV80 concept is being marketed at a price he believes will win business. “We can be absolutely competitive on price while offering a delivery time that no one else can come close to,” he said. 

“BV80 is a very fashionable design and a clever semi-custom approach that simplifies the decision-making process for clients,” said Antoine Larrique, senior yacht broker with Fraser Yachts. “And it’s very reasonably priced. The yard is doing what they need to do in this market to get clients and brokers coming to them.”

“Brokers had told us that we literally were not at the table with Lürssen, Feadship and others at the top of the builders list,” Coote said. “While other yards presented examples of what they built, Blohm + Voss was effectively a blank piece of paper. That’s not a strong marketing position. With BV80, we’re changing that perception and we’re back with a tangible offering. Brokers I’ve already spoken to say they can easily put BV80 in front of their clients.”




Eidsgaard Design's concept for BV80 includes roughly 50 per cent outdoor areas and a focus on modular spaces that can be customised to each owner

“I think Blohm + Voss have done an excellent job, it is a very interesting proposal,” said Jan Jaap Minnema from Fraser. “Blohm + Voss have been inconsistent over the past few years, but this design is well chosen, the size is good, and not least, it comes with an interesting price! If they start building, they are absolutely on the radar of the clients who are in the market. If they don’t, it is just an interesting study…”

“It’s a difficult message to suddenly go from black to white in this marketplace,” Coote explained. “During the difficult period we went through, yacht projects went elsewhere. But as a result, capacity in those other yards is reduced. With the amount of dock and capacity we have here in Hamburg, and the scale and size of the shipyard, we can start this project tomorrow and deliver an 80m yacht in 2017: No one else can do that.”


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Blohm + Voss Shipyards GmbH

Eidsgaard Design