Following the companies announcement that a new yard is to be built in Amsterdam, Jan-Bart Verkuyl has been appointed CEO of Feadship’s Royal Van Lent shipyard in Kaag. Dick van Lent has stepped down as CEO after forty years of service, his invaluable experience and knowledge of the superyacht industry will continue to be of value to Feadship.
Verkuyl’s succession comes at an exciting time for Feadship, with the new facility in Amsterdam confirmed, which will fall under the auspicies of Van Lent, and 17 new build orders spread across the Royal Van Lent and De Vries shipyards, there is much to be getting on with.
“It is a great honour for me to take over the helm of Royal van Lent at a time when we have just announced the construction of a second facility in Amsterdam,” says Verkuyl. “I am extremely grateful for the support I have had from Dick as a mentor and delighted that he will continue to put his decades of experience to great use at a time when Feadship is entering a new phase of growth.”
Verkuyl explains that the purchase of the new yard will not necessitate a sudden influx of workers in order to satisfy future demand. “There will not be a dedicated workforce for Amsterdam. We will use our same school and there will be a Van Lent workforce that will be distributed over the two locations. Every worker puts their hands on every yacht and as soon as they are finished they move onto the next project. In this way we maintain the same craftsmanship and culture.”
Central to this reorganisation is the preservation of Feadship’s quality and ethos. A growing business requires a growing workforce, but equally, there must be constraints put on this growth in order to maintain the high working standards traditionally expected and delivered by Feadship.
“We are always on the lookout for how we can improve and become more efficient, and how we can produce a higher quality product”, continues Verkuyl. ‘There is an increasing demand for a refit service and we are gearing up in this sense. There are a lot of clients that would like us to conduct refit and maintenance work and there will be refit work taking place at the new yard.”
When asked about how Feadship will go about meeting market demand, Verkuyl explains that the yard’s output, in terms of new build units, will remain steady. However, with the market shifting towards larger vessels, Feadship will shift with it to ensure client demands are met.