Acting for the first time as custodians alongside Perini Navi, Royal Huisman and Rybovich, Vitters Shipyard had an impressive presence at this year’s St Barths Bucket with eight yachts participating in the regatta. Sailing on board 55m Marie this year was joint managing director Louis Hamming, who is confident about Vitters' position in the new build market during challenging times.

Currently building an 85m Tripp Design performance sailing yacht at fellow dutch yard Oceanco, Vitters is experiencing an exciting new collaboration. The aim for Project 3069 is to provide proof that a large sailing yacht can have at least equal sailing characteristics as a yacht with smaller dimensions. The build draws on the experience and knowledge of each yard in their relevant areas – a unique way of two shipyards working together.

Vitters-builds Lady B and Ganesha sailing in the 2015 St Barths Bucket. Image courtesy of Michael Kurtz | Pantaenius

“In terms of being able to be versatile I think we will see more collaborations of this nature,” says Hamming. “For us as an organisation we couldn’t do a project like that on our own. In order to have the flexibility and possibilities to take on these kinds of projects, collaboration is the best option.”

While some other European yards are anxious over where future contracts will come from - The Superyacht Intelligence Annual Report 2015 identifies concerning gaps in the order book post 2017 - Hamming is confident about the market remaining constant. “It is normal to have periods of no deliveries,” he explains. “Last year we didn’t deliver any boats but we are delivering three this year, two next year, none in 2017 and one already planned for 2018. It is cyclical and depends on your capacity.”

Louis Hamming, joint managing director of Vitters Shipyard

Vitters, however, are not resting on their laurels and have been developing their strategy to keep attracting business in a challenging market. “A number of years ago we started to look into the higher performance market, especially in carbon fibre expertise,” adds Hamming. “That dates from 2010 and is going well but it is still a strategy that we are still developing.”

Vitters Shipyard

A further trend identified in The Superyacht Intelligence Annual Report 2015 was the number of inactive shipyards that the market has seen in the past decade, and Hamming agrees that this is an issue. “First we must define a shipyard: is it a shed in which you can build a boat or is it a company that has a concept?” he asks. “There are a lot of these and there have been shipyards which have just started to build one boat or maybe two boats and then closed down. It is nothing new to the market and will always happen.

“A couple of years ago I spoke to somebody from a bank and he said that there are three main sectors that attract people who think they can do it better; bars and restaurants, movie production and shipyards. The shipyard sector attracts a lot of people who think they can do it better but they are also the most prone to failure. This business appears attractive from a distance and seems easy to do, but people start and they soon realise it is more difficult than that.”

The Superyacht Intelligence Annual Report 2015 is available to purchase as a stand alone publication. For more information, and a link to our brand new 2015 subscription packages, please click hereFor more information on what makes this year’s Annual Report exceptional, click here.

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