“We are not necessarily more expensive than anyone else…we’re still very competitive, and we’re able to compete with many of the yards that are building at 40 metres”, Nefzi explained. “We’re even able to compete with yards building at 30m and we’re actually building three projects of that size at the moment.
“Obviously you can’t compare us with platform and semi-custom builders, but if you compare us to any custom yard, there’s not much of a difference.”
Feadship is currently building right across its size spectrum, at all three of its yards. “Our ‘comfort zone’ is between 40 and 100 metres but most of our competitors have one build location with fewer drydocks and fewer slipways. We have three build locations and that gives us the flexibility, which is the unique proposition”, Nefzi says.
It is fair to say that Feadship’s is a unique proposition. There aren’t many yards, if any, whose expertise ranges from 30m to 100m, and potentially beyond. This is not a recent phenomenon however, with upward progression in LOA terms taking place organically over the years. And going forward, the year is set to be a busy one, according to Nefzi. Since the show season of Autumn 2013 he says the number of meetings and customer enquiries has spiked. “We think people are interested again, but with reputable builders, rather than all the smaller companies who haven’t earned the acknowledgement of being reliable.”
Buyers are coming to yards like Feadship, he feels, because they are seeking financial assurances and stability. And they are coming from further afield. The high profile delivery of Blue Sky to China has piqued interest, and subsequent orders, from other Asian buyers. This means Nefzi and his team will be attending the Hainan Rendez-Vous in 2014, although the brand is holding off on Singapore until the show reaches the next stage in its evolution.
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