It's difficult to identify Kuiper Dutch Marine Panels-related news because the supplier produces its sandwich panels to order. Or as Managing Director, Hans Golbach says, in conversation with SuperyachtNews.com during the Holland Yachting Group's 2016 press tour; Kuiper's news is more entwined with regulatory developments and the increasingly stringent material safety requirements that must be adhered to.
Although there is competition within the Netherlands, there are none of comparable capacity in Germany, Italy or the UK, which means that larger projects, invariably located in two of the three aforementioned countries, demand Kuiper's services. These projects are characterised by the rare veneers and robust underlying, non-combustible materials that Golbach says Kuiper presses together without compare.
"The custom projects require something that is Lightweight, non-combustible and that you can put a screw in," he explains. "A boat of 100m means 20 times more material than a 30m vessel."
He says the current market is excellent, largely because, even the most bespoke builders know that the efficient production process that owners crave is hindered by delivering thousands of square metres of paneling themselves. This is why Kuiper only works to order, no matter the project.
"We press 3,000sqm a day: pure pressing," continues Golbach. "It's a niche market, but carving out a niche is often the route to success."
As an example, Golbach recalls a conversation with M/Y Athena's sales broker, where a detailed discussion about the Honduran-sourced veneer that lines sections of the interior led the broker to conclude that said pressing technique represented a selling point, because it highlighted how bespoke the vessel is.