Abeking & Rasmussen provide update on current projects
We speak with Björn Benecke, Sales Manager at Abeking & Rasmussen about the shipyard's future agenda…
Despite having such a rich history in yacht building, Abeking & Rasmussen has been known to keep a relatively low profile in the superyacht industry. Some of their most recent superyacht launches include the 68m Soaring and the 80m Excellence, two yachts that have been heralded for their innovative designs and features. However, their profile not only includes superyacht new builds, but also naval vessels, cruise ships, and a bustling refit and services yard.
A booming marketplace during the COVID-19 pandemic helped to secure the order books of many of the market's shipyards and the same can be said of Abeking & Rasmussen. Through good old-fashioned preparedness and discipline, the German shipyard was able to rise to the various challenges. As Björn Benecke, Sales Manager of the yacht division highlights, "Despite one or two constraints, we have been able to complete all our ongoing new build and refit projects very well and on schedule. All superyachts, multi-purpose vessels, and naval vessels that we are currently building are well on schedule. Of course, we work with a sense of proportion and there are always enough adjusting screws to realise deviations from the plan. I think our many years of experience and the certainty that we can rely on each other and on our suppliers play a big role in this. So, in this respect, we have not been affected by the virus in the last two years. We've had to do some things for it, like splitting the yard into different shifts and all sorts of things, but we've weathered it relatively well."
M/Y Excellence, Credit: Abeking & Rasmussen
There is currently some light at the end of the tunnel regarding the pandemic, but Abeking & Rasmussen remains true to form and plans to take each step as it comes during the year. Germany is still under pandemic restrictions and the shipyard is focusing this year on getting its team back together, building on existing business relationships and staying active in sales. Part of their mantra this year is to network even more closely with the industry.
"We want to use 2022 to bring all employees at the shipyard even closer together to form good and fruitful teams on our various projects," Benecke continues. "We are currently very well utilised and are just as actively acquiring new orders. This is working out very well here in Lemwerder, but we are also very much looking forward to the upcoming trade fairs this year: we will soon be in Palm Beach and of course we are very much looking forward to Monaco and Fort Lauderdale to meet customers, see long-time companions again and of course to present our very great products!"
Björn Benecke, Credit: Abeking & Rasmussen
To get some scope over just how busy Abeking & Rasmussen is this year, it's worth noting what their current projects include. Their biggest project is a 118m length motor yacht which is currently heading towards her home stretch and currently holds the record for being the largest ship A&R has ever built. This yacht will be accompanied by an even larger “sister”, after the contract for a 120m was signed just last summer.
Last year's additions to the Abeking & Rasmussen order book include three multi-purpose vessels which are more than 90m in length apiece. Apart from their luxury yachts, Abeking & Rasmussen has managed to contract two mine-hunting vessels for the Indonesian Navy. The next generation of mine hunting vessels will be 62 m long and made of high-strength and non-magnetic steel produced using an innovative laser welding process.
M/Y Cloudbreak, Credit: Abeking & Rasmussen
Abeking & Rasmussen is fortunate to have a very unique selling proposition, as Benecke points out, “We have been building boats for almost 115 years now, and it has always been our goal to meet the client´s expectations in a very strong and convincing way. I think that is also the expectation we want to meet. For us, every client is the most important client, and that's why we normally deliver one boat per year. That makes us happy and the client happy because we can really focus on every stage of the building process. That’s the main reason why I think we stand out in terms of quality, time, and price. I feel that this handful of European shipyards, play pretty much in the same league. We are a little bit smaller than the other ones, but we can concentrate on every single client with the full power of our team and that is our unique selling point.”
Last year Abeking saw nine refit projects arrive at the shipyard, including both existing and new clients. On this Benecke noted, “There are lots of yachts coming up, there are now all these companies who are also involved in the refit sector such as almost all of the big shipyards and that makes the market very interesting. But it is good to have competitors, and it is good to have the chance to bring superyachts back to Northern Europe. This is the main focus for all of us. It’s good for Northern Europe in general to ‘bring the babies back’ as we say.”
M/Y Soaring, Credit: Abeking & Rasmussen
Benecke also offered insight into the kind of clientele who are approaching the shipyard, “I think that it's not only the young clients who are interested in us, yes I think our clients are getting younger, but we also have a lot of clients from an older generation. These include returning customers for whom changing the Abeking & Rasmussen brand is hardly an option because they also have a very good personal relationship of trust with our shipyard. We can also build on this relationship of trust very well with younger customers. Above all, we are very pleased that many are open enough to communicate directly with us and not, as is usually the case, to be represented by their advisors and representatives. This allows us to clarify questions and wishes directly from the beginning and saves us some decision-making loops."
With so much already in the works, it will be interesting to see how Abeking & Rasmussen will be able to deliver on their promises and commitments this year. With one eye stretching beyond the current order book, the shipyard confirmed that they are still keen on delivering quality fully customizable superyachts that are nothing short of being ‘iconic’. To keep up to date on the developments at Abeking & Rasmussen be sure to sign up as an essential member….
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