“We are busier than ever,” announces Amels’ Victor Caminada as he takes us around the Vlissingen shipyard. “We have nine yachts in build and two refit projects on the go. This is going to be a very positive year.” There is absolutely no doubt that the key to the shipyard’s success is its Limited Editions range, a range of Tim Heywood designs built on the five platforms, applying the same standards, methodology, materials and technology. The tendency has typically been to place the Limited Edition concept in the ‘semi-custom’ category, but this eagerness to easily label what Amels has created with the Limited Editions misses the subtleties of what Amels is offering owners.

Victor Caminada at Amels.

“Semi-custom is an abused word,” Caminada tells us. “The Limited Editions are the perfect balance between custom and semi-custom.” He stresses that often on a typical semi-custom yacht, an owner can choose the loose furniture, the types of wood used and the colour of the boat, for example, but on a Limited Editions a client has full flexibility with the interior design and even on some parts of the layout design if they want. After 20 years of full-custom projects, the yard has now evolved and Caminada explains that Amels will be launching a new website in about a month that will make no mention of custom builds. “This is the new direction for Amels,” he says. “We have delivered 17 and have nine in under construction under the Limited Edition concept since 2007. The numbers speak for themselves. We have created our niche.”

Oceanco's Dirk de Jong

Another shipyard that knows its niche is Oceanco. Master of the leviathans, Oceanco’s shed currently houses the 85m Y711 sailing yacht project (something very new for the yard) and the 88.5m Espen Oeino (Y710). Talk turns to PYC when we pass the 91.5m Y709, recently returned from her sea trials. Designed in-house, Dirk de Jong, manager of design projects and R&D at Oceanco, tells us that she is not only the very first yacht that the yard has built to PYC standards but also the very first PYC superyacht built in the Netherlands and the first yacht to have ever been built to PYC standards from start to finish. De Jong confesses that as a result, building to PYC was far from straightforward. “Everyone is looking at how to interpret the code,” he says. “There is usually a difference of opinion on how to interpret it, especially on aspects like the interior. The restrictions are strict but they are also not specific so everything is open to interpretation.”

Model of project Y709 at Oceanco

Celebrating 50 years this year, interior outfitters Struik & Hamerslag know all about PYC-compliance. It has been a significant focus of the company for the last year and a half to develop interiors that meet PYC standards and it seems the significant investment into the research and design of new materials and finishes has been worth it. Koen van der Well, head of estimation and sales, shows us some panels that could pass for solid wood but are in actual fact wood finished panels with a aluminium honeycomb core that are certified by Lloyds Register and other classification societies. “We are at the forefront of this realm,” van der Well tells us.

Damen Shipyard's Sea Axe 6711 following her sea trials.

Another company that is at the forefront of new surface materials is Bolidt. This year sees the company, who also owns composite decking company Esthec, celebrate its 50-year anniversary as well and Michel van der Spek, marketing and communication manager, tells us that it is going to be a big year. Among many projects, the company worked with Damen Shipyard to supply its Bolideck Future Teak for a 67m Sea Axe 6711 Fast Support Vessel, which is set to be launched ahead of schedule this month following its successful sea trials. Van der Spek explains that the company have worked with companies like Camper & Nicholson, Feadship, Blohm + Voss, Lürssen and Royal Huisman as well, and that designers and clients are slowly opening their eyes to the alternatives to traditional decking choices.

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Bolidt and Esthec

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