By Robert Wielaard
The name Wim van der Valk Continental Yachts is a mouthful and its name recognition too limited. “We are working to get the market to know us better,” says Anco Kok, spokesman for the Dutch yard that has built more than 1200 boats, from modest cabin cruisers to superyachts.
Kok says the yard will soon shorten its name to just Van der Valk Continental Yachts. “This is financially a very stable company but we aim to get the brand better known beyond the Netherlands, Germany and Russia.” Part of the stepped-up marketing drive was the yard’s return this year to Holland Yachting Group, a 44-member lobby of 15 big-name yacht makers, plus their suppliers and service providers.
Van der Valk Continental Yachts says it will make seven deliveries in 2015.
That includes the recent launch of a 37m Van der Valk Continental III Trawler equipped with the AntiRoll stabilising system. Its curved, retractable, high-aspect steel fin “rotates and flaps up and down much like the pectoral fins of a whale,” says Patrick Noor of Dynamic Marine Services, the system’s maker.
He says the AntiRoll system provides stabilisation both underway and at zero-speed without any compromise of performance and reduces the drag by 50 to 75%. For sailboats, DMS makes a fin that is also retractable and can be partly folded into the hull. Noor says the system has been developed in collaboration with MARIN, TNO and Delft University of Technology.
Van der Valk Continental Yachts has turned out ever larger yachts in a matter of several years. Marketing manager Joeri Bijker says “until five years ago, 23 metres was our maximum. This has jumped to 37 metres due to demand of a returning client.” He does not see his yard breaking the 40m mark soon. “I like the 20 to 40m range,” says Bijker.