Moonen Shipyard managing director Emile Bilterijst told Superyacht Business that its Mexican shareholder is willing to support the yard in any way possible to make it successful. He also revealed that build of the Martinique project continues with completion expected by the end of 2017, early 2018 subject to final contract and owners specification.
The 30m Matica Bijoux on display at the Monaco Yacht Show 2016 showcases the improved financial situation of Dutch shipyard Moonen. The superyacht builder filed for suspension of payment last year after its main shareholder, Altos Hornos de Mexico (AHMSA), announced that it was unable to continue funding the yard.
Managing director Emile Bilterijst has revealed to Superyacht Business that the suspension of payment will be lifted this week as result of continued financing by its Mexican shareholder.
“We are happy to comment that the situation of our Mexican shareholder has significantly improved,” says Bilterijst. “They still believe in Moonen Shipyards and are willing to support Moonen in any way possible to make it successful. Result of which is that we are continuing the build of the Martinique project.”
Despite the financial situation of 2015 Moonen completed and delivered the first yacht of its new Caribbean line and Bijoux touched the water in May this year. “This would not have been possible if not all suppliers and subcontractors would have been very cooperative,” Bilterijst says.
The Moonen MD also revealed that construction of the Martinique project, the second hull of the new Caribbean line, progresses well. “The hull is 80% complete and the superstructure 50%. Delivery will be possible by the end of 2017, early 2018 subject to final contract and owners specification,” he said.
The Martinique project is not sold yet, however Bilterijst says that “there is lot of interest for a new yacht with short delivery time, from all over the world.”
How is your relationship with your contractors/subcontractors?
We have excellent relations with our subcontractors and suppliers. Even after the suspension of payment last year. This is the result of a very open communication and the trust these subcontractors have that sooner or later the situation was going to improve.
Due to the suspension we even had a delay, which has been compensated by everyone involved by working extremely hard and efficient. Something we thank all involved.
Moonen has aimed for reducing delivery time and costs whilst increasing quality. Can you please explain this strategy?
The aim for reduction in delivery time and costs whilst at the same time increase quality has been the main driver for us for many years for which reason Moonen Shipyards has been building speculation yachts since actually 1985.
The idea of building a platform on which the owner was able to customise to his own wishes has been the strategy since Moonen Shipyards was founded.
For this reason many yachts were built in relative small series like the Moonen 85 canoe stern of which six have been built in the eighties and nineties of last century.
The most recent example and most successful yacht was the Moonen 84 of which 98 have been built between 2001 and 2009. Every year we started one yacht whether sold or not.
So actually Moonen was one of the first yards with the “limited edition“ philosophy copied by many.
This philosophy allows for shorter delivery-times, lower costs and at the same time increased quality. The efficiency in the building process itself is also getting much attention by bringing as much work outside the yacht as possible.
New engineering technologies make it possible to shape 3D the environment even if the hull is not even available. Production can be done most often more efficient in a workshop then in the yacht itself.
It requires detailed engineering and work-preparation, so experience is what counts!
How much business is the shipyard getting from refit and repair contracts?
We have always had refit activities in the yard. Existing Moonen owners require maintenance or refit work. Very often new owners who bought a second hand Moonen are bringing the boat back to its place of birth to adapt it to their needs.
Because quite a lot of Moonen yachts have been sold second hand recently we see this part of the business going up slightly from about 10% of our turnover to 20%.
What new build projects are in the drawing board today?
We are further developing our Caribbean line. The most logical step is to build bigger yachts and therefore we are concentrating on the two yachts up from the Martinique. These are the about 40m Marquis and the probably 50m Monito (just under 500gt)
What investments is the shipyard prepared to make in the future?
At this moment we have two locations. One in ‘s Hertogenbosch for yachts up to about 33m and one in Groot Ammers for yachts up to about 55m. Our preference would be to have one location for all sizes. Investments will concentrate on this.