Stronger identity for yachts within global ship services group

Amels is a well-established and recognised name in the global superyacht market. The name Damen Shipyards Group, the parent of Amels, is likely less familiar, associated as it is as a global shipbuilding, repair and refit company operating over 30 shipyards in some 20 countries. 

Now the Dutch-headquartered Damen Group is introducing stronger branding of its superyacht interests by grouping them under a lead company – Damen Yachting.

The rebranding initiative reflects the growing involvement and strengthening in the global superyacht industry not only of Amels, but also Damen which in recent years has developed and introduced its ranges of specialist purpose-built yacht support vessels and the SeaXplorer range of expedition superyachts. The latter two ranges carry Damen branding.

Rose Damen, managing director Yachting, explained this branding exercise to IBI recently at the Singapore Yacht Show. “We are quietly introducing the Damen yachting brand which incorporates the Amels and its Limited Edition series and the Damen Yacht Support vessels and the Damen SeaXplorer expedition yachts,” she said.

Damen celebrated 100 years of operating in 2018 and its superyacht involvement dates back to 1991 following the acquisition of Amels. Rose Damen joined the yachting side of the business in 2014 and is now overseeing all the superyacht-related activities which generate between 10 and 15% of its total revenues.

Under Damen Yachting there will be three arms to the business; Amels, Damen Yacht Support and Damen SeaXplorer. 

In regard to Amels up to the end of 2018, over 30 Limited Edition superyacht had been delivered with sales valued in excess of €1.5bn since 2007. The Limited Edition range currently comprises six models between the LE180 and the LE272 which runs from 55m (180ft) to 83m (272ft). 

Additionally, Amels both before and since the acquisition by Damen, had built 29 custom superyacht projects up to end of 2018. At a hint of what is to come Amels has launched the 111m (364.5ft) Pollux superyacht concept which has an exterior design by H2 Yacht Design and naval architecture by the Amels Design Team. Volpini 2, delivered last year, was the first hybrid superyacht from Amels and a new project designated the Amels 206 is in build for delivery next year.

In respect of the Yacht Support range this currently offers four sizes between 45.60m (150ft) and 74m (243ft). More than 10 vessels have been delivered between 2010 and 2019.

On the SeaXplorer front, this range runs from the SeaXplorer 55 to the SeaXplorer 100 . The largest currently on order and in build is a SeaXplorer 77 understood to be for a Russian owner.

By owning several shipyards around the world, Damen has several options for building yacht hulls and then bringing them to Amels Vlissingen shipyard for fit out and completion. This high-volume capacity yard is the largest yacht building facility in the Netherlands. It is complemented by the Vlissingen East, a former naval shipyard that remains largely a commercial and naval yard, but is increasingly carrying out leisure yacht work. Its facilities include a 210m (690ft) build hall able to be used for both new build outfits and refits, and a 215m (706ft) covered dock which can accommodate the world’s largest vessels.

Regard Damen’s recent participation in the Singapore show, its fifth year of exhibiting, Rose Damen commented: “Particularly during the last two years we’ve seen a marked increase in sales from Asia,” she told IBI. “Many of our clients in Asia were introduced to Amels and Damen yachts during a charter holiday with their families. They appreciated the top quality and the comfort that we are renowned for. Ownership offers the next level of luxury with their own interior choices tailored to their lifestyle.”

The group has upwards of 20 superyachts and support yachts regularly cruising in the region, many of which are owned by clients from the Asia-Pacific region.