Dutch refit specialist talks to IBI at the Monaco Yacht Show

Determined to widen its business base, refit specialist Balk Shipyard of the Netherlands is developing spiffy 50m yacht projects, ramping up bare-hull building and tripling construction capacity.

With 200-plus years of boatbuilding under its belt, Balk has just hired Melvin van Campenhout, formerly of Wartsila, as its chief operating officer.

He told IBI at the Monaco Yacht Show he will guide Balk’s ambitious expansion that includes adding yard space 3.5 times its current capacity at Urk, 50km east of Amsterdam. Van Campenhout says the yard will also do more steel and aluminium hull building. “We are good at that. We want to do more. Ramping up business will take a few years. We want to be ready by 2024,” he adds.

Balk is now working on four refits. Owner Daan Balk will hang on to that business, adding: “We are moving into more new-builds to give the yard a broader base.”

His yard has already teamed up with Australian designer Christopher Seymour, the Spain-based consultancy of Carl Esch and the Northrop & Johnson global superyacht marketing agency.

That outreach has led to a duo of design concepts: the “Spectral Series” of two models – 40m and 50m – and the B-185, a 50m-plus yacht.

Balk says the two series respond to growing demand for craft offering “multipurpose leisure possibilities” marked by large exterior entertainment areas, bathing platforms, beach clubs, outdoor dining and fast tenders.

The Spectral series will be marketed as stand-alone yachts but can also serve as “luxury support vessels” for large superyachts, says Balk. The larger Bloom B-185 offers an infinity pool and a regular pool.