Moonen Yachts, the Dutch superyacht builder emerging from several years of financial hardship, plans to market a handful of new yachts from “premier designers” that it hopes will appeal to younger, more adventurous owners.
The aim, says CEO Johan Dubbelman, is to improve Moonen Yachts’ image. He said market research shows Moonens tend to be seen as yachts of “high quality, but classical and boring, frankly.”
Moonen makes high-end steel yachts, notably its Caribbean series from 30m-50m. It recently sold a 36m Martinique to a new client and did the refit of a 29m yacht.
The yard is owned by the head of AHMSA, the Mexican steel giant that a few years ago ran into financial trouble, shutting off funds to Moonen. That financing has been restored and in a management reshuffle Dubbelman, until then head of marketing, replaced Emiel Bilterijst last autumn.
“We are developing some new models and are working with well-known premier designers,” Dubbelman told IBI.
Dubbelman says the market for 30m-50m yachts is small. He says he needs to shorten delivery times, and craft a more vibrant Moonen brand to lure younger owners. “In the 30m to 50m range we see young clients in their 30s who want comfort, but who use a boat more for day outings. We are talking to prospects who are looking for a day boat.”
Dubbelman says 80% of his clients are in the UK, followed by Americans. “The Russian market is picking up,” he adds.