DISCOVER Magazine #6

100 years Amels

Published in category: Yachting
Share:

For more than a quarter of a century, Amels has been part of the Damen Shipyards Group. A 27 year period which, under the pioneering thinking of Kommer Damen, has seen this globally recognised brand evolve and develop into one of the world’s top superyacht builders. This year, as Amels celebrates 100 years since the brand was founded, we take a look back, together with Rose Damen, Commercial Director of Yachting for Amels and Damen, at the rich heritage that has paved the way from Friesland to Zeeland, the Netherlands. We explore how the diverse shipbuilding pedigree of those who have influenced Amels over the last century continue to shape its future.

2016 Amels Here Comes The Sun

The 74-metre yacht NEW SECRET is an AMELS 242 from the Limited Editions range.

“It was in 1991 that Damen acquired Amels. A decision that reflected my father’s forward thinking and understanding of the value of the brand. Amels, originally a family shipbuilding business based in Friesland in the north of the Netherlands, was at that time, a full custom yacht builder. They had made a decision to diversify their shipbuilding skills and apply them to a more specialised market sector in the midlate 1970s. They delivered their first superyacht in 1982, the 48.2 metre Katalina.”

1982 Amels Katalina

The reputation of Amels as a yacht builder grew fast, as did their portfolio. However, as we are all too well aware, changes in the economic climate can strongly influence affluent market sectors and fortunes for Amels soon changed. The arrival of Damen resurrected Amels and with the support and benefit of Damen resources, innovation and operations, the brand was put back on to the path to success.

“Despite the change in ownership, the name Amels was retained, preserving the brand which was synonymous with luxury yacht building and is now also renowned for its high value, quality and finish. The shipyard in Makkum, Friesland remained operational for the following fourteen years, during which Amels went on to deliver some of the world’s most iconic superyachts of that era, such as Boadicea, Tigre d’Or and Ilona as well as Montkaj, which is still owned and enjoyed by her original owners today.”

In 2000, Royal Schelde joined the Damen Shipyards Group. A move that would ultimately result in Amels relocating its entire operations to the south west of the Netherlands, to the harbour city of Vlissingen in the province of Zeeland some five years later. Steeped in history, Royal Schelde provided a rich heritage and strong pedigree in naval traditions and shipbuilding excellence. “In 2000, the Royal Schelde yard in Vlissingen, now owned and led by Damen, became the new home and heart of Amels. It was fuelled by Damen, powered by those with Schelde roots, led by a fast growing Amels team and guided by the unique approach of my father. Everything was in place for Amels to embark upon a new phase. One that would see the yard in Vlissingen grow into the largest yacht building facilities in the Netherlands and a brand that would set a new benchmark in high quality and build processes.”

2000 Amels Head Office Vlissingen

It was Kommer Damen’s radical way of thinking in terms of large yacht building that transformed Amels and has set the processes and foundations for the future. His vision of building yachts in an entirely new, standardised way may have been inconceivable to the superyacht industry at the time but was a tried and tested concept that he had already successfully applied at Damen.

Amels celebrates 100 years since the brand was founded
The 74-metre yacht NEW SECRET is an AMELS 242 from the Limited Editions range.

“The decision to standardise processes whilst maintaining the absolute highest quality and finish gave rise to the Limited Edition range. A regeneration that saw Amels go from producing one yacht every three years to three to four yachts a year. These premium semi-custom ranges have become one of the industry’s biggest success stories. It has opened the door for larger Limited Editions and the return to full custom. It has ensured that experience, tradition and knowledge have been combined to deliver excellence without compromising on the original values and by preserving the brand’s history and future.”

With a growing portfolio of repeat clients, unrivalled residual values and the guaranteed delivery of the brand promise, Amels ensures its clients enjoy the finest moments in life. Amels has proved that the mix of history, pedigree and a willingness to adapt is a winning formula. In embracing change, Amels has secured its future under Damen by evolving, growing and changing without ever losing sight of its heritage and roots.

“The combination of Amels and Damen make us a strong competitor in yachting. It is a unique combination that brings together resources, shipbuilding and experience whilst upholding the shared core values of trust, quality, promise and family. Amels and Damen stimulate each other to continuously innovate, extend our market reach and to deliver our aim of exceeding client expectations.”

Despite the change in ownership, the name Amels was retained, preserving the brand which was synonymous with luxury yacht building and is now also renowned for its high value, quality and finish.

Rose Damen

Rose Damen is a Non-Executive Director and a shareholder in the group as well as Commercial Director at Damen’s yachting division
About Rose Damen
Part of the third generation of Damen family ownership, Rose Damen is a Non-Executive Director and a shareholder in the group as well as Commercial Director at Damen’s yachting division. Before joining Damen Shipyards full-time in 2014, Rose earned an MBA from INSEAD, with a focus on entrepreneurial management.
This followed five years’ experience in fund management at Intrinsic Value Investors (IVI), a London-based institutional investor. Before joining IVI, Rose worked for a non-governmental organisation in Sri Lanka, and completed an internship at ABN AMRO Jakarta. Rose holds a degree from Erasmus University in the Netherlands and has also passed all three CFA exams. She is a founding trustee of the Dutch Masters Foundation and a member of the development board of the National Maritime Museum in Amsterdam. Rose enjoys outdoor sports and has sailed around the world.

back to top