DAMEN Magazine #5

Here comes the sun. A milestone in Amels yacht building and a confirmation of Damen teamwork

Published in category: Yachting

A milestone in Amels yacht building and a confirmation of Damen teamwork

With a Gross Tonnage of 2,827, Here Comes the Sun is the largest Amels yacht to date and one of the largest yachts ever built in the Netherlands. Early in 2017, the yacht departed Damen’s Dutch luxury yacht builder to meet her happy owners in the Mediterranean. “This is the top level of superyacht construction,” says Director of Operations Hans van Triet at the bustling Amels yard in Vlissingen. “It shows what we can do at Amels, but it also a great confirmation of Kommer Damen’s vision of 21st Century yacht building and the benefits of cooperation within Damen.”

A quarter of a century ago, fully custom-built yachts dominated the large superyacht new construction market. Like its competitors, Amels was then exclusively building full custom yachts. However, a decade after Kommer Damen acquired Amels in 1991, he introduced a new way to build superyachts with the absolute top quality and finish.

Mirroring the Damen standard in commercial shipbuilding, his approach was to combine the highest quality Amels craftsmanship with Damen’s scale of operations – whilst still providing the client with the maximum level of customisation possible. This business model of premium semi-custom production gave rise to the Amels Limited Editions range of yachts. “The fast delivery of a Limited Editions yacht and the total package without starting from scratch have had a very large impact on the industry,” Amels Director of Operations Hans van Triet says. “The idea of building with modern production processes has definitely become more widely thought of at the highest level of yacht ownership because of Amels.”

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Hans van Triet, onboard an Amels superyacht

Today more than 30 Limited Editions yachts have been delivered or are in build. The starting model in the range, the 55-metre AMELS 180, is the most successful yacht ever in its class with more than 20 builds. Amels regularly delivers three or more yachts a year. And that’s not including the additional development of the busy Amels Refit department.

Today, Amels is the largest superyacht facility in the Netherlands. It’s not uncommon to have a workforce of up to 1,100 at the yard working on up to 10 projects at once. Hans and the Amels project management team, Amels inhouse engineering department and the Amels production team are responsible for keeping this operation running smoothly and efficiently. Right from the beginning, Hans confirms, the synergy of Damen talent and resources has contributed to the success of Amels – from research and development to steel hull building.

“Whether it’s CFD analysis or tank testing, our in-house Amels design and engineering departments can make use of Damen’s R&D facilities and specific expertise within Damen. We have applied that knowhow in our yacht designs, for example in reducing sound and vibration.”

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On the hull building side, Amels has had a long and successful cooperation with Damen Shipyards Gdynia. The yard in Poland has completed the steel construction for iconic Amels yachts, including the first Limited Editions yacht Deniki and avant-garde designs like the first AMELS 199 Event. Amels engineering and production staff have close contact with the yard during the initial hull construction and the transport to the Amels yard in Holland. Amels carefully manages the entire process, resulting in an impressive track record for on-time and on-budget deliveries – and happy clients.

“In 2014 an existing client with a 65-metre Amels yacht came to us looking for an even larger yacht – larger than we had in the Amels Limited Editions range at that time. So together with the client and designer Tim Heywood, the Amels team set about creating the design that would become Here Comes the Sun. It is already a big yacht at 83 metres, but if you look at the Gross Tonnage, it has a very large interior volume with a lot of luxury spaces and complex systems on board.”

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For Here Comes the Sun, the cooperation with Damen Shipyards Gdynia continued. The Polish yard was responsible for the aluminium construction for the 140-tonne superstructure. However, for the exceptionally large 800-tonne steel hull, Amels went to the group’s largest shipyard: Damen Shipyards Galati in Romania. As a result, three Damen yards were working in parallel on one of Damen’s most challenging new build constructions – a unique and highly complex project requiring seamless communication and uncompromising precision.

It has a very large interior volume with a lot of luxury spaces and complex systems on board.

In January 2015, nearly a year after the keel-laying in Romania, the two huge components met for the first time at the Amels yard in Vlissingen, where the marriage of steel and aluminium took place.

Undocking_Amels_Yacht_Here_comes_the_sun

“The result was perfect,” Hans reports. “Here Comes the Sun is a credit to everyone on the Amels team, but also a great example of leveraging the scale of the group to create a ship of the highest quality with the highest value for the client.

The cooperation with Damen Shipyards Galati was mutually very successful and we continued that in the hull building of other large Amels yachts as well as with Damen Shipyards Gdynia.”

The Amels yard

In 2005, AMELS relocated all its superyacht building activities to Damen’s naval shipyard in Vlissingen. This new location removed any infrastructure limitations in Amels growth, thanks to its wide naval shipbuilding sea lock and direct access to the North Sea shipping routes. Amels has made significant investments to upgrade and expand the historic yard, including fully climate-controlled drydocks.

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