Two of Amels’ recent refits, the 74-metre ILONA and 78-metre ALWAELI, have been very technical, large-scale engineering projects which were well received by their owners. Having joined the company at the beginning of September, Kant has already gained an insight into what gives Amels the ability to execute such ambitious projects. “The great thing about the yard is that because the company is so busy with its schedule of new builds, we have all disciplines at our disposal,” he says. “We enjoy very close links with a number of renowned exterior and interior designers and have a lot of experience working with them.
“Unlike perhaps some yards which focus exclusively on refit projects, we can go much deeper into the engineering and design elements of a refit, as we saw with ILONA recently. Also, Amels is recognised for producing the best paint finish in the business, thanks to some excellent facilities such as the climate-controlled sheds and a paint programme that is dedicated to perfection. Any non-Amels yacht that comes to the Vlissingen yard for refit work will leave looking better than when she was new.”
In the case of ILONA, this was an Amels yacht returning to the yard of her origin, although the term ‘refit’ barely does justice to the scale of the project. “Working within a timeframe of just eight months, replacing the below-deck helicopter hangar with a swimming pool with variable depth floor was no easy task, with the added challenge of creating a new helipad on the aft sun deck,” says Kant. “But Amels has the right people and excellent facilities for complex projects like this, and the ability to deliver to the schedule requested by the client. Our facilities in Vlissingen include five very large dry docks, with our largest dry dock capable of accommodating yachts up to 215m long, 30m wide and 46m high, so we look forward to many more large-scale projects here.
“It’s a wonderful privilege and challenge to work through the best possible solution with the owner’s team, looking at different ways of achieving the objectives of the refit in the most time-efficient and cost-effective manner. I think this is where my technical background will really help with this new role, because I have the experience in project management.”
Managing Director of Amels, Rob Luijendijk, said: “Eel is a very valuable addition to our Refit team. With his vast experience across the industry, he will really draw attention to Amels’ capabilities at the top end of the refit market."
With annual growth of 10% over the past four years, Amels is now the largest superyacht builder in the Netherlands. Already 2012 has been a busy year, with three new-builds and two refits successfully delivered on time, and with another nine new construction projects underway.
Amels is the exclusive yacht-building member of the Dutch DAMEN Shipyards Group, the largest shipyard in the Netherlands, consisting of more than 39 shipyards and marine-related companies throughout the world. DAMEN, a family owned company, employs over 6,000 people in 34 countries, delivered 150 vessels in 2011 and has an annual turnover of approximately €1.3 billion.
Eel Kant will be attending the Monaco Yacht Show from 19 to 22 September 2012, at the Amels stand at T Central, QT6