Amels, a global leader in the art of yacht building and member of the Damen Shipyards Group, has ten (10) newbuild projects in various stages of design, engineering, and construction. Inspired by this activity Amels is undergoing a phased improvement of its extensive Vlissingen facilities on the North Sea—increasing production efficiency, advancing construction quality, and enhancing on-time delivery of Custom and Limited Editions yachts and major refits. The program, representing a substantial investment of more than eight million euros, will be completed in 2009.
Since 2000 Amels has shared the vast covered drydocks—and expert naval architects, designers, and engineers—of Damen’s Royal Schelde Shipyard, builders of more than 400 advanced naval and commercial ships. Within that facility, Amels will soon complete the second of two new state-of-the-art covered finishing bays for hulls brought inside by an efficient Ro-Ro barge system. Adjoining the bays, Amels has installed modern workshops and storage areas to improve logistics for prime subcontractors working on site—assembling and installing HVAC systems, insulation, interior and exterior joinery. The bays and workshops are isolated by firewalls that improve insulation for temperature control. Amels is converting a hall adjacent to the drydocks to prepare hull fairing and painting and to paint components. A 150-meter finishing quay was completed early this year.
In East Vlissingen, a few kilometers from the main Amels facility, three Royal Schelde halls have been assigned to building Limited Editions Amels 212 steel hulls, the first of which is already in process there. In the first hall the hull is welded and pre-outfitted in blocks; in the second, blocks are prime-painted for conservation; in the third, blocks are welded into a complete hull and its aluminum superstructure is joined. The yacht is then floated to the covered bays for final outfitting, interior installation, and finishing.
In parallel with this development, Amels is increasing its labor force: as many as 430 people now work their daily, including subcontractors. Amels has also accelerated its cooperative training programs in all yacht-building skills with local technical colleges and the internationally celebrated Technical University of Delft. Among European builders, over the past decade Amels has delivered the second largest number of motoryachts 40 meters LOA or larger and is number one in the Netherlands. The development program now allows Amels to continue that trend with even greater efficiency, control, and quality.