Holland Jachtbouw has announced the opening of the HJB Refit Centre. This separate division within the state-of-the-art yard close to Amsterdam will take a distinctive approach to major rebuilds that meets the unique requirements of this specialised work. And the needs of captains and crew residing in Holland during the project will be comprehensively met by HJB’s unique Crew Assist programme.
The decision to open the HJB Refit Centre follows the exceptionally positive reviews received for Holland Jachtbouw’s rebuild of the 42m motoryacht Life Saga. “The success of during this 18-month project proved that HJB can compete at the highest end of the refit market as well as build premium superyachts,” explains HJB Managing Director Paul Dielemans. “The lessons learned with Life Saga have been fully incorporated into our operations, adding to the experience gained on previous refits of sailyachts such as Aventura and Kim.
“While the HJB Refit Centre has access to the world-class facilities available at the yard, it has a distinctive organisation. Offering the highest Dutch standards of engineering and craftsmanship and a superb open-water location with unobstructed access to the North Sea, the Refit Centre is the ideal place for a comprehensive superyacht rebuild.”
HJB has also extended its renowned Crew Assist programme so that it offers a comprehensive range of services to crew members who reside in Holland for the refit. These range from accommodation issues and public transport to medical insurance and legal matters. “Our goal is to cover the everyday aspects of life for captains and crew,” adds Dielemans. “The Crew Assist programme deals with the paperwork, leaving crew able to focus fully on achieving the best possible result for their ‘boss’.”
Capacity required and available
An analysis of the current and upcoming refit market convinced Dielemans of the viability of a separate HJB division focussed on high quality refits. With the global fleet of superyachts having passed the 3500 mark and with well over 500 yachts larger than 30 metres currently under construction, the market for rebuilds and refits can only grow. The HJB Refit Centre has capacity for this upcoming winter season starting in September 2009 for a project of up to 65 metres in length.
“The Life Saga project confirmed that a rebuild of this magnitude requires a different approach than a new build,” continues Dielemans. “In the course of our work Life Saga’s owner doubled the initial amount of requests. We ended up virtually stripping the interior as well as extending her and adding new propulsion and engineering. In doing so it became clear that HJB could handle refits of the highest order and the HJB Refit Centre leverages on this experience.”
As more yachts change hands and more people recognise the financial value and time savings to be gained from comprehensively overhauling existing superyachts, owners will seek out top quality. “They expect their yacht to be as good as new in every respect and that demands a yard that has both new-build experience and refit expertise,” says Dielemans. “The HJB Refit Centre will partner with owner-preferred suppliers and subcontractors, and we can also tap into our own network at the heart of Holland’s superyacht industry. The result will be a yacht that is even better than its original launch state.”
Projects at the HJB Refit Centre will have a dedicated coordinator, administration and infrastructure. Its location offers many benefits in terms of logistics, crew facilities, sea trials and easy access to and from the yard. The close proximity of Amsterdam is also likely to prove a popular choice for skippers and senior crew who stay to work on a rebuild.
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