One of the most experienced names in the superyacht industry, Eel Kant, has joined Amels as Sales Manager of the Dutch yard’s Refit Department. With more than 30 years’ experience in the industry, Eel Kant has joined Dutch superyacht builder Amels to become Sales Manager of the yard’s Refit Department.
Since graduating from Delft Technical University, Kant has worked his way up through virtually every level of the shipbuilding industry. He spent eight years working in commercial shipping, gaining experience in planning, prefabrication, fabrication and outfitting, before moving into management. “My technical background and experience in all these areas, as well as in project management, should prove very useful in my new role at Amels,” says Kant, whose board-level experience at many companies including Feadship Royal van Lent, Oceanco and Jongert, makes him one of the most respected figures in the industry.
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.
Eel Kant will be attending the Monaco Yacht Show from 19 to 22 September 2012, at the Amels stand at T Central, QT6.
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