Ready to shake off their reputation as the new kids on the block, the Dutch shipyard Lynx Yachts - founded in 2011 by the Tunisian-born engineer, businessman and superyacht owner Slim Bouricha - has already generated considerable traction in the industry with their range of superyacht support vessels: the YXT 20, 24, the YXT 24 Evolution and their largest model to date, the YXT 36. Since the announcement of the first vessel in the series, the Adventure 32 in October 2017, however, the yard has been hungry to break into new market territory with their Adventure series of rugged exploration vessels, which now also includes the Adventure 29. A year and a half later, SuperYacht Times took a trip to the Lynx Yachts facility to find out how this endeavour is progressing.
Photo: Lynx YachtsWhen SYT paid our visit to the yard on a fresh, balmy day in March, it was the second of the 27.3-metre YXT 24 Evolution shadow vessels that was finding its form in preparation for delivery later this year. The Lynx Yachts shipyard is located in Nijkerk, in the centre of the Netherlands, with the capacity to build up to three yachts simultaneously and a build ‘sweet spot’ size of between 24 and 50 metres, according to the shipyard.
With its production split between these different series - the Adventure and YXT series - Lynx can also custom-build on a larger scale up to 50 metres, with the 33.39-metre steel and aluminium superyacht Robbie Bobby (built as Heliad II and sold in 2017) the largest custom build to come out of the yard to date after its delivery in 2013. However, the yard is now looking to direct the industry's attention squarely on its Adventure vessels in preparation for the upcoming season.
Lynx could never be described as a shipyard rushing to super-charge its sales and deliveries, having sold a handful of yachts to date and delivering three of them, including Robbie Bobby (delivered in 2013), one YXT 20 support vessel (2016), one YXT 24 (delivered in 2014) and two YXT Evolutions, the first of which was launched in October last year and the second of which is currently under construction.
"We are building high-quality yachts characterised by great attention to detail but the numbers of yachts delivered so far is still quite small. We have our credibility and we are proud of what we do, but we cannot be considered an old shipyard with a long tradition," explains Filippo Rossi, Sales and Marketing Manager at Lynx. For this reason, without the burden of tradition weighing them down, now is the ideal time for the shipyard to expand its offering, gain the attention of the market and appeal to a new kind of owner through its latest series.
A New Terrain: Lynx's Adventure Vessels
With both the Adventure 32 and the newer Adventure 29 characterised by rigid, high bulwarks above a strong vertical plumb stem, Lynx's series of robust explorer yachts take inspiration from the practical styling of the YXT support vessels and are designed to transport owner and guests on adventures to even the most remote locations with ease.
Although differing in size, both the 29 and the 32 are distinctively wide and sturdy, with the 29 featuring a clean, contemporary profile design by Bernd Weel Design, who also did the exterior styling for the first YXT 24 Evolution, Wally Shadow. Standout features on board the newer model, the Adventure 29 include her generous owner's cabin (29 square metres), spacious sundeck, and, as is characteristic of Lynx Yachts vessels, the huge, low swim platform providing direct access to the water and easy launching for the numerous toys and tenders she can carry on board. As another distinctive feature, once the tenders are in the water, the platform can also transform into a 30 square-metre bathing area.
Photo: Lynx YachtsNotably, compared to Lynx's previous vessels, the interior of the Adventure 29 has more of a generous, family feeling across its 8.2-metre beam, with a four-stateroom layout comprising one VIP, two double staterooms and the large owner's cabin, as well as including a spacious main deck saloon. With this in mind, it is no surprise that Lynx is aiming to appeal to a different variety of owner for this new series compared to their shadow vessels.
As Filippo Rossi highlights, "The YXT boats have always been owned by sporty guys as they are really the perfect shape for water sports lovers. The typical customer for these is someone who loves to go kite surfing, surfing, stand up paddleboarding, canoeing, fishing, scuba diving, or sailing with dinghies and so on." Indeed, the owners of both YXT 24 Evolution yachts have been able to customise the vessel to suit their particular sporting tastes, with the first owner storing an Air Nautique boat for wakesurfing on board together with his favourite 4x4 vehicle, a Land Rover Defender 110, and the second owner stowing - amongst other things - a sailing catamaran, a big rib and two dinghies on board.
Photo: Lynx YachtsIn contrast, as Lynx sees it, the Adventure 29 will appeal to a more classic demographic of yacht owner. "This appeals to northern European clients, yachtsmen who have the family at the centre of their lives. These are mature owners of the fifth or sixth yacht of his career that knows exactly what he wants. He knows how he wants to live on board and he wants to spend long periods of time on board his boat." Indeed, the introduction of the Adventure series has presented a clear opportunity for Lynx to show both the diversity of its projects and that it is capable of reaching a new audience - and the strategy seems to be paying off. "The number of clients that are calling us, aware of what we are and the quality we deliver is increasing. Absolutely," Rossi affirms.
Furthermore, the unveiling of the 37.2-metre LOV Project last July with fellow Dutch companies Omega Architects and Van Oossanen Naval Architects, with its rugged, powerful profile, flexible layout - 12 guests can be accommodated for charter use and 8-10 guest layouts are designed for family use - and distinctive vertical bow, which naturally includes too the Fast Displacement Hull Form developed by Van Oossanen, gestures towards Lynx's future capabilities to build bigger when the time is right. As Rossi explains, "Collaborating with these two brands in the industry has allowed us to reach other kinds of brokers and clients. I have received direct enquiries from Ukraine, Russia and the US for that project."
Rossi feels confident that the yard will be able to sell two more vessels this year and the first YXT 24 Evolution vessel will be spotted around the Mediterranean in the upcoming months, as well as making an appearance at this year's Monaco Yacht Show. As for what the more distant future holds for Lynx, time will tell, but one thing is for sure, Lynx isn't in a rush. "We are passionate. This is why we are slow in growing - we are so passionate about every single choice we make: We want to do it in perfect quality."
Photo: Lynx YachtsThis relaxed attitude also brings with it a refreshing sense of confidence for the Dutch yard, with Rossi having the last word: We are working on real clients with real projects and have some serious clients. In five years, I'd like to have several good yachts sailing in the Med, a fantastic connection with my owners, to have them as a testimonial to create the Lynx family, and to continue to build, not only shadow vessels but also well-done motor yachts for owners who are sea lovers as we are. I am sure we will be there in 5 years."
This article is featured in the latest edition of the SuperYacht Times newspaper. Subscribe now to receive your copy straight to your door and never miss another issue.
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