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Speaking to B+V's Dr. Herbert Aly in Qatar

Events

Blohm+Voss has built some of the most iconic yachts in the world. In the 90s the yard made waves with vessels such as Lady Moura and ECO, and more recently with A, Eclipse and Palladium. The yard introduced a new model at the Monaco Yacht Show this year, the 80 metre BV80. In Qatar I sat down with their Managing Director, Dr. Herbert Aly.

Dr. Aly started with discussing an exciting project, the BV80. Speculating on whether or not the vessel was even going to be built in the future, Dr. Aly stated, “It is already sold, directly from the show in Monaco. A day after the show it was already sold. We expect the first steel cutting in July.”

The BV80 project was already developed by Eidsgaard with Blohm & Voss before the client came along, and Dr. Aly told us that the development of the project was started in January of this year.

Talking about their collaboration on the superyacht, Dr. Aly states, “We liked their attitude. This is a very modern design, a bright design, and is new for us, and maybe new for the market. We had some very intense feedback from the market before starting the actual design work from some workshops in London with brokers, clients and captains. We were asking them what they would like to see on a vessel this size, and this is the outcome. We chose Eidsgaard and he has interpreted it very well.”

The outcome is clearly well received by the industry and the shipyard’s clients, with Dr. Aly reporting over 40 interested clients to date.

Though the BV80 project is semi-custom, Blohm + Voss are still ready to build custom projects and insist that one would not exist without another. Dr. Aly comments, “In our yard in Hamburg we have a huge capacity. This huge capacity needs to be fed, and they would never be fed by semi-custom vessels only.”

So, with the business being fully satisfied by both sides of the building process, the Managing Director regards the mix as a more balanced business plan and, therefore, a better utilisation of all forces available.

In regards to refit and repair services, Dr. Aly continues, saying, “It is of increasing importance to us. We have an excellent track record and for the time, we currently have two yachts in the yard and we’re hoping to see more.” In the future, refits at the German shipyard may include a 163 metre superyacht to add to the companies ever growing refit portfolio, which includes Octopus and, currently, Nahlin.

Amidst rumours that have been circulating for a long time regarding a particularly large boatover 200 metres, Dr. Aly comments, “We would bid on it if it comes up and if it turns out to be real. We’ve seen 163 and 180 metres, but the majority of the really big yachts are around 130 to 140 metres, which is more seasonable size.”

To conclude, SuperYacht Times asked Dr. Aly about the importance of the region of the show to Blohm + Voss, and identified the Gulf Region as one of the shipyards most important markets.

He concludes, “You have to be here, simply. It will show whether we can find a potential client. The region itself is one out of three which are the most important of all for us, including Russia, the Gulf Region and the US. You have to be here, however, we are realistic, and I do not have sky high expectations.”

The second Qatar International Boat Show ended last week, and will return next year.

By Maarten Janssen

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