Good morning ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the Monaco Yacht Show. Thank you for this incredible turn out – I know how hard it can be to digest our latest news at this earliest of hours, so we have made sure the coffee is extra strong this morning! For those of you who do not recognize me, my name is Arthur Brouwer and I am CEO of Heesen.

It is a privilege to stand at the helm of our company which, in 2018, celebrates its 40TH anniversary. Just a few weeks ago we marked this milestone with a party at our shipyard in Oss for our employees and their families. It is lucky that we are in the process of expanding the shipyard – with 1,200 party guests we certainly needed the space!

Such a large turnout to that celebration really brought home to me just how far Heesen has come over the past 4 decades. I think back to those first steps in 1978, and remember that we had just 20 employees – and incredibly, 5 of those original 20 are still working with us today. They have certainly witnessed a lot of changes.Over the years, the company has grown just as the size of our yachts has grown. The very first Heesen, MY Amigo, was launched in 1979 and was “just” 20 metres. That seems small by today’s standards, but back then she was certainly considered a large yacht.

Today our largest yacht under construction, as you have just heard, is 80 metres. That’s a growth of nearly four times the length in four decades, or 20 metres every ten years. Of course, this growth has meant we have had to continually expand our facility, and today we have 8 sheds and 6 dry docks, totalling 22,000 m2 at our main shipyard - including an 85 metre dry dock we inaugurated in 2016. We also have a 6,500m2 interior workshop in Winterskwijk.

The key to all our success is the same now as it was right back in 1978 – the women and men who work passionately to craft our yachts. That original team of 20 has also grown considerably. We now have 450 fulltime employees and approximately 200 subcontractors. That means that on any given day there are around 650 people working on our premises. And they are being kept very busy. Earlier this year we sold 2 full custom yachts: the 60m Project Falcon and the 80m Project Cosmos – a combined total of 140 linear meters of yacht. Perhaps more impressively, their combined Gross Tonnage is 2,760 GT – which is 80 per cent of the entire gross tonnage of the six yachts we sold in 2017.

It means our company, once again, is expanding accordingly. We have recently completed the acquisition of a new property in Winterswijk to increase our interior facility there, and we are currently in an advanced phase of negotiations to acquire more land in Oss. As we are expanding, we are also actively looking for new people to join our highly skilled workforce, and we are training the next generation of craftsmen and yacht builders.

Recruiting and training skilled workers is just one of the challenges we face and embrace. Over the past 40 years we have seen the market change considerably. We have not only changed with the market, we have also made it our mission to influence and drive those market changes. Heesen began as a yard building full custom yachts on demand, and we remained a custom yacht builder for the first 20 years of our history. But at the turn of the millennium we were among the first shipyards to bring semicustom and platform superyachts to the market, with the idea of building on speculation. It proved to be a milestone decision, and today our commercial success continues to draw on this strategy of building both custom yachts and on-spec platform yachts.

Our current order book consists of 12 yachts under construction, with deliveries ranging from next year, all the way out to 2022. 5 of these are being built on spec. We live in a world of instant gratification, and not all clients are willing to wait 2.5 to 3 years to take possession of their yacht. Building on spec allows us to reduce the delivery time to clients. Of course, we also have to be aware of wider market conditions and in this sense the global economic outlook remains positive. However, substantial risks do exist and could threaten growth in the short and medium terms. Escalating trade conflicts and protectionism, the tightening of monetary policy, equity market corrections and global political strains are just a few of the factors that can play their part.

However, the number of the world’s wealthiest individuals continues to grow, not just in the billionaire bracket but also in the Ultra High Net Worth bracket – usually defined as those people who have a net worth of more than $30 million. Indeed, Knight Frank estimates that at the end of last year there were close to 130,000 of these UHNW individuals worldwide – a rise of 10 per cent over the course of 2017. 2017 was also a great year for Heesen with the sale of 6 yachts ranging from 47 to 55 metres, and with the 60 metre and 80 metre full custom yachts sold this year it is clear that we continue to enjoy a promising future. Perhaps that’s a result of the 40 years of experience we have amassed in the custom and semi-custom superyacht market, having now built and delivered more than 170 superyachts.

Either way, we are moving into the next 40 years of our history with a strong order book and a solid strategy, and we look forward to working with you all as we unveil exciting new projects and continue to grow our facilities in the coming months and years. Thank you all for coming, and enjoy the rest of the Monaco Yacht Show.

Latest News

Privacy on-board: how to protect your superyacht from paparazzi
Security matters and finding ways to protect their assets, crew, and guests from such dangers as pirates or paparazzi, have been in focus of the yacht owners for years. Security systems deployed onboard normally depend on the owner’s profile, the assets in question and the locations a system would be operating. Increasingly, the owners order security systems that can automatically monitor, detect, track, classify and alert operators to approaching objects in the proximity of a yacht. There are some technical devices, normally deployed for better protection.When it comes to paparazzi, one of the most helpful device would be anti-drone protection. Such equipment would detect and identify commercial drones within a 20+km range, providing GPS positioning of both drone & pilot together with the drone’s speed and heading. When a real drone has been detected, the system enables creation of a 500 metre plus electronic ‘exclusion zone’ around the yacht. Once the drone approaches this zone, its control/video signals would be blocked, forcing it to land or return to operator. One of the most popular examples of anti paparazzi protection on a superyacht, is Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich chosing to install a special shield system against paparazzi on his 162.5-metre Blohm+Voss superyacht Eclipse, built in 2010.According to The Times, the device is capable of fixing the activity of the photosensitive elements on digital cameras, and disables them with a direct laser beam. The system works under both automatic and manual modes.The fourth in his private fleet, Eclipse was famously built for Russian billionaire, Roman Abramovich and the owner of Chelsea football club, as the largest yacht in the world (at that moment), a title that she held until the delivery of the 180-metre Azzam in 2013.M/Y EclipseEclipse also comes fitted with an underwater mini-boat and two helipads in case of emergencies. The initial price of the yacht was rumoured to amount to € 350 million, but additional equipment might have increased her value to € 800 million.According to Forbes interview with Johannes Pinl of superyacht privacy and protection company MARSS, nowadays onboard CCTV, access control (door locking systems) and deck mounted pressure sensors likely to ‘form the basis of most standard superyacht security packages.’These will be connected over an onboard network and managed from the bridge or a central control security room. Long-range daylight and thermal imaging cameras can have a dual function for both navigation and security use cases. Such cameras can be equivalent to military specification and are mounted on the mast to provide a long distance visual capability around a vessel.He also stresses out that the key important thing is ensuring awareness among the crew to increase reaction time and make better decisions based on a clear assessment of a situation.Meanwhile, one of the recent security devices installed by MARSS on a 100-metre plus superyacht, was NiDAR 360° degree surveillance system integrating multiple sensors to provide automated monitoring, detection, tracking and classification of objects in the vicinity of a vessel.Operating autonomously at 24/7, NiDAR tracks both known and unknown surface and air objects. Smart software algorithms automatically analyse and rank threats, triggering alerts to notify crew and security personnel as required.
Chanel launches J12 Yacht Club in New York
French high fashion house Chanel has launched its own yacht club at Shelter Island, New York. The space was arranged to celebrate the 20th anniversary of iconic J12 watch by Chanel, whose original design had been inspired by the J-Class racing yachts.Photo: Dave Kotinsky/WireImageThe area lays within a famous Sunset Beach Hotel on Long Island owned by a real estate mogul André Balazs, along with The Chiltern Firehouse in London, Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles, and The Standard hotel chain. Photo: Sam FrostThe press release states:The J 12 Yacht Club reflects a modern-day interpretation of a yacht club, as only Chanel could imagine it. From the shores of Shelter Island Sound, visitors will be immersed in Chanel's take on island living, complete with customised umbrellas, coolers, surf boards, badminton and ping pong.The area also comes fitted with a stylish games room featuring a selection of classic board games. The brand has also taken over the Sunset Beach boutique, creating a one-of-a-kind space for guests to discover the new J 12 collection. The yacht club was open to public from July 17 to July 21, 2019, while July 20 saw the celebration of the J 12's 20th anniversary with fashion celebrities on the guest list and a performance by a superstar musician Billie Eilish.Photo: Sam FrostThe high-fashion conglomerate Chanel S.A. is one of the most influential and commercially successful fashion houses in the world. With the brand value estimated at $ 9 billions, Chanel is ranked #79 in the list of World's Most Valuable Brands 2019 (Forbes). The company is privately owned by Alain and Gerard Wertheimer, grandsons of Pierre Wertheimer, who was an early business partner of Coco Chanel.
88m superyacht Project Lotus revealed by Royal Huisman
Dutch builder Royal Huisman has revealed its latest superyacht concept ahead of Monaco Yacht Show 2019. The 88-metre sailing superyacht Project Lotus is conceived as a twin-mast Dyna-Rig vessel.The project features design by British ThirtyC Design, along with naval architecture by Dykstra Naval Architects, based in Holland.Project Lotus will be highlighted through complete customisation, open spaces, reduced complexity in terms of both rigging and crew as well as an engineering package that fits both luxury and agility on the water.More information on the project shall be expected at the start of the Monaco Yacht Show 2019, where some of the largest premieres of 2019 have already been confirmed for participation.In the meantime, the builder is busy constructing the 55-metre superyacht project Phi at Vollenhove facility.
Benetti delivers Fast 125 Series Bangadang with Rolls-Royce propulsion
Italian leading yacht builder Benetti has delivered the eighth hull in Benetti's Fast 125 Series, Project BF108, or Bangdang.The project has been overseen by Jim Evans, Managing Director of SuperYachtsMonaco. Bangdang features dynamic exterior profile with clean sporty lines by Benetti’s long-term collaborator Stefano Righini.The 38.1-metre yacht’s standout features will comprise a large sun deck with a spa pool surrounded by sunpads, a vast beach club venue with a bar area and multiple outdoor areas for dining and socialising in the sunshine.The interiors of Bangdang were developed from the boards od British design studio RWD, bringing modern minimalistic profile based on their contemporary Air theme, also complimented by light eucalyptus and bay wood throughout.Spacious and open, Bangdang will be able to house up to 11 guests across 4 cabins including and a full-beam master suite on the main deck, along with accommodation for a 7-person crew on the lower deck.One of the model’s trademarks, the state-of-the-art propulsion system with steerable carbon thrusters, was developed in collaboration with Rolls-Royce. The Azipull C65 system improves manoeuvrability whilst reducing fuel consumption for smooth and efficient sailing.Thus, Bangdang is a high-performance yacht, propelled by twin 2636hp MTU 12V2000 M96L engines to a top speed of 24 knots and a cruising speed of 12 knots under range of 1,750 nautical miles.
Tennis superstar Rafael Nadal orders Sunreef 80 Power yacht
A renowned tennis player Rafael Nadal ranked 2nd in the men's singles rating, has commissioned an 80 Sunreef Power catamaran with Polish multihull specialist Sunreef Yachts. It has been earlier rumoured in the press, that Nadal has put on sale his 23.5-metre MCY 76 Beethoven asking £2.3million.While Nadal’s fully customised vessel is due for 2020 delivery, the first unit in the range will debut at Cannes Yachting Festival 2019.The model’s distinctive features comprise stainless steel portlights, high bulwarks and subtle ambient lighting. She comes equipped with a garage for a tender and Jet Ski, as well as numerous other water toys.The vessel comes with a number of options for the upper deck, including a waterfall-fed spa pool, upper helm position, bar area and retractable hard-top.The 23.5-metre provides accommodation for up to 12 guests and four crew members. Her power options can be chosen from either twin 575hp engines or twin 1,200 hp engines.Nadal commissioned the yacht after chartering a number of Sunreef catamarans and meeting yard founder and president Francis Lapp at last year’s Cannes Yachting Festival. Rafael Nadal expressed himself: As someone from an island as I am, the sea is part of our lives and it’s not a secret that I love the sea. Every time I am at home in Mallorca I try to go out and find that time where I can just enjoy my time on a boat. I am very happy to be on board of this Sunreef Yachts family.With 82 titles overall including 18 Grand Slam victories as well as a record 34 ATP Tour Masters 1000 titles, Rafael Nadal is one of the world’s most renowned and highest-paid athletes. The 3rd all-time leading tennis player in terms of earnings, Rafael Nadal earned $35 million in 2019 only, according to Forbes.