The prestigious Dutch builder, Moonen Shipyards, is currently going through a strong recovery from the financial turbulence it faced earlier this year, due to problems entirely beyond the yard’s control. Construction of the 30-metre Caribbean series motor yacht MATICA (YN198), due to be launched in July 2016, has now recommenced in close cooperation with the owner, shareholder, subcontractors and suppliers. Moreover, a number of other clients have chosen Moonen for refits of their yachts as a sign of their support for the shipyard.
These include the Moonen 97 yacht Etoile d’Azur and the Moonen 97 motor yacht Nimbus, both of which are being given a new exterior paint livery, having modifications made to their interiors, and enjoying a range of technical upgrades and maintenance. Delivery of both yachts is scheduled for the spring of 2016.
“We are very grateful to these three clients for their loyalty and proud that they have retained their trust in the people at this yard,” commented Moonen managing director Emile Bilterijst. “Despite the difficult situation at the yard we have been able to keep our experienced workforce and the expertise they hold. This is vital to our future as it is people that make a yard, not the facilities. Clients can have complete confidence that Moonen is capable of building the first-class superyachts that have given the yard its excellent reputation.”
On November 14, 2015, the shipyard also successfully joined together the hull and superstructure of the 30-metre superyacht MATICA, symbolizing the unity and determination to see the yard come out of its recent financial turmoil and regain its place as a leading builder of top quality yachts.
The announcement of a ‘suspension of payment’ at Moonen in July 2015 shocked everyone in the superyacht industry. It came as a complete surprise as the yard had found a major new shareholder two years ago with remarkable financial clout in the form of Mexico’s largest steel manufacturer. AMHSA’s commitment to the future of Moonen was such that it had commissioned the first in a new and very well received range of semi-custom motoryachts called the Caribbean series.
“The building of this 37-metre/350 GT Martinique showed the confidence AHMSA had both in the yard and our products,” said Emile Bilterijst. “By starting the construction we were able to reduce both the cost price and the delivery time, while increasing quality even further. Unfortunately, no-one could have foreseen the sudden and dramatic collapse of the global steel market this summer. The dramatic impact this had on the cash-flow position of AMHSA led it to pull out of the build of the Martinique.”
Bilterijst added: “In addition to the Martinique, another build well underway at the yard was a second yacht in the Caribbean range, the 30-metre Matica. This was being built for a European client who was thoroughly enjoying working with Moonen. His desire to find a way in which the project could be continued, together with the ongoing support of AHMSA on a lower level, have been among the key factors that have helped Moonen get back on course.”
The management team are now working towards solutions that will enable the suspension of payment to be lifted. “A key next step would be to find a buyer for the Martinique,” concluded Bilterijst. “The hull is around 90 percent finished and the same goes more or less for the superstructure. A new owner can still have major influence on the interior and have a phenomenal new motoryacht ready by the spring of 2017.”
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