Storytelling

Claasen Shipyards

The next generation
Spanning the generations, the workforce of Claasen Shipyards is its primary asset. Four decades may separate Henk Borgman (65) and Joey Koeckhoven (25), currently the oldest and youngest workers at Claasen, yet their lives show striking parallels.

Henk started his yachtbuilding career in 1964, at the age of 14, and joined Claasen 23 years ago. “I’m proud to look back on all the wonderful projects on which I’ve worked and remember the J-class and Lemsteraak boats especially fondly. Now I’m training Joey to take over my position. The best way to share knowledge and experience with the younger generation is to teach by doing, showing them how complex projects are realised step by painstaking step. Once I retire, I plan to spend more time sailing on my boat, playing billiards, and enjoying the company of my grandchildren.”

Joey always wanted to work with wood, and completed a four-year diploma at the Wood and Furniture College in Amsterdam, where he focused on joinery for yachts. “I spent two of my three traineeships at Claasen Shipyards, and Henk was one of my instructors during this time. I moved there permanently in 2012 and my favourite project so far has been the 127-foot Atalante as I was involved from the outset. I’ve learned a great deal from my instructors and more experienced colleagues here, especially

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Heritage, innovation and creativity

are the three pillars that form the foundation of the Dutch Yachting Industry