Over recent decades, Holland’s superyacht industry has become a byword for quality. The Claasen story is inextricably linked to this rich history, with a background that reflects Dutch excellence in boatbuilding. Over the past decade Claasen has built Truly Classic yachts such as Atalante, Heartbeat, Copihue, Mulligan, Kealoha and Velacarina. The yard has also been one of the leading lights of the J-class revival and pioneered the new F-class. Throughout this period the Claasen success story has been driven by the ability to offer a truly customised approach to yacht building.

Click here to discover the world of yachtbuidling at Claasen Shipyard.

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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  • 02 aug 2017

    When she was completed by Claasen in 2010, the 43.40-metre Lionheart was the largest J-Class yacht ever built. Lionheart was the first of her kind with an aluminium hull and incorporated lots of research gleaned from previous Js: no expense was spared to make her as competitive as possible in the regatta circuit.

    As one of the finest examples of a J-Class yacht today, Lionheart is a striking presence at any regatta, all the more so when she competes against other boats in the same category. Fittingly, she has already won several races this year in what is perhaps already the greatest season of Lionheart’s four-year racing history: she came first in both J-Class race events and the Superyacht Cup held in Bermuda in June as part of the America's Cup celebrations. This is reminiscent of Lionheart’s three major titles in 2014, when the crew won the Menorca Maxi J-Class, Palma's Superyacht Cup and the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup for the Js.

    And now for Newport

    Now, following hard on the heels of these triumphs, Lionheart is gearing up for her next challenge: the first-ever J-Class World Championship, organised in Newport on 21-26 August. This race will take place in Newport’s Narragansett Bay, where the J-Class boats originally fought it out for the America’s Cup in the 1930s, and will pit almost all of the existing Js against each other.

    “Our inaugural World Championship in Newport will be hosted by the New York Yacht Club and contested on the same waters where these magnificent yachts battled for the America’s Cup,” says Louise Morton, J-Class Association Secretary. “Unlike the match racing duels of 80 years ago, seven J-Class yachts are expected to compete off Newport, making a magnificent starting-line spectacle for spectators on the water.”

    Even if you cannot join the many thousands of spectators along Narragansett Bay, you can follow the action at the World Championship on TracTrac, which offers live GPS tracking for regattas. No matter where fans will be, the racing is sure to be super exciting and incredibly close. Fair winds to the Lionheart team and all the other crews.

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  • 27 sep 2017

    The Monaco Yacht Show is the representative of the luxury yachting sector: shipyards, brokers, designers, equipment manufacturers and other luxury goods. Holland’s leading role in the superyacht industry has created a special relationship with the Monaco Yacht Show. Each year the Dutch pavilion is packed with visitors keen to see what our members have to offer, and the quays also have many Dutch superyachts on the show.

    Personality, stability, Heritage … and much more besides await you. Join us as we showcase 10 stands of Dutch suppliers, all packed with new innovations. Enjoy the Dutch hospitality and share your thoughts with specialists from every area of the Dutch superyacht industry.We look forward to seeing you in our Holland Pavilion to give you all the information you need about our members!

    Visit the Holland Pavilion at Quai Antoine 1er B
    Click here for the map

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