In recent months, NMT has welcomed a large number of new members. Marianne Hendriks, Managing Director at Moonen Yachts, explains why Moonen Yachts has just now become a member.
“In the past Moonen Yachts was already a member of the HISWA-Holland Yachting Group and is now also a member of NMT and the newly formed Holland Yachting Group. We see the strength in cooperation, knowledge sharing and image expansion. The positioning of Netherlands as ‘The Superyacht building country’ is extremely important, not only within the Netherlands, but also on worldwide level. Quality, sustainability, craftsmanship and cooperation are typically Dutch characteristics. These have to be promoted and reinforced internationally. Moonen Yachts is happy to contribute to this. As a member of NMT and HYG, we are able to strengthen the market position of the Dutch yacht building industry, as a group, ”says Marianne Hendriks.
“The Netherlands is in the top 3 of European yacht builders, along with Italy and Germany. The strength of Dutch yacht builders and suppliers really lies in the quality. Quality in material and technology. But also quality in people and mentality. It is important that the Holland Yachting Group pays attention to this. Previously, the focus was on the typical Holland Branding, which was more focused on the informal social character and hospitality. We have passed that station, we have to focus on what is really important: the professionalism and quality of the Dutch superyacht building. The majority of yacht owners are not Dutch, yet we have to motivate prospective buyers to come to The Netherlands for their purchase. That is certainly possible, but only when jointly communicated why the Netherlands is the best place for their valuable investment. The Netherlands simply builds the best yachts in the world, that’s the most important, we have to maintain that position, so we have to cooperate and promote the industry together. ”
When asked how Moonen Yachts contributes to this, Marianne replies: “We have a fairly unique position with our shipyard. We are located in a niche market within Dutch yacht building. We build semi-custom yachts between 30 and 50 meters in steel and aluminum at our yard in ‘s-Hertogenbosch. We rely a lot on speculation. The competition field is narrow, because the market in the Netherlands is well divided and there is a balanced supply. A kind of natural selection takes place when buyers come to the Netherlands. Yet I do not immediately see the yards in the same segment as competition. It is better to work together, than to compete with each other. Your own signature and DNA determines whether a customer chooses you. In addition, our position as a yacht builder in the smaller segment is also quite strong, because the pool with potential buyers is large enough. ”
A Moonen semi-custom yacht in the somewhat smaller segment is an attractive investment, according to Marianne. The purchase costs are lower and the delivery time is short. Due to the comfortable length of around 40 meters you create flexibility in all ports and with a crew occupation of 4 to 6 people, the owners are completely pampered. The perfect level of finish, the stylish interior and the well thought-out layout make this “smaller boat” a fully-fledged superyacht.
Sold a ship completely digitally
When we ask Marianne how Moonen Yachts is doing during these special times, we hear noticeable enthusiasm and pride in her voice. “Moonen is doing well! We even sold a yacht in these hard days of COVID-19. Remarkably enough, completely digital. Normally we invite clients to our facility or we fly to the customer. But for this 36-meter yacht, we have done everything digitally from the first meeting, the proposals, the negotiations to contract signing. We have used all possible online means of communication from WhatsApp to E-mail, Zoom, Facetime, Teams, photos and videos. We pulled out all the digital options to ultimately close the deal.”
“Normally you shake hands and open a bottle of champagne to celebrate together, but that was of course no longer possible. To confirm the sale, we therefore performed a virtual handshake and we will had that glass of champagne somewhere in future.”
In addition to the sold yacht, Moonen Yachts has another 36 meter under construction, in which there is also considerable interest. This time again completely digital. Marianne: “First of all, I would like to thank our Australian shareholders. Without them it really wouldn’t have been possible to get to where we are today, with two yachts under construction and a healthy future ahead of us. Fortunately, COVID-19 hasn’t hindered progress too much. We have not been idle, but we have sent a number of people home with symptoms of illness, purely as a precaution. As a result, we have some delay, but the delivery of YN199 is not affected. Appropriate social distancing rules apply at the site and in our offices and we adhere to the regulations. It takes some adaptability, but so far we really can’t complain.”
In addition to the sale in Corona time, Marianne notes that she sees another positive effect, as a direct result of this pandemic. “We notice that people are now more inclined to use online communication tools such as Zoom and Teams. It is convenient and cost effective. In any case with employees, suppliers, but also with customers. In the past it was not done to communicate with customers in this way. Because of the necessity of today, it happens and suddenly it doesn’t feel uncomfortable anymore. It’s the new normal. In addition, it saves time, travel time and therefore costs on both sides. Actually, processes are going faster now. It is efficient, effective and as far as I am concerned we will definitely keep it up!