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The design and build of a luxury yacht is a truly personal experience. Whether customising a design to be built, or striving to create a completely new concept altogether, superyacht owners will seek to work with a yacht builder that truly understands their vision, and can translate their dream design into a real vessel.
As Royal Huisman proudly state, “If you can dream it, we can build it!”
Those buying a new superyacht will therefore have many questions to ask themselves before settling on a suitable yacht builder and shipyard facility to carry out the project. Thankfully for these prospective owners, there are a number of luxury superyacht brands that have the ability to turn the biggest mega yacht dreams into reality.
Yachting Pages lists the world’s top luxury superyacht builders and their shipyard facilities, from A to Z, identifying some of the best superyachts in the world along the way.
Located in Vlissingen, Amels operates the largest superyacht boatyard in the Netherlands, and is known to be one of the best superyacht builders in the world.
Amels has been operating for over 100 years and offers both Full Custom and Limited Editions, ranging from 55 to 83 metres (180 to 272 feet) LOA. Built on a proven platform and delivered in half the time expected of standard construction superyachts, all 20+ Limited Editions projects have so far been delivered on or ahead of contract, with 55-metre (180-foot) Galene among the most recent to emerge from the yard. With several new projects currently under construction, Amels is likely to be among the top superyacht shipyards for many years to come.
Founded in 1873 and headquartered in Viareggio, Benetti is the world’s largest builder of superyachts by number built, with a production capacity of 100 units per year.
Most famous for building Sir Philip Green’s 90-metre (295-foot) Lionheart in 2016, 2019 was its breakthrough year with its first 100-metre+ (328-foot+) deliveries of Lana, Luminosity and IJE. This gave Benetti 2nd, 3rd and 4th spots on the Top 10 Largest Superyachts Delivered in 2019. Luminosity is widely believed to be valued in excess of €200,000,000 and is listed with Fraser and Burgess (as of November 2020).
The home of full-custom superyachts, Feadship is one of the few shipyards worldwide that works to create completely custom yachts. It has worked with superyacht owners since the 19th century to create one-off luxury motor yachts that are truly unique.
Feadship currently has four shipyard facilities in the Netherlands, with expansion underway at its Amsterdam facility in Western Harbour to offer the ability to build motor yachts as long as 160 metres (525 feet). To date, there are over 250 Feadship yachts in navigation, including 99-metre (324-foot) Madame Gu, 99.95 (327-foot) Moonrise, 101-metre (333-foot) Symphony and 110-metre (361-foot) Anna.
Fincantieri Yachts specialises in full-custom luxury pleasure yachts over 70 metres (230 feet) with no upper limit to the size or volume that it can produce. The builder currently has a range of concepts and projects, including 70-metre (230-foot) superyacht Blanche.
Having manufactured in excess of 7,000 vessels in its 230-year history, Fincantieri has a network of 18 shipyards across four continents, two design centres and a research centre, making it one of the largest Western shipyards in the world.
Heesen Yachts is known as one of the world’s luxury yacht builders, specialising in custom superyachts in the 30- to 65-metre (98- to 213-foot) range, but with the additional capability of building vessels of 80 metres (262 feet) and above.
With a focus on quality and innovation, Heesen has created many custom yachts with no two yachts the same. Founded in 1978, it was the first Dutch shipyard to employ aluminium for yacht hulls. In its 42 years, it has delivered more than 170 yachts, with aluminium, steel, displacement, semi-displacement and revolutionary fast displacement yachts making up its fleet. Its most famous vessels include the 65-metre (213-foot) Galatica Star, 70-metre (230-foot) Galatica Super Nova and 55-metre (180-foot) Serenity.
Based in Germany, Lürssen is one of the world's leading shipyards for large luxury yacht building, with a focus on excellence in custom-built superyachts. A family-owned shipyard for four generations, it can claim the accolade of building the world’s first motor yacht back in 1886.
Responsible for building more than 13,000 vessels since 1875, Lürssen currently has eight shipyard facilities in Northern Germany, each specialising in a specific size of yacht ranging from 60 to 220 metres (197 to 722 feet) in length. Together these facilities offer 1,125,000 metres squared of space for new builds, as well as refit, repair and maintenance services.
Lürssen builds some of the largest luxury yachts in the world, including the iconic Azzam, the world’s current largest superyacht at 180 metres (590 feet) LOA.
Having just celebrated its 115th anniversary, Nobiskrug began shipbuilding long before the term ‘superyacht’ was even coined. Drawing on its extensive experience in seagoing vessels, the shipyard turned to yacht building in 2000 with the completion of its inaugural superyacht project, the 92-metre (302-foot) Tatoosh. It has since delivered an impressive portfolio of innovative custom-built superyachts, pledging to work on a single project for a single client to build superyachts ready for the 22nd century. A big statement of intent.
With two facilities in Northern Germany, the boatyard can currently build vessels ranging from 60 to 426 metres (197 to 1398 feet) in length. Over 1000 in-house employees work across the two sites, where they have developed and built numerous award-winning superyachts, including one of the industry’s most talked about vessels, 142-metre (466-foot) Sailing Yacht A.
2020 saw the launch of 80-metre (262-foot) Artefact. At 2,999 GT, Artefact is now the largest 80-metre superyacht by volume in the world and is one of the world’s first superyachts to meet IMO Tier III emissions regulations.
Oceanco specialises in building sophisticated custom yachts ranging from 80 to 140 metres (262 to 459 feet) in length. Offering a highly personal service to clients, Oceanco is positioned with state-of-the-art yacht building facilities in the Netherlands, and a design, sales and marketing office in Monaco.
The builder celebrated its first launch in 1992, and almost 30 years later its portfolio now includes well-known superyachts such as the 95-metre (311-foot) Indian Empress, 82-metre (269-foot) Alfa Nero, 88.5-metre (290-foot) Nirvana and 91.5-metre (300-foot) Equanimity.
The Perini Navi Group is made up of four independent companies that operate in five specific markets: sailing yachts up to 60 metres (197 feet), large sailing yachts more than 60 metres, racing sailing yachts, fast cruising sailing yachts and Picchiotti motor yachts.
To date, the group has launched 58 sailing yachts and four motor yachts. Its track record for innovative sailing yachts has seen it set the standard for excellence in the sector, launching more yachts over 50 metres (164 feet) than any other builder. It's responsible for the iconic 88-metre (288-foot) three-masted schooner Maltese Falcon, which currently holds the title of the sixth largest sailing yacht in the world, and other award-winning sailing yachts, such as the 73-metre (239-foot) Nautilus, 70-metre (229-foot) Badis I and 64-metre (210-foot) Spirit Of The C’s.
Established in 1884, Royal Huisman is the only shipyard with two entries in the top 10 largest sailing yachts ever built. The 2020 launch of 81-metre (266-foot) Sea Eagle II was its tenth sailing yacht over 50 metres (164 feet) and its biggest yacht since 90-metre (295-foot) Athena in 2004, which was then the largest sailing yacht in the world. Despite being renowned for its luxury performance sailing yachts, Royal Huisman’s largest delivery in 2021 is expected to be “Project 403 PHI”, a featherweight 55-metre (180-foot)+ aluminium motor yacht under 500GT.
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