14 January 2019
Inside the shipyard: a day at oceanco
On the ground at the Oceanco shipyard in Holland with industrial designer Wim Verhoeff and naval architect Ties van Bruinessen
How did Oceanco develop into what it is today?
Oceanco commenced building superyachts in 1987. We are a well-established and experienced builder of large yachts with a proven track record. Nonetheless, we operate with the mentality that we still have to prove ourselves to stay ahead of the curve. When Oceanco was founded, the focus was on the 30-90m size range. However, in 2002, we shifted our attention to the 80m+ market. The Oceanco brand is synonymous with innovative, groundbreaking iconic superyachts.
what makes an oceanco recognisable?
Oceanco is known for large complex superyachts that have an extra edge. Design-wise, every yacht we create is unique as we work with a large variety of designers, so there is no instantly recognisable design. With all of our yachts, quality is key. What's important is the incredible effort that is put into perfecting every detail. Our defining difference is in the detail — this is what makes a yacht an Oceanco. There are, of course, certain common denominators among all Oceancos, such as the quality of the paintwork, the integration of the windows, the handling of the teak and more.
Can you define what clients like about the brand?
Our clients enjoy the process of building at Oceanco. We aim to make the experience of building and owning an Oceanco as pleasurable and exciting as it can be. We have a relatively long development period, which includes all stages from the design and the specs to the keel laying — we listen carefully to all the requests and work closely with the client’s team to build an owner his or her perfect yacht The build of a yacht takes between 3-4 years and our intention is to make those years a rich and unforgettable experience.
Tell us more about the design process.
For Oceanco, designing a yacht means understanding the entire yacht inside out: starting from the way you walk onboard to how the propulsion lines look. For instance, there are certain aspects that you don’t see but are so important for the ultimate success of living aboard a yacht. It goes without saying that we always ensure very high quality in terms of hull construction, piping etc. However, routing onboard is also something we always pay attention to, from how guests and crew get onboard to how the stores can be reached without disturbing guests in the luxury areas. We ensure this type of detailed thought process every step of the way.
Tell us about the yard’s most significant recent launches.
Oceanco has a solid reputation as the builder who thrives on things which have never been done before, such as the industry’s first 300ft (91.5m) PYC yacht Equanimity in 2014; the 85m (279-foot) high -performance ketch Aquijo in 2016, the 110m (361ft) Jubilee—a stunning yacht with an extraordinarily graceful profile despite her enormous volume and the largest yacht ever built at Oceanco in 2017; the 106.7m (350ft) Black Pearl, the largest DynaRig sailing yacht in the world. She has a striking design that is commensurate to her advanced environmentally friendly systems.
Also the revolutionary 90m (295-foot) DeBasto-designed motoryacht DAR, which utilizes an unprecedented amount of glass in the superstructure and has a beautiful interior by Nuvolari Lenard; and the most recent delivery, the 109m (357ft) Bravo Eugenia, the first Oceanco to utilize its innovative LIFE (Lengthened, Innovative, Fuel-efficient, Eco-friendly) design. We have delivered 32 yachts to date—13 of which are listed among the top 100 largest yachts. Several exciting new superyachts are currently under construction and continuous research and development is wrapped around the ongoing search for new shapes, materials and technologies.
Do you collaborate with other experts?
Yes, we absolutely collaborate with experts. In terms of on staff personnel we have about 250 employees at Oceanco. But if you walk around the yard you’ll see over 1,000 people working on the yachts, and that’s because we integrate various expert sub-contractors into our build process. We have strategic partnerships with a number of players. Sometimes we select a partner not based on their experience in the yacht industry but based on their experience in, for example, the space industry. We are flexible, and select different experts based on their abilities.
How are yacht owners changing?
We are seeing a new generation of clients emerging. As per our future designs you will notice that we try to tackle every direction and appeal to all client profiles. With a new generation of clients, it’s too early to say whether this is really a growing portion, or just a perceived trend.
Are new clients changing yacht design?
Oceanco is not weighted in the past, we are able to be forward thinkers in our field, we honor traditions but we are not set in our ways. We adapt ourselves to the changing industry, and therefore apply innovative design and technology to create one-of-a-kind yachts that respect the vision of both the owner and the designer. Looking at our latest delivered designs, each one has its unique identity. Some are 100% original, others are custom yachts based on proven technology developed here at Oceanco. Often a client is looking for proven technology to ensure security and safety, Oceanco listens and looks into developing solutions to meet their expectations. But if we have a young client interested in implementing new technologies and using the yacht in a different way, we share the journey together. We don’t simply offer a yacht, we offer a design process and an experience they will never forget.