The semi-custom-built superyachts designed by Moonen Yachts are masterpieces of Dutch engineering from start to finish
“A yacht should be like a home away from home, with privacy and great atmosphere,” says Matthew Baxter, Executive Chairman of Moonen Yachts. “A superyacht is like a small floating city. It produces its own water and power, and manages the ecological requirements and challenges of today.
“There isn’t an inch of space on board that isn’t used. A lot of unbelievable engineering goes into all of this. Yachts need to be able to navigate through the worst environmental conditions.”
Established in 1981, Moonen offers clients an effortless and professional experience, and an unstinting level of craftsmanship. Working from their shipyard in ’s-Hertogenbosch in the Netherlands, the Moonen team ensure almost every aspect of the technical work that goes into making their yachts is carried out in-house, from design to engineering and to completion.
Moonen focuses on builds between 30 and 50 metres long. “We specialise in yachts of this size and have no plans to build custom one-offs,” says Matthew. “It’s a niche market and we are good at building within this range. We work with steel and aluminium, and craft the amazing cabinetry that we are known for.” Indeed, the company’s success lies in the building of vessels that are silent and sturdy, able to travel at speed when required, but with the stability and feeling of strength that comes with a steel hull.
Matthew regards Moonen craftsmanship as its greatest asset. “We pay great attention to our staff. Many have been with us for over 40 years, which is as long as the company has been around.
“If you value your staff, support them and provide them with the tools they require, they feel valued. This feeling is then passed on to the client who will hopefully feel at home when they come to visit the shipyard. One person alone is not able to build a yacht of this calibre, it’s a whole team – a well-oiled machine.”
Moonen offers clients the option to customise the interior of their yacht. “The interior design of a yacht will be unique to each owner,” says Matthew. “From the choice of fabrics to colour schemes and layout, Moonen will work alongside you every step of the way. During the pandemic, we found a benefit to working with our clients via Zoom. It gave us the opportunity to get an inside look at our clients’ homes; they could share their colour preferences, show us how they live, how they communicate.
“As yacht builders, we offer calm in troubled times,” he adds. During the pandemic, “some asked ‘why build a yacht now?’ If you own a Moonen, you own a private sanctuary. It becomes a second home, a secure escape and a slice of freedom. And you become part of the amazing Moonen family for life.”
Moonen’s most recent delivery, MY Botti, is a 36-metre Martinique, which was delivered to her owners in West Palm Beach, Florida, sailing for the first time under her own steam with her captain and crew. Botti had a faultless run through the Bay of Biscay, Gibraltar and Sint Maarten, before arriving safely at her new home.
Botti’s owners have been delighted with the artisans at Moonen and their experience of collaboration throughout the entire build process, from the design to finished yacht. “The client has said they are ‘overwhelmed by the quality and standard of construction, together with the finishes’,” says Matthew, “and they are convinced we have managed to build the best yacht possible in today’s market.”