Moonen’s recovery after financial problems


After financial problems earlier this year, Moonen Shipyards in the Netherlands are back on track with construction of a 30 metre motoryacht and two refit orders. 

The shipyard reported that it is “making a strong recovery from the financial turbulence it faced earlier this year due to problems entirely beyond the yard’s control.”

In July 2015 Moonen announced a ‘suspension of payment’; a shock considering the yard had found a major new shareholder two years previously with significant financial clout in the form of Mexico’s largest steel manufacturer. AMHSA had commissioned Moonen to build the first hull of a range of semicustom motoryachts – the Caribbean series – but had to pull out.

“The building of this 37-metre/350 GT Martinique showed the confidence AHMSA had both in the yard and our products,” says Moonen managing director Emile Bilterijst. “By starting the construction we were able to reduce both the cost price and the delivery time, while increasing quality even further. Unfortunately, no-one could have foreseen the sudden and dramatic collapse of the global steel market this summer. The dramatic impact this had on the cash-flow position of AMHSA led it to pull out of the build of the Martinique.”

“The enforced suspension of payment had a personal impact on many.”

In addition to the Martinique, another build well underway at the yard was a second yacht in the Caribbean range, the 30-metre Matica.” said Bilterijst. “This was being built for a European client who was thoroughly enjoying working with Moonen. His desire to find a way in which the project could be continued, together with the ongoing support of AHMSA on a lower level, have been among the key factors that have helped Moonen get back on course.”

30 metre Matica is due to launch in July 2016, and refits on the Moonen 97 Etoile d’Azur and the Moonen 97 Nimbus are scheduled for completion in Spring 2016.

“We are very grateful to these three clients for their loyalty and proud that they have retained their trust in the people at this yard,” said Bilterijst. “Despite the difficult situation at the yard we have been able to keep our experienced workforce and the expertise they hold. This is vital to our future as it is people that make a yard, not the facilities.”

The next step for Moonen is to find a buyer for Martinique which will be ready by the spring of 2017.