The Royal Huisman Shipyard




Regal Yachts from the Royal Huisman

Dutch shipyard The Royal Huisman was founded over a century ago in 1884. The shipyard was started as a family business offering construction, repair and refitting of sailing yachts. In the 60s the company, initially known as The Huisman was overhauled. Wolter Huisman was the managing family member and responsible for the changes to the company’s service offering. The transformation included migrating shipyard materials used from wood to the lighter material aluminium and moving towards entering the global racing circuit. By 1976 The Huisman had made its mark in the racing circuit by constructing a winning vessel – a 65-foot Flyer which was entered, and won the Whitbread Round the World Race of 1977/78 by Conny van Rietschoten. The following Whitbread race which took place in 1981 was also won by Rietschoten with Flyer II, another Huisman boat. This time the boat took line honours in all four legs.

The royal stamp of approval

The shipyard soon expanded operations to include construction of maxi yachts and large cruisers. By 1984 the company’s efforts were rewarded by receiving the Royal seal presented by Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands in honour of 100 years of maritime excellence. This was when The Huisman became known as The Royal Huisman shipyard.

Company culture and employees

Current managing director Alice Huisman represents the fifth generation of Huismans at the helm of Royal Huisman shipyard. Alice believes that the company achieves high standards of quality because of a culture of transparency and fairness, as well as pride in what they do. A complement of staff of around 380 employees makes up the team at The Royal Huisman. Employees are taken on for experience and expertise in custom yacht building yards and average between 12 and 20 years of employment. This makes The Royal Huisman shipyard one of the most stable and largest ship building companies in the world.

Facilities fit for Queens and Kings

Located at the centre of the area in which Holland’s maritime industry is situated, The Royal Huisman offers a single location in which the entire construction process takes place. The Royal Huisman shipyard’s custom built facility spans over 30,000 m2, of which several sheds are used for building, repairing and refitting world-class yachts. Materials now include carbon composite and yachts up to 300 feet in size are catered to.

A private island

Ethereal, Athena, Twizzle and Hanuman are some of the products of The Royal Huisman’s craftsmanship. The Ethereal is a 190-foot eco-friendly yacht built for Sun Microsystems co-founder Bill Joy. It is energy efficient and uses LED technology for lighting, and lithiom-ion batteries as part of its Hybrid propulsion system. Beautiful woodwork features throughout the yacht giving an intimate atmosphere, ideal for family gatherings. Amenities include a state-of-the-art kitchen, an enormous flat-screen TV in a cinema-like setting and a music room sporting a piano and various percussion instruments. The Ethereal’s underwater camera takes whale watching to the next level. During the launch speech Bill Joy commented on the knowledge and professionalism of Royal Huisman in building his so-called ‘private island’.