The world in big, lazy Breehorn spins
WOUDSEND _ Lars van den Berg survived the crowds, the hoopla and the long, l-o-n-g hours of 2013 Boat Dusseldorf in the usual way. The maker of the ocean-going Breehorn yachts stayed home. He never goes to boat shows, counting on the Breehorn quality and name to lure business to his yard in the heart Fryslan, Hollands’ lake-laced northern province.
Breehorns are open books! They are definitely not racers but boats you take _ or maybe they take you? _ for big, lazy spins around the world and back. Ultimate cruisers, they are made to enjoy anchoring and marina life as much as riding a steady trade wind. Breehorns come in 5 lengths: 37, 41, 44, 48 and 53ft. Frankly, they aren’t cheap. The biggest can run to €745,000. “Every sail boat is a compromise,” says Van den Berg. “Take the Breehorn 53 Pilothouse. It comes darn close to ideal. And that has its price. Still, compared to the competition, a very modest price.”
Breehorn has been making reputable boats for 40 years. “We have sold to clients in the Netherlands, Britain, Germany, Belgium and Denmark,” Van den Berg tells Yacht and Coast. Growth, he admits, has never been a goal in itself. That has enabled his yard to shun conveyor belt production and embrace custom-building to clients’ requests. Breehorns have traditionally been made of polyester. But in 2013, the yard was making one in an aluminum hull.
Breehorns stand out for their large, clean decks and cockpits that put a premium on shelter from a hot sun or lashing rains. In the Breehorn-44 and 48, the sprayhood becomes a hard cover. And in the new Breehorn-53 it even becomes an enclosed pilothouse covering much of the cockpit.
So what’s a good year at Breehorn? “Making just one yacht a year would be good already for a small yard like ours,” says Van den Berg. “If there are more customers, we make more.” The Breehorn yard also makes the Fox-22, a sporty 6.5m day sailer with an embryonic cabin. Launched in 1996, Breehorn has made almost 200 Fox-22’s, many of which end up on the Dutch rental market.