Xcraft fills high-end niche for RIBs, seats
ZWAAG _ Niels Deen came to boatbuilding late and via unrelated disciplines. Like car building. And running a pub. In 2007 he surprised many by starting out building luxury RIB’s. By now, his Xcraft is a leading player in first-rate, user-friendly boats with deep V-hulls that neutralize the blows of the waves. Next year, it moves to a much bigger production facility.
Deen’s X-line, Elite Line and 10DER line of RIBS reach speeds of over 100 km/h and built to high standards of safety and comfort. The latter comes in no small degree from his shock-absorbing seats that let you keep an ergonomically correct posture. Passion for RIBs drove Deen _ a mechanical engineer by training _ to strike out on his own. “I did no market research,” he says. “I made no business plan but saw a market for top-flight RIBs, well-finished seaworthy craft with excellent sailing qualities.”
His first RIB was launched at the 2008, equipped with Deen’s signature shock-absorbing seats. From the outset, says Deen, “they drew much attention. So we started making seats with our own suspension system.”
Today, Xcraft markets 3 RIB models _ including the 10DER line of superyacht launches _ and 7 different seats. “We see demand from around the world,” says Xcraft Sales Manager Joost Kaag. “We have several large clients in Scandinavia, the Middle East and Italy. But we have also filled orders from Mexico, Australia and Alaska.”
In its boat lines, Xcraft aims to appeal to luxury clients. “We aim for the top end of the market because we build our boats from top quality materials,” says Deen. Xcraft also custom-designs and builds superyacht tenders. His RIBs extend to 10m and are built around tubes of hypalon, a synthetic rubber noted for its resistance to chemicals, temperature extremes and ultraviolet light. The tubes are made in Britain.
“We are not standard boatbuilders,” says Deen. “”We enjoy thinking up unique systems and custom work.” Xcraft’s latest is a the 10DER, a luxury 10m craft that has a top speed of more than 45 knots and comes with 1 or 2 engines. The craft accommodates 2 crew and 12 guests.