Winner Yachts grows up fast
MEDEMBLIK _ Growing demand for its quality sailing craft of 8 to 12 meters, led Winner Yachts this month to move into a more versatile site at Medemblik, 10 km. (6 miles) from its former Enkhuizen location. The yard opted for a new site citing the steady growth of Winner Yachts in recent years. It has been building sailing yachts since 1986, starting with the Winner 9.50-m, of which 300 were sold. Then came the 10.10, the 10.20 and the 11.20.
This year, the Winner-11 which marked a turning point. After years of working with Van de Stadt Design, the yard turned to Simonis-Voogd Design for the Winner-11. Simonis-Voogd Design is the studio behind more than 200 projects ranging from the Hobie Cat to extravagant mega maxis. Winner Yachts employs 10 permanent employees and annually makes some 20 yachts of all sizes in both cruising and performance versions.
Increasingly, the yard competes in foreign markets with J-Boats and X-yachts. It now has dealerships in many European nations and is exploring market opportunities as far away as the US and Australia, says Verkade.
The yard focuses on small numbers, high quality. “We cannot compete with conveyor-belt builders like Bavaria,” says Verkade. “We are not going to slash prices. And we don’t have to. People recognize our yachts match the quality of J-Boat and X-yachts.
In Medemblik, about 40 kilometers north of Amsterdam, Winner Yachts will combine its expertise with the professional disciplines and facilities of well-known outfits as Rake Rigging and Medemblik Yacht Service. Medemblik is now “the center for building and maintaining composite sailing yachts in the Netherlands,” says Verkade. “Our new location gives Winner Yacht more flexibility in serving customers than in Enkhuizen. We’ll be able to serve our clients better.” www.winneryachts.com / www.dutchyachtbuilding.com