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Damen CEO René Berkvens Receives CEMT Award

Damen CEO Mr Berkvens (left) receives a CEMT award from CEMT Chairman Mr BlakeleyOn Thursday 24 August, at Damen Shipyards Gorinchem, the Council of the Confederation of European Maritime Technology Societies presented Damen CEO René Berkvens with the CEMT Award. The Council bestows the award annually in recognition of the substantial contribution made to the success of the European maritime industry by an individual, company or organisation. The contribution can be either technological, political or economic. Mr Berkvens received the award in recognition of his leadership of Damen and the contribution this has made towards the successes of the European maritime sector.

Over the past 33 years, Mr Berkvens has held many different positions within the Damen Shipyards Group. He began his career in the sales department for Africa, before becoming Area Director for the Americas region. When Damen took over the Royal Schelde, the Netherlands’ premier naval shipyard, in 2000, Mr Berkvens oversaw the programme to turn around the yard’s fortunes. Between 2004 and 2006, he held the position of the Vice President of the group, responsible for the naval division and superyacht building at Amels. Since 2006 he has held the title of CEO, with overall responsibility for group operations. During that time, Damen has doubled its turnover and acquired fifteen companies covering newbuild, shiprepair and engineering activities.

The Council of the Confederation of European Maritime Technology Societies is a non-governmental organisation with the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the Central Commission for the Navigation of the Rhine (CCNR) The council is made up of representative organisations from European maritime nations.

Sold: New 75m Damen SeaXplorer Expedition Yacht

Damen SeaXplorer75Shipbuilder Damen, in cooperation with its luxury yacht builder Amels, is proud to announce the sale of its second SeaXplorer; a highly customised 75m luxury expedition yacht with exceptional capability for heli-skiing, diving and other tropical and polar adventures. The SeaXplorer 75 stands out with not only a dive centre and submersible hangar, but also a complete floating heliport for two aircraft.

“Together with his guests, our client plans to visit some of the most beautiful and remote areas of the world,” comments Commercial Director Rose Damen. “They will be skiing and snowboarding on pristine slopes like Kamchatka and submersible diving and sport fishing in Papua New Guinea and the Galápagos Islands. They will be in places with no supporting infrastructure, no roads and no heliports within range. So we designed the SeaXplorer 75 to carry out such complex operations with the highest level of safety, redundancy and autonomy.”

In accordance with the owner’s requirements, Damen created the highly customised SeaXplorer with a Gross Tonnage of approximately 2,500. The owner will take delivery in the second half of 2020.

“Our designs in the SeaXplorer range are a great starting point to quickly create customised yachts for specific owner requirements,” comments Mark Vermeulen, Damen Product Director. “The SeaXplorer 75 shares the range’s core attributes: compliance with the IMO Polar Code, the long periods of autonomy at sea, and the crossover of superyacht luxury with professional capability.”

The SeaXplorer 75 accommodates twelve guests as well as 25 crew and expedition staff. The full custom interiors will feature the finest luxury quality and finishing created by the owner’s choice of interior designer. The layout includes plenty of outdoor spaces for al fresco dining and enjoying the sun and sea, SeaXplorer’s unique bow point observation lounge with panoramic views, and seven luxurious suites on main deck and upper deck.

Dutch Superyacht Cluster Continues Growth

4_6e375d599b41c674d2d795446479d488_1009114The recent announcement by Feadship of its intention to open a fourth construction and refit facility in Amsterdam is the latest example of an impressive wave of expansion by the Dutch superyacht cluster. As the latest industry figures show an ongoing growth in the number of deliveries and orders, members of the HISWA Holland Yachting Group are responding to market demands in a variety of innovative ways.

The latest superyacht construction and order figures illustrated the exceptionally strong position of the Dutch industry. Dutch yards launched 22 superyachts in 2015, six more than the year before and worth an impressive EUR 1.18 billion. This growth is set to continue for the foreseeable future as members of the HISWA Holland Yachting Group received orders for another 24 superyachts during 2015, an increase of 26.3% on the 2014 figures. And with 25 deliveries expected in 2016 adding up to a total length of 1425 metres, it is clear that the Dutch superyacht cluster is doing well.

Retaining the lead
“There are a number of key reasons why the superyacht industry in the Netherlands has come through the global downturn in rude health,” explains Jeroen Sirag, export director of the HISWA Holland Yachting Group. “One critical factor has been a longstanding commitment to investing in the future during both good times and lean, with Dutch yards keen to ensure they retain their globally recognised lead in quality and innovation. The same applies to the Dutch equipment suppliers who consistently seek new ways to ensure their first-class products and technologies adorn the finest superyacht builds both in the Netherlands and further afield.”

The fact that Feadship is investing in a brand-new facility at the heart of the Dutch capital speaks volumes about the confidence of Dutch yards in the coming years and their ability to meet growing market demands. Heesen Yachts also recently started construction works for a new 85 m dry dock at its facility in Oss which is scheduled to be completed by October 2016. A new 98 m building hall will replace will ensure that Heesen can meet the growing requests from its clients for larger motoryachts.

Other leading Dutch yards have recently completed expansion programmes. At the end of 2014 Oceanco brought the total size of its yard to 120,000 m² by adding a 15 m-long building shed, 2,800 m² of offices and 13,000 m² of workshops. Meanwhile, AMELS has opened a new covered dry dock which is 204 m in length and covers 7,400 m2. This added to its two existing covered dry docks (215 and 145 m), two building bays and outfitting quays totalling over 300 m.

Hakvoort Shipyards invested in a large new shed just 200 m across the harbour from its facility in Monnickendam. This means the yard now has an in-house spray cabin and can take on maintenance and refit projects for yachts up to 40 m. Mulder Shipyard had already opened a second yard in Zoeterwoude Rijndijk in 2013 covering an area of 7000 m², focused on the maintenance, refit and new build of yachts between 18 and 40 m.

Sailing yacht yards have also been busy with expansion programmes. Royal Huisman has increased the capacity of two halls in order to accommodate new build and Huisfit projects up to 60 m. Holland Jachtbouw now has a 60 m by 26 m state-of-the-art build hall and extended its former main construction hall to 55 m. Growth of a different kind has seen two of the leading superyacht builders in the Netherlands join forces. Vitters Shipyard and the management of Claasen Shipyards have together acquired Claasen Shipyards and will now form the new owners and management team of the yard, leveraging on the individual strengths of the yards to operate in tandem.

New moves
The marine equipment supply companies which form an integral part of the success of the Dutch superyacht sector are also expanding their activities and facilities. Hydromar Marine Equipment moved in 2015 to an impressive new production facility, enhancing its partnership with Cramm Yachting Systems in the superyacht hydraulics market. At the end of 2015 Tijssen Elektro completed a major rebuild of its headquarters, smoothing the companies anticipated growth by adding 315 m² of facilities. And Van Berge Henegouwen has recently moved its offices to Amsterdam where it now has dedicated testing facilities and a professional workshop.

Some supply companies are expanding abroad too. Huisman Maritiem has extended its service for clients in the Mediterranean region by establishing Huisman Etech Yacht Services in Monaco, which is now available 24/7. Heinen & Hopman has opened a ‘one-stop-shop’ called MY TECH TEAM in Antibes in partnership with Zenoro and De Keizer Marine Engineering, providing advice, technical support and service for HVAC, electrotechnical systems and generators for superyachts. De Keizer will also open its seventh location in West Palm Beach this September as it extends the reach of its Managed Premium Service for superyachts in the world’s key sailing areas.

“All these new initiatives and investments showcase how the members of the HISWA Holland Yachting Group are looking to continue offering the best possible services to their clients,” concludes Sirag. “Equally important, of course, is the industry-leading experience and skills of the workforce at the various yards and supply companies. This remains the backbone of the Dutch superyacht cluster and the number one reason why Holland continues to rule the waves.”

Dutch Superyachts Win Big at World Superyacht Awards

AWARDS CEREMONY photo credits Boat International MediaDutch superyacht builders have taken home both the motoryacht and the sailing yacht of the year accolades from the World Superyacht Awards ceremony in Florence. The Feadship Savannah and the Vitters sloop Unfurled were joined on the winner’s podium by Claasen Shipyards (Atalante), Mulder Shipyard (Solis), Heesen Yachts (Sibelle), Holland Jachtbouw (Topaz) and another Feadship (Symphony) to confirm the industry-leading position of the yards gathered in the HISWA Holland Yachting Group association.

No less than 20 Dutch superyachts reached the finalist stage of these prestigious annual awards, including projects by Amels, Balk Shipyard, Oceanco and Van der Valk. “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, or in this case beholders in the form of the 22-strong jury of superyacht owners and leaders,” comments Bas Nederpelt, Chairman of the HISWA Holland Yachting Group. “So too is an appreciation of excellence in design and construction. The fact that such a prominent group of our industry peers gave the yards the top two accolades and seven other Neptunes is the best possible recognition of Dutch superyacht sector’s quality and strength.”

“This award-winning performance also reinforces the importance of the equipment supply sector within the Netherlands,” adds Jeroen Sirag, Export Director of the HISWA Holland Yachting Group. “From air conditioning to lightsystems, from electrical engineering to hydraulics, our members serve as a textbook example of co-creation. The equipment they provide has played a vital role in the success of the winning Dutch superyachts and most winners from other countries which also benefit from the expertise of the supply companies in the HISWA Holland Yachting Group.”

Icon Yachts Completes Extensive Service on Ilona

Icon Yachts has announced another successful Icon Dutch Superyacht service to the iconic M/Y Ilona. Built in 2004 by Amels in Makkum, she departed Icon shipyard on schedule boasting an array of extensive refinements and technical upgrades.

The scope of work included a long work list of items ranging from an extensive overhaul of the four-fin Naiad stabilizer system, technical services and upgrades as well as the application of new antifouling after extensive touch-up of the anticorrosive system. All was completed with a tight schedule in less than nine weeks and Ilona has now arrived in the Mediterranean after a fast Gibraltar crossing.

More and more yachts seems to want to be thriving to come to Holland for refits and services because of the fast and proven re-delivery times, hassle-free operations, and efficiency in project management which results in lower bottom line costs. With Ilona’s program the entire scope of work went like clock work, in a systemized and efficient order of operations. Icon yachts are seeing an increase in refit activity endorsed by a successful first quarter of the year.

Dutch Dominance – Superyacht Cluster Strengthens

The latest superyacht figures have just been released and they make excellent reading for the Dutch industry. Holland was responsible for a quarter of the world’s deliveries in terms of value in 2015. According to the data of SuperYacht Times, the Dutch yards launched 22 superyachts worth some EUR 1.18 billion in total. This represents an average of EUR 54 million a yacht, twice that of the average build worldwide (EUR 26.7 million).

The members of the HISWA Holland Yachting Group lead the way. The association’s A-list yards and suppliers also took orders for another 24 superyachts during 2015, with an average length of 56m. This impressive, future-securing portfolio represents an increase of 26.3% on the 2014 figures. Some 22 superyachts were launched in 2015, six more than the previous year, or an increase of 37.5%.

The total length of these 2015 deliveries gives Holland a 19.1% market share globally, a rise of over 7% on the 2014 figures whilst the forecast for this year is 25 deliveries with a total length of 1425m. “The Dutch superyacht cluster is clearly in a very healthy condition,” comments Jeroen Sirag, export director of the HISWA Holland Yachting Group. “In addition to these impressive figures, we have seen yards such as Amels, Feadship, Hakvoort and Mulder Shipyard all launch their largest projects to date in 2015, while Holland Jachtbouw, Heesen, Oceanco and Royal Huisman have all invested heavily in their facilities to win new contracts and manage growth.”

The Dutch equipment suppliers have also amply showcased their ability to provide the highest quality and latest technologies. A recent survey showed that 61% of suppliers are expecting the first half of 2016 to be a further improvement on the same period in 2015, a year in which they increased revenues by 6%.

The current forecast for 2016 from Dutch yards is at 25 deliveries with a total length of 1425m.

Amels superyacht La Familia at Singapore Yacht Show

Amels will host the 55-metre La Familia at the Singapore Yacht Show from 7-10 April. Delivered in May 2015, La Familia has recently been cruising Southeast Asia from the Singapore hub at the ONE°15 Marina Club. For Amels clients, the owner has kindly agreed to a limited number of exclusive visits on board La Familia in Singapore, by prior arrangement only.

La Familia has a Tim Heywood exterior design and the owner’s choice of Lambert & Thurnherr for the interior design. The yacht stands out with her beautiful dark blue paintwork. She has a touch and go helipad and is designed for full luxury cruising for up to 12 guests, with 14 crew providing the very highest levels of service for up to a week without port call.

“La Familia is performing fantastically well,” Captain Mike Rouse confirms. “In 10 months we have covered more than 16,000 nm. We are working our way east, cruising new and exciting destinations” The renowned design of the Dutch yacht builder boasts comfort and stability, all with a timeless, top pedigree design.“I definitely feel for the size of boat on the market, there isn’t a better investment the owner can make. The quality they get for what they pay is remarkable in comparison to any yard I know of,” stated Captain Rouse.

Amels launch 55-metre superyacht on schedule

On 12 March, Dutch luxury yacht builder Amels launched its latest 55-metre superyacht on schedule, thanks to a high degree of planning and cooperation with the owner’s team, captain and crew.

As outfitting continues, the yacht’s gleaming stainless steel highlights and stylish black accents provide a glimpse into the owner’s unique vision developed together with designer Tim Heywood. Amels is working hard to deliver this new Amels Limited Editions yacht on budget and on schedule.

Amels break new ground in luxury travel

High-end yachting is changing as a new generation of luxury traveller dreams of reaching destinations like Svalbard, Papua New Guinea and Antarctica’s Ross Sea. Now they can get there in style and safety, thanks to Dutch shipbuilder Damen’s investments in research and innovation.

The entrepreneurial SeaXplorer project is the world’s first range of purpose built private expedition yachts to comply with the United Nations International Maritime Organisation’s Polar Code. The three yachts in the 65 to 100-metre SeaXplorer range can reach our planet’s most spectacular polar and remote tropical areas.

“Reaching a place like Papua New Guinea or Antarctica is a truly unforgettable experience,” commented Ben Lyons, CEO at EYOS Expeditions. “Only when you have been there yourself can you really understand how life-changing expedition yachting is. As more people go, and then talk to their friends, this market will grow. And our experience is that private expedition clients also become passionate ambassadors for protecting these unique environments and cultures.”

The SeaXplorer keeps going when others turn back, thanks to its Polar Class hull that can navigate through waters with sea ice up to about a metre thick. And, unlike traditional superyachts, the SeaXplorer has facilities to enjoy full luxury service for up to 40 days without port call.

Amels first in the Netherlands to reach new IMO environmental milestone

Amels has achieved the final milestone in its 18-month ‘Tier III’ programme, making it the first Dutch yacht builder to slash harmful NOX emissions by almost 80%. This custom engineering project reduces the environmental impact of the new 57.70-metre Amels 188 superyacht without compromising quality and comfort on board.

The luxury yacht builder is the first in the Netherlands to meet ‘Tier III’ levels following main engine tests last week and generator set tests at the end of last year. Under stringent new regulations developed by the IMO, large new motor yachts over 500 tonnes with a global cruising area must drastically reduce the harmful NOX emissions in their engine exhaust gases.

Despite industry concerns about the lack of available technology and the tight timeframe, Amels is proud to be showing the way forward with its new Amels 188 yacht currently under construction.“When the IMO clarified the deadline for the Tier III limits, we realised that the industry had no available integrated solution and very limited practical knowhow,” explains Amels Technical Director Hans van Triet. “So we took the lead to ensure there would be no delays for our clients, no compromise on luxury space, and no compromise on our renowned low levels of noise and vibrations. And I believe we’re doing our part to face up to these technical challenges and reduce the environmental impact of our industry. That can only benefit us all.”

AMELS 188 TIER III engine test_1 AMELS 188 TIER III eninge test_2  AMELS 188_Rendering_2

AMELS ahead of the game following successful Tier III emissions test

AMELS 188_2000pixAmels has become the first Dutch yacht builder to meet stringent new IMO emissions regulations. The successful test under independent Lloyd’s Register class supervision ensures the generator sets of the new 57.70-metre AMELS 188 will comply with IMO Tier III NOx emissions limits. In fact, completed as the United Nations climate summit drew to a close, this achievement puts AMELS ahead of the regulations, which apply to vessels with keels laid from 1 January 2016.

“Even though we have already laid the keel for the AMELS 188, we are committed to managing power on board our motor yachts responsibly and efficiently,” explains Amels Project Manager Romke van der Linde. “We are the first yard in the Netherlands that can apply for IMO Tier III certification for luxury yacht generator sets and we will also be certifying the main engines when they arrive in February.”

Tier III, the next stage of the United Nations’ IMO nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions regulations, applies to vessels operating in North American and the United States Caribbean Sea NOx Emission Control Areas (ECAs). Additional areas are expected to be designated NOx ECAs in the future.

AMELS redefines beauty with smart hybrid 57.70 metre design

LE188--SIDE STB Balcony-SunsetUnveiled at the Monaco Yacht Show, the innovative 57.70-metre AMELS 188 (970 GT) combines advanced solutions including hybrid electrical power with the modern elegance and timeless pedigree of designer Tim Heywood. The Dutch luxury yacht builder’s completely new superyacht joins the 55 to 83-metre Limited Editions range.

As details emerged during the summer, the buzz around the AMELS  188 spread. The yard has nearly completed the engineering phase of the AMELS 188, which has a preliminary scheduled delivery in Spring 2018. Managing Director Rob Luijendijk says AMELS is already handling a number of serious enquiries.

“Our clients have been tremendously excited about this yacht,” he says. “If you look at the 55-metre AMELS  180 and the 60-metre AMELS 199, they are both unique and very successful designs. The 57.70-metre AMELS 188 fits perfectly between these two yachts, bringing something entirely new to a market segment that we have traditionally shown leadership in.”

The AMELS 188 is the first in the Limited Editions range engineered right from the start with the advanced AMELS Hybrid Power system. Based on modelling of trending voyage data, AMELS has a uniquely holistic approach to hybrid technology for hotel loads. Together with AMELS Heat Recovery to reuse energy already on board, the result is smart efficiency for a smaller ecological footprint and lower Total Cost of Ownership.

Convinced by Pascale Reymond and Andrew Langton’s talent and reputation for attention to detail, AMELS invited the design duo to create their vision of AMELS 188’s impressive interiors. Reymond Langton’s stunning design concept surpasses all expectations, renewing constantly with living, breathing spaces that invite you inside.

The AMELS 188’s smart layout maximises guest enjoyment – from open decks with generous outdoor spaces to the lure of the 30 square-metre Beach Club and the Wellness Centre’s gym, sauna and Turkish steam shower. The full-beam Owner’s Suite covers almost 80 square metres, and features a large folding balcony and mid-beam sliding doors for privacy.

AMELS confirms sale of new 55m Limited Editions superyacht

AMELS has finalised the sale of a new 55m AMELS 180, highlighting the enduring appeal of the highly successful Limited Editions approach. The timeless lines of Tim Heywood’s exterior design combine with proven pedigree and the benefits of faster delivery time, the absolute highest AMELS quality and the Owner’s choice of interior designer.

The new AMELS 180 will be delivered to her Owner in less than 2 years in Spring 2017. Gary Wright and Will Christie of Y.CO represented the buyer. The Owner’s choice of interior designer has not been revealed.

Highlights of the AMELS 180 design include the Owner’s suite with folding balcony and the main saloon’s port and starboard folding bulwarks, amplifying the inside-out feeling on board. At 25 metres long and covering 155 square metres, the vast top deck can make a very strong claim to being the largest Sun Deck you’ll find on any 55m yacht.

“The continuing success of the AMELS 180 and the whole 55 to 83-metre Limited Editions range has really continued unabated,” stated Managing Director Rob Luijendijk. “We’re seeing strong interest in our offer from the Middle East, Latin America and renewed interest from Russia. Exchange rates have played a role with our clients in the US, but we believe the key to our success is our commitment to continuously improve, listen to Owner feedback and strive for perfection.”

In September 2005 AMELS unveiled the Limited Editions concept at the Monaco Yacht Show. Since then AMELS has built more than 20 Limited Editions yachts, completing each yacht on schedule as promised. This achievement is unprecedented and proves how innovation can revolutionise the superyacht sector. Now, 10 years later, AMELS is preparing to introduce the sixth member of the highly successful Limited Editions family at this year’s Monaco Yacht Show.

First 69m yacht support vessel with heli hangar sold

The sale of a new 69m Yacht Support vessel marks the next level of development for the successful Yacht Support range built by DAMEN in cooperation with Dutch luxury yacht builder AMELS. The new SEA AXE 6911 is the first in the Yacht Support range to feature the ultimate technical area for serious super yacht helicopter operations – a fully enclosed hangar beneath the LY3 / MCA fully certified helideck.

The new build vessel is under construction at Damen Shipyards Gorinchem in the Netherlands and scheduled for delivery in June 2016 – the fifth purpose-built Yacht Support vessel to be delivered since DAMEN and AMELS introduced the revolutionary new concept to the superyacht market in 2009.

Client feedback in updated platform

Heading the dedicated Yacht Support team at DAMEN, Product Director Mark Vermeulen says the new project builds on experience gained from previous deliveries ‘6711’ and GARÇON, as well as input from the client.

“In fact, the owner’s team came to us with a lot of client-specific customisations for what was then our 67-metre platform,” he explains. “They put a lot of thought into how the owner would like to operate the Yacht Support vessel in combination with the mother yacht. This has created new possibilities within the design, resulting in an extremely high-end yachting experience. Now we’ve put a lot of that client feedback into the updated design – the SEA AXE 6911.”

As well as the helicopter hangar, the extended 69m platform also includes a dedicated helicopter workshop below deck, a well-equipped dive centre, plus 250m2 of deck space for tenders and toys, and 110m2 of below deck storage. At approximately 1,200gt, the vessel is also large enough to accommodate 22 crew and staff while sailing at 20 knots.

Five Yacht Support designs from 43 to 85m

Based on DAMEN’s high-speed SEA AXE patrol and offshore supply vessels, the Yacht Support range has been developed for demanding superyacht owners who take these purpose-built vessels all over the world carrying more toys, tenders, personnel, provisions, specialist gear and of course helicopters. Particularly for destinations with less developed infrastructure, this innovative solution opens up new possibilities for luxury yachting experiences and has justifiably generated great interest.

Yacht Support by DAMEN and AMELS

The Yacht Support concept is a cooperation between DAMEN, one of the world’s largest shipbuilding companies, and AMELS, the luxury yacht builder within DAMEN. AMELS has an intimate understanding of how superyacht clients can benefit from Yacht Support solutions, while naval architecture, research and development, engineering and the build are the responsibility of DAMEN’s dedicated Yacht Support team.

Volpini reborn at Amels

After an extensive winter refit at Amels in the Netherlands, Volpini is back in the Mediterranean and her new owner is enjoying the stunning as-new Amels superyacht. Amels successfully achieved its key mission – nothing short of a rebirth while ensuring the integrity of the yacht’s original character.

Owner Representative Ben Young of SYM oversaw the project on the 49.30m superyacht, originally delivered by Amels in 2004. “After months of consultations with leading designers and a review of proposals from refit yards around the world, the decision was taken to return the yacht to Holland and back into the careful hands of the Amels team.”

He says the reason the new owner chose Amels for the refit was to ensure the continuity of the same standard carried out throughout. “We wanted it to look seamless, so you don’t notice it’s had the refit. The team did a fantastic job. I would strongly recommend to anyone with a yacht of that quality to return back to the shipyard that built her to ensure absolute consistency and maintain the integrity of the yacht.”

Original builder

The scope of work included a full repaint, interior customisation, machinery and electronics upgrades. Amels treats repaints with as much attention to detail as new builds – with the same spectacular results. “We go all the way back and start with primer,” explains Amels Refit Project Manager Frank van Loo. “Doors, hatches, everything comes off.”

The interior upgrades enjoyed the same focus on quality, notes Volpini’s Captain Nathan McFadyen. “The owner wanted it to look exactly as it looked 10 years ago when it was brought out. We had some woodwork done in France prior to coming here and they couldn’t match the wood at all.” As the original builder, Amels was in the perfect position to ensure the best finish, calling in original interior co-maker Metrica. The results, Captain McFadyen says, is perfect. “It’s absolutely fantastic.”

During her stay at Amels, Volpini also underwent a 10-year class survey – something that Captain McFadyen was also pleased about. “The Amels guys and the project managers helped us so much in organising that. It takes a lot of pressure off the captain.”

With the project completed on time and on budget, Volpini’s new owner was ready for a summer’s sailing in the Mediterranean. Amels has now completed almost 40 refit projects, including both Amels and non-Amels yachts.