For 40 years, here in Holland, Moonen Yachts have been building some of what we believe are the finest and most well-constructed superyachts afloat. We Dutch are known worldwide for our yacht building and at Moonen, it is our mission to take the art to the next level. We use world class materials and finishes sourced internationally in order to deliver unique superyachts, built perfectly for our wonderful clients who are as excited as we are to call themselves Moonen owners.
We celebrate our 40th anniversary this year, and we are proud of our expanding team of expert shipwrights and engineers who hand build our yachts, all of whom play an integral part in the creation of those yachts carrying the Moonen name. They are family; some of them have been working in our outfitting sheds since close to the beginning. We are a small operation by comparison to some others, but our family of craftsmen are dedicated and hugely skilled. Each member of the team bringing their own experience and enthusiasm to their role and each has their own story to tell of their passion for yachting.
NICKY VAN ZON, TECHNICAL DIRECTOR
For Nicky van Zon, Moonen’s Technical Director, his love for the industry started as a youngster when he became a keen yachtsman. Sailing with his parents, Nicky knew how to sail long before he knew how to swim. But before he was allowed to take a boat out on his own, his parents made sure he knew how to tread water at least! The decision to go into the yachting industry came during Nicky’s naval architecture studies and it was at this moment that he got in touch with Moonen for the first time. As the story goes, he applied for an internship, and has never left us!
Making a career within the company, Nicky moved from Intern to Assistant Project Manager. He then became a Project Manager and finally Technical Director, and has now been with Moonen for 13 years.
But what made Nicky stick with Moonen? “I always felt there was a new opportunity on the horizon within the company. I was young and eager, I was challenged and given opportunities to grow. A big part of me staying was, well, just take a look at our yachts! I was so proud to be a part of the team that had a hand in building them. Because we are a small shipyard and only build a couple of superyachts each year, the team and I have a really strong connection to each and every build.”
Each Moonen is designed and built for serious cruising. The naval architecture and hull design of recently delivered 36m Moonen, M/Y KOKORO, was executed by René van der Velden Yacht Design in collaboration with Diana Yacht Design. René says “Today many clients like to travel at higher speeds than a typical displacement vessel can offer, without requiring planing or even semi-displacement top speed. At the same time they are attracted to the solid feel of a steel hull. There is also a preference to maximise the amount of (indirect) natural light in the interior and the view to the outside, requiring a lot of glass.
The above combination of requirements may sound simple and logical, but are a real challenge in terms of naval architecture. To keep the weight in hand, the hull of KOKORO was constructed in High Tensile Steel.”
The designers carried out preliminary structural calculations to find the optimum arrangement of longitudinal and transverse stiffeners, which provided a weight saving of 15%. “We opted for a design that would be highly efficient over the entire speed range. The hull shape also enhances a comfortable ride in all conditions.” Noise reduction also makes longer voyages more enjoyable and Moonen are well known for their ‘silent ships’.
CORNEE DE BRUIN, HEAD OF MECHANICS
Cornee de Bruin, Head of Mechanics says, “All components including pumps, hydraulic blocks and electrical cabinets are mounted on rubber dampers which absorb noise and vibration. All pipes are mounted on rubber dampers too, especially in the engine room. The generators and exhausts are mounted on specially designed frames and the generators have the added benefit of also being mounted on air suspension, so essentially, they are floating on air which keeps the noise and vibration to an absolute minimum. Nothing is fitted directly below the main deck or on the bulkhead, to ensure no noise or vibration passes into the main living spaces.”
Long distance passage making relies on providing a safe and comfortable environment for the yacht’s guests and crew. Minimising noise is a very big part of delivering on this environment.
Prior to handover to her owner, each Moonen is put through a rigorous sea trial program where every part of the yacht is pushed to her limits. “During the commissioning stage, we take measurements of the noise and vibration levels and with these results we can then adjust and regulate the settings of the air suspension for the generators. Whilst sailing, the hydraulic system is pressureless, so hydraulic noise cannot travel through the pipelines which are running throughout the accommodation” says Cornee.
Moonen yachts are built for serious offshore passage making, and whilst many of their owners enjoy them in the Mediterranean, they have the capability to go much further.
JOS VAN DONGEN, HEAD OF INTERIORS
Training young people is a key part of Moonen’s philosophy. Jos van Dongen, head of our interior department, has been on the Moonen team for over 25 years. A family background in carpentry meant that Jos learnt this craft from a very young age. At the age of 12, he began to hone his skills at school. The first piece he ever made was a hand crafted side table. This later evolved into building kitchens during various summer jobs and also to assisting his uncle in his business.
Living very close to the river and with a few boats in the family, Jos was immersed in the ‘on the water’ lifestyle. Back then, Moonen yachts were prepared for sea trials in the port where he lived. This is where he first remembers seeing his first Moonen; “LADY M was a really big yacht, I remember seeing her poking out over the dykes. In my small hometown, the dykes are around 5-6 metres high! Seeing LADY M towering above them as a youngster was really impressive!”
From that moment Jos decided that working for Moonen would be a great opportunity to further develop and refine his skills. And so, at 16 years old, he became the youngest apprentice in the carpentry department. Jos served a 4 year carpentry apprenticeship with Moonen before moving to the outfitting department of the shipyard. Over the next few years, he went on to qualify in mechanical design and engineering. This enabled him to move into interior engineering in 2002 and then in 2008 he became the Head of Interiors, the position he holds today.
A key part of the Moonen team, Jos says of working here, “It’s a package deal. Moonen feels like family. We’re a small group of dedicated craftsmen who love delivering beautiful yachts to their owners. In my job I’m across everything from start to delivery. From day one I’m in charge of the end result and this of course makes me very proud.
I always say we are great at making decisions quickly, because we have the ability to come together in a small group and discuss what is needed moving forward. We trust each other, which is so important within a shipyard, and that’s why we deliver such high quality, well-crafted yachts.”
“It’s great to work with high quality products from fabrics to veneers and marble. In the carpentry world, Moonen, in my view, is the best of the best. What I love about working in the interior department, is that what we do here, is what customises each yacht for her owners. Every yacht is a one off, never the same, and that is very special.”
At Moonen, all our yachts, like their owners, are unique. As we always say, when you invest in a Moonen, you’re not just getting a yacht, you’re getting a way of life, and you are joining our family.