Not surprisingly, many aspiring superyacht owners are unsure of their embarkation point. Where is the best place to start? A good first move is to call Blohm+Voss, as we have a series of detailed, pre-drawn plans that might well fire the imagination and spark a flow of ideas. In the strictest confidence, we can discuss all the options. Fully bespoke or semi-custom? Around 80 metres, or more substantial? A bias towards sporting action or calm relaxation? Any would-be owner entranced by the lure of a superyacht may have an in-depth discussion with no commitment or obligation.
We can give an indication of budgets and build-times, although inevitably these will be guesstimates. Importantly, we can share the love of our craft and pass on some ideas and inspirational guidance.
Just as each Blohm+Voss yacht is unique, the project development process we apply to each vessel is also tailor-made. We allow scope for design innovation while maintaining our uncompromising attitude to quality. This approach – open-minded towards fresh thinking while remaining true to our traditional shipbuilding values – has reinforced our worldwide reputation. Keeping the owner and owner’s representatives at the centre of the process, we give creativity a free reign while controlling essential issues such as timing and costing. Innovative design ideas often require an extended project development period, but we save time by producing high-quality reference standards and prototypes.
Throughout the development and build process we work hard to provide an exemplary experience for the owner, advisors, captain and crew. The joy of owning a Blohm+Voss superyacht starts long before the naming ceremony.
During our 137-year history we have constructed over 980 vessels and built a vast store of shipbuilding knowledge. The average age of our engineers is higher than usual and many have been with us for most of their careers. Employing such a loyal, well-established team strengthens our policy of building and retaining knowledge inside the company, rather than outsourcing our engineering activity. At the same time, our valuable bank of knowledge has helped us establish fruitful long-term relationships with the most proficient specialist subcontractors.
A benefit of our longevity and depth of experience is that our engineers are adept at reacting to issues that in less knowledgeable hands could scupper a superyacht build schedule. We can turn the most innovative design concepts into smoothly-efficient reality and deal with complex engineering challenges.
To us, construction is much more than the ‘build’ in shipbuilding. It is integrated into every stage of every project, from the initial contract discussions to the pre-delivery sea trials. Working in close cooperation with our engineering, purchasing and project management specialists, our 360-strong construction team helps define time-scales, build techniques and costs. This system works. The Blohm+Voss yacht voted ‘Motor Yacht of the Year’ in 2011 was hailed by the annual Superyachts book as “A supreme example of the superyacht industry’s design and construction genius”. Genius or not, we have been perfecting our construction skills for many, many years.
We pioneered the use of self-combusting engines in grand yachts, we built the first yacht with an anti-roll stabiliser and we built the first yachts divided into multi-compartment sections with centrally operated fire and flood doors.
During the build period, our project managers are the first point of contact between the shipyard and the owner's team. They display a wide range of abilities, as their task is to orchestrate highly complex working environments, often with several hundred people working in parallel. At Blohm+Voss, our project managers possess the planning skills to oversee a multitude of schedules, the technical knowledge to liaise with the engineering and construction teams and the management skills to control the whole process with maximum quality and safety. Crucially, they are able to see all points of view, especially the owner’s.
Clear communication and strict follow-up are the ultimate keys to success. During each new-build programme, the project manager must blend the team’s creative, engineering, procurement, construction and outfitting skills.
At Blohm+Voss, maintenance is built in, not bolted on. In parallel with a yacht’s project development, we develop a planned programme of care. We put together a strategy to reduce maintenance tasks and running costs and we organise the captain and crew’s operational requirements in the most cost-efficient way. A programme to plot the first 5 or 10-years’ life of a vessel, with regular pre-planned returns to the yard for predicted maintenance work, is a key part of this strategy.
Just as we take a smarter, quality-focused approach to the design and construction of superyachts, we apply smarter thinking to the complete relationship between shipyard and superyacht owner. We handle the paperwork entailed in the handover of a yacht to the owner with the same care and attention we give to the engineering of an essential component.