A shipbuilding heritage stretching back centuries

Our Story

Damen Yachting has a rich history in luxury yacht building. In 2018 we celebrated 100 years of Amels and we can trace the maritime DNA at our yards back for centuries. Damen Yachting, a division within the Damen Shipyards Group, was created in 2019.
The division combines the pedigree and heritage of our Amels yachts with our growing portfolio of SeaXplorer yachts and Yacht Support vessels.

Roeland Berrevoets
“The ground beneath our feet is steeped in shipbuilding tradition, a maritime DNA that has shaped our docks and locks, but also the working lives of generations of craftsmen and women. It’s a heritage that we are proud to continue.”
– Roeland Berrevoets, Director Operations

Our Dutch heritage: 1315 to 1991

We are based in Vlissingen, the spiritual home of Dutch shipbuilding. You’ll find that heritage not only in our yards but also in the families of our craftsmen and women.

Dutch centre of shipbuilding excellence for 700 years

Before it officially became a city in 1315, Vlissingen was a thriving fishing port on the North Sea. From the 14th Century it became increasingly important as a centre for building warships for the Dutch Admiralty and trading vessels for the Dutch West India Company. Around 1688, the shipyard complex was expanded. In this illustration you can see the shipbuilding activities on the site of the Damen Yachting head office today.

Proud Legacy

Many of us at Damen Yachting come from a long line of shipbuilders in the south of the Netherlands – for centuries the heart of Dutch shipbuilding. Our Vlissingen City yard is the former Royal Schelde yard, acquired by Damen in 2000. We are proud to continue the tradition of local shipbuilding expertise. We like to show first-time visitors our historic Royal Schelde headquarters at the yard. The history of Dutch shipbuilding is embodied in the great halls of this magnificent building.

Northern roots

Amels began in 1918 as a boat building business in the north of the Netherlands. In this small shipyard in the centre of Makkum, we delivered around 100 vessels of up to 20 metres from wooden fishing boats to steel tugboats.

With a view to building bigger, Amels moved the yard to what would become its home until 2005. We began working on larger commercial ships and coasters. In the mid-late 1970s, we went on to diversify our shipbuilding skills and apply them to a more specialized market sector in high-value luxury yachts.

In 1991 the Damen family acquired Amels. The name Amels was retained, preserving the brand which was, by then, synonymous with luxury yacht building and is now also renowned for its high value, quality and finish. The shipyard in Makkum remained operational for the following 14 years before we established a new home at the larger facilities in Vlissingen.

1991 to present: Damen

The Damen Family

Since acquiring Amels in 1991, the Damen family has continued to invest in its yacht building business, which is today a cornerstone of its iconic shipbuilding group.

Taking over his father’s shipyard in 1969 with six employees, Kommer Damen has grown the business into Damen Shipyards Group, the world’s leading specialist shipbuilder with 12,000 employees and 35 shipyards around the globe. Damen builds everything from navy ships to tug boats. To this day, Damen remains a family-owned business.

Rose Damen, a third generation family shareholder, is Managing Director of Damen Yachting.

“It’s very important that we have hands-on family involvement in our yachting business, reflecting our family values there – especially as our clients are often family business owners as well.”

Kommer Damen, Chairman

Sharing a history over borders

Damen Yachting’s heritage includes the rich shipbuilding history at our international yards. From our North Sea head office in Vlissingen, we operate multiple hull building and project locations in the Netherlands, Poland, Turkey and Romania.

Our team today

Since moving our Amels yacht building operations to Vlissingen in 2003, we have established the largest superyacht facility in the Netherlands.

In 2005 we introduced the Amels Limited Editions range. Alongside Amels yachts, our parent company Damen later introduced its own innovative new yachting products including Yacht Support in 2008 and SeaXplorer luxury expedition yachts in 2015. In 2019, the new Damen Yachting division brought together the entire yachting portfolio.

Today we are new generation of shipbuilders with our head office in Vlissingen.