The two companies are retaining their separate brand identities, and their targeting of different clientele within the sailing-superyacht market. Claasen, established in 1985, has particular expertise with J-Class yachts. It built the J Lionheart and the hulls of three other Js. It further restarted construction of Svea, set to be the world’s largest J-Class yacht, several weeks ago with Vitters. Svea was transferred to Vitters’ facility. Furthermore, Claasen has delivered two Truly Classic sailing superyachts and the first F-Class sailing superyacht. Vitters, established in 1990, focuses on performance-oriented sailing superyachts, especially ones employing carbon fiber. Famed deliveries include Ganesha, Marie, and Inouï.
Despite retaining separate identities, Vitters and Claasen now have a common management team. As such, Vitters and Claasen will cooperate on various projects. They will also share knowledge on a project-management level, due to using many of the same subcontractors. And, they’ll jointly exhibit at shows and pursue other marketing endeavors together.
Speaking about Claasen Shipyards, Louis Hamming, CEO of Vitters, says the yard’s particular expertise with J-Class yachts “will be a major asset to Vitters.” Joachim Kieft, CEO of Claasen, adds that working with Vitters will bolster its efforts to grow and “achieve our ambitious goals for the coming years.” Indeed, Claasen will benefit from Vitters’ ownership of another shipyard. UK-based Green Marine will supply Claasen with hulls when owners want high-tech composite yachts. (Green Marine will continue supplying hulls to Vitters and other builders, too.)
In the meantime, each yard is continuing to finish yachts under construction. Vitters has a 108-foot (33-meter) sailing yacht and a 106’6” (32.5-meter) performance cruising sloop in build, besides the above-mentioned Svea. Claasen is building the third Truly Classic 90, to be christened Acadia come March.