â€œA custom yard takes an original yacht design for a client, one that is often very challenging, and creates the final result,â€ says Johan Valentijn, industrial manager of Abu Dhabi MAR, a relatively new custom builder already making its mark on the superyacht market. â€œUnlike a series approach, the custom-yacht process is reborn every time because youâ€™re starting from scratch.
The hull shape, design innovations, and details are new.â€
says that a custom build typically begins with choosing a world-class yacht designer like Tim Heywood, Donald Starkey, Andrew Winch, or a dozen others, who do preliminary drawings and then contact shipyards for quotes. â€œOf course, some yards are restricted on the size ranges,â€ says Valentijn. â€œOur yard in Abu Dhabi can build yachts up to 200 meters (656 feet).
They would total more than 800 meters (2,625 feet) if the hulls were laid end to end. â€œThat represents a significant portion of the global order book for yachts over 60 meters,â€ says Valentijn
Building such large yachts, adds Valentijn
, requires an enormous amount of technical expertise that only a handful of shipyards like Abu Dhabi MAR possess. â€œAfter all, youâ€™re really building a compact, floating city that involves the latest technological advances,â€ he
says. â€œYou need to find a shipyard with the accumulated knowledge base that we have.