Royal Huisman

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the Royal Huisman shipyard, Vollenhove
Athena, Royal Huisman's largest yacht

Royal Huisman is a Dutch shipyard specialized in the building and repair of sailing yachts.

The shipyard was established in 1884 in Ronduite as a builder of wooden workboats and fishing boats. In 1954 Jan Huisman specialised in steel sailing yachts, and his son Wolter transitioned to aluminium hulls in 1964 with the 30 ft Van de Stadt Avenir series. In the 1970s the development of extruded aluminium masts and cooperation with New York designers Sparkman & Stephens (S&S) enabled Huisman to tap into performance yachts and the international racing circuit: The shipyard launched its largest yacht to date, Jakob Isbrandtsen's prize-winning 60 ft S&S sloop Running Tide, at its new deep-water premises in Vollenhove in 1970.[1] In 1973 Albert Büll's Huisman-built 47 ft S&S sloop Saudade I won the Admiral's Cup for Germany. In 1976, the shipyard built Conny van Rietschoten's 65 ft S&S ketch Flyer for the 1977–78 Whitbread Round the World Race, which she won.[2] Their success was repeated in the 1981–82 Whitbread race with van Rietschoten's new 76 ft Frers-designed sloop Flyer II which took line honours in all four legs.

In turn the shipyard developed successfully in Maxi yachts and large cruising yachts with designers Germán Frers and Ron Holland. Upon its hundredth anniversary in 1984 the shipyard was awarded a royal charter by Queen Beatrix and changed its name to Royal Huisman. In 1989 the yard took part in a new trend of large classic yacht revival with the complete restoration of Elizabeth Meyer's prestigious 1934 J-class yacht Endeavour.[3] A number of the shipyard's subsequent yachts received industry awards from yacht owners and the press.[4] In 2014 Royal Huisman became a shareholder of the St Barts & Newport Bucket Regattas[5] and Royal Doeksen became a shareholder of Royal Huisman.[6]

Construction takes place in a 30,000m² purpose-built facility with three building sheds, a paint shed, a refit shed as well as manufacturing halls operated by Rondal, a subsidiary of Royal Huisman specialized in furlers, winches, deck fittings and pre-impregnated carbonfiber spars.[7] Some bespoke yachts are Bruce Katz' 143 ft ketch Juliet,[8] James H. Clark's 156 ft sloop Hyperion and 295 ft three-mast schooner Athena,[9][10] and Bill Joy's 190 ft ketch Ethereal.[11]

See Also[edit]


  1. ^ The Boat, The Washington Post, 1983-06-24 
  2. ^ Cornelis van Rietschoten & Barry Pickthall (1979), Flyer: the quest to win the Round the World Race, Stanford Maritime, ISBN 9780540071845 
  3. ^ Barbara Lloyd (1989-06-21), Re-launching a Grand Era, New York Times 
  4. ^ Awards received by Royal Huisman yachts 
  5. ^ Four long term supporters take ownership of Bucket Regattas,, 2014-10-14 
  6. ^ Focus on expansion for Royal Huisman with the entrance of new shareholder Royal Doeksen (PDF), Royal Doeksen, 2014-10-28 
  7. ^ Rondal 
  8. ^ Jack A. Somer (1993), Juliet, ISBN 9783884121726 
  9. ^ Michael Lewis (1999), The New New Thing, W. W. Norton & Company, ISBN 9780393066210 
  10. ^ Jack A. Somer (2005), Athena, Stitching Foundation, ISBN 9789090195179 
  11. ^ Angela Audretsch (2015-02-11), The hybrid theory, synfo