Meet the New Owners of Moonen Yachts

Matthew and Louise Baxter have rescued the ailing Moonen shipyard in 's-Hertogenbosch,

The troubled Dutch superyacht builder Moonen Yachts has two new owners. 

The luxury yacht builder from the Netherlands, is known for building semi custom yachts ranging from 30 to 50 metres in length.

Now, an Australian couple, Matthew and Louise Baxter have rescued the ailing shipyard in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, and as the new owners have exciting plans for its future.

Matthew, of Scottish origin, is a successful Australian businessman and entrepreneur, who in 1972 established the A M Group, a privately owned worldwide group of manufacturing companies of which he is executive chairman.

Matthew has been a sailor all his life mostly owning sailing yachts, the last one was a Swan 60 which he owned for over twenty years.

The couple still own another yacht they first purchased over 40 years ago.  She is a S&S 40 foot designed by Olin Stephens. Built in 1970 by N Z Kauri in New Zealand.  Called Barbarian she is in Mathews own words “The most beautiful timber sailing yacht and rather like a Steinway piano, she is just a work of art. It was while sailing Barbarian that they encountered the 26 metre Aurora, their first sighting of a Moonen.  She was anchored in Pittwater where the couple own a house.  Mathew explains we sailed around her and despite the fact that she was built in 2004 Louise and I loved her design and looks, she stood out because of her classic design. That’s when we thought we should look more closely at Moonen Yachts.

While they do not currently own a Moonen yacht they do own a Fleming 55 which they use for a more sedate time with their rescue dog “Ruby”.

Best known for what it used to describe as pocket sized superyachts Moonen, a midsized Dutch pedigree shipyard with a dedicated and highly skilled workforce.

Impeccable pedigree

In Matthew’s believes, “The brand Moonen has an impeccable pedigree, the yachts are true Dutch quality and the team is young, reliable, talented, and very loyal to the company. These characteristics are fundamental for success. I realise that the Yard has to re-energise, but we are well prepared with a strong strategic plan and a strong balance sheet, I see a promising future ahead.”

Moonen build pocket Superyachts

He and Johan Dubbelman, Moonen’s CEO, are convinced that the 30 to 50 metre superyacht market is solid for well-built designs, and they have plans to increase production.

Spec yacht for sale

Currently the yard has one 36-metre Martinique in build, and ready for sale, she’s 50% ready.  The focus at the yard is to have her on display at the Monaco Yacht Show 2020.

Then the aim is to scale up production efficiently and start two new build projects in the upcoming 6 months. Following on with the current build Moonen will start a second 36 metre and a 44 metre designed by Studio Indigo.

By building on speculation, Mathew believes delivery times will be shorter and customisation still possible, which is an absolute advantage for future clients.”

The majority of the staff and workforce, which are very important to Moonen, have been reappointed and are enthusiastic to be part of this strong new leadership.

building a 36 metre yacht on spec at Moonen

To assure continuous high-end quality, Moonen Yachts will reinforce the cooperation with long-term strategic partners and subcontractors.

Mathew  says, “At Moonen Yachts we understand and engage with our customers and deliver that piece of art perfectly fitting into personal wishes and styles. From the drawing board to the open seas, customers are guided through every strategic choice in the design and building process.”

Driven professionals

He adds, “Our team consists of driven professionals with an undying passion for yacht-building and a typical Dutch no-nonsense mentality. By taking a truly personal approach, we ensure you always get the best. The company has been building luxury yachts for over half a century. Our rich heritage and original vision have been maintained and expanded throughout by a close-knit team of in-house professionals. By embracing past, present and future, we will always strive to stay ahead of the curve.  Some aspects of our work might have changed, but one thing has always remained: the passion of the Dutch team and clients is, was and always will be the driving force behind our yachts’ l quality and beauty.”