‘Beauty is more than skin deep’ says the proverb, and this is certainly true at Blohm+Voss. We create refined, beautiful superyachts by examining every detail of the proposed vessel and finding an engineering solution that enhances its efficiency and its beauty. Our ruthless pursuit of perfection drives our determination to deliver a craft that is nothing less than exceptional.
Throughout the yacht, we apply smarter thinking based on our obsession with quality and our appreciation of beauty. The result is a seaworthy, noteworthy superyacht that delivers the ultimate yachting experience for the owner, guests and crew.
We are more interested in the future than the past, yet we are also proud of our illustrious history. Way back in 1900, before the term ‘superyacht’ had been invented, we built the first ship designed exclusively for pleasure cruising.
Since then, we have applied the skills and experience gained constructing large vessels to the craft of creating private yachts. Each one is unique, yet each one owes a great deal to the knowledge and insights we have gained over the years. As our BV80 project gets under way, we face the future with growing excitement and we look forward to celebrating our 140th Anniversary in 2017.
In 1877, Hermann Blohm joined forces with fellow engineer Ernst Voss to create a small shipyard in Hamburg. Gradually, despite many setbacks, their business expanded to become the largest single shipyard site in Europe, building the world’s largest passenger ships. A hint of future superyachts came at the turn of the century, when a ‘pleasure yacht’ was launched. In 1930 the steamship Europa won the legendary Blue Riband for the fastest transatlantic passage. Another departure came the following year, when we delivered our first yacht, as the classification is understood today.
Needless to say, our shipyard was pressed into service during the world wars that ravaged Europe. Following the Armistice, we turned our attention to meeting the needs of merchant shipping lines and the world’s navies.
A note in our 1986 Annual Report stated “In the course of the year we could book an order for a small cruise ship for a foreign customer involving extraordinarily high quality standards”. The order was for the Katalina, a 65m yacht with a helicopter landing deck and an amateur diving station. She was to be the forerunner of a succession of luxuriously appointed yachts, each one designed to be markedly different from her predecessor. Together, they led us in a new direction, voyaging to the extremes of creativity and the upper echelons of luxury.
Buoyed by our enduring obsession with quality, Blohm+Voss superyachts continued to make waves. Working with many of the world’s most celebrated designers, our engineers found new ways to innovate below deck, on deck and above deck.
Superyachts are among the most advanced vessels afloat and they require a shipyard with specialist facilities and unique expertise. At Blohm+Voss we have the workshops, machinery and, crucially, engineers and project co-ordination specialists to deliver the superior quality that has made our name.
With over 450,000 sqm of shipyard space, we have room to deploy the widest range of shipbuilding techniques employing an impressive array of equipment. Our fitting-out quays have 12 cranes with lifting capacities up to 50t and the lifting equipment in our workshops includes various gantry cranes and several lifting gallows. As well as heavy-duty lifting equipment, our workshops have specialist machinery for milling, turning, pressing, broaching, slotting, grinding, boring, cutting and bending.
Our shipyard is among the largest in Europe, our engineering and construction workforce is supremely experienced and our track record as a superyacht specialist is internationally renowned.
The yard is governed by strict entrance control and our covered docks protect construction work from unwanted attention. A safety officer is always on duty and firemen are permanently on standby. If required, a remotely controlled mobile fire detection system with direct connection to the fire station can be installed aboard yachts during construction. Fire safety staff can also be based on board and our fire-fighting trucks can be dispatched within 3 minutes. For added reassurance we have a dedicated accident and emergency ward at the shipyard and our health and safety specialists include a rescue attendant and doctor.
Acknowledging that superyacht construction is a collaborative process, we have office and studio facilities for the exterior and interior design team and owners’ project managers. A helipad eases the path of owners’ flying visits.
The Hamburg section of the River Elbe is a respected centre of shipbuilding excellence and the city is a perfectly placed hub for an extensive network of subcontractors, classification societies, technical services and many specialised trades.
Superyacht build teams will feel at home here. Luxury hotels in the classic tradition include the Park Hyatt, Fairmont, Atlantic Kempinski and Le Meridien, while the city has a wide range of contemporary places to stay. Owners’ representatives planning to remain in the city for long periods will find an excellent choice of furnished accommodation for rent. Families moving to Hamburg during a superyacht’s construction often send their children to the city’s thriving international school.
Hamburg is an exciting place to live, work and play. An ever-changing array of cafes, restaurants and retail ventures brings an energetic buzz to the streets and there is a lively cultural scene. Skippers, naval architects and yacht brokers will feel enlivened by Hamburg’s ambiance, as the city has a diverse selection of concert halls, theatres, cinemas and nightclubs. Hit international musicals are performed here, major stars stop off regularly and live music thrives in unique harbourside venues. From dusk to dawn, the nightlife continues to forge Hamburg’s reputation as a city that rarely sleeps.
Amid the action and day-to-day bustle there are peaceful enclaves. Around 14% of the city is made up of parks and recreational areas, creating generous spaces for relaxation.