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Thailand: Innovative boat building in Chonburi

General information
Project location: Sattahip, Thailand
Consortium: BV Scheepswerf en Machinefabriek v/h A. van de Grijp, Global Boat Builders Co. Ltd. and Yacht Dimension Thailand Co. Ltd.
Project Budget: Euro 1.0 million
External financing: 50% grant funding by PSOM
Project period: July 2008 - June 2010

BV Scheepsbouw en Machinefabriek v/h A. van de Grijp from the Netherlands and its Thai partners Global Boat Building Co. Ltd. and Yacht Dimension Thailand Co. Ltd. established a small-scale state-of-the-art shipbuilding facility in the vicinity of the town of Sattahip in Thailand. The mission of their venture is to be a producer of high quality small size motorboats which are manufactured according to and in compliance with current international standards.

The investments in this project relate to the introduction of modern manufacturing technology that is mostly new to the Thai boat building industry. The main innovative aspect of this technology is the replacement of traditional solid tropical hardwood by a sandwich type of material that uses a combination of waste wood, polyester and epoxy resin and the manufacturing in a climate controlled workshop. The waste wood is normal high quality teak wood, but it is sourced from the furniture industry, where it is disposed of as “clean production waste”.

The sandwich material has excellent specifications that make it a suitable and strong construction material for boats. With this new material, boats can be manufactured weighing less than 80% of the weight of comparable polyester or wooden boats with handcrafted wood finishing. As a result, such a lightweight boat can be powered by a much lighter engine and therefore it will have low fuel consumption. In most of the target markets in Europe this is judged to be a very important customer benefit (comparable to the relevance of fuel consumption of a car or of any other means of transport).

The company invested in production infrastructure (a climate controlled production room with air-conditioning, vapour extraction equipment and dust collection equipment, 3-phase power supply), production tools and equipment (moulds and surface working machinery, lifts, cranes etc.), project development and project management cost and in marketing.

The products are  produced in four different boat types which are identified by the number indicating the length of the hull in meters, i.e. the 12.00, the 9.50, the 8.20 and the 7.20. Substantial investments were made in product specific production tools for each of the four types of boats. The project covers investments in production tools for the 8.20 in the order of € 1.0 million.

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