Gouwerok Shipyard goes back six generations and all started with a wedding. In 1851, Arien Gouwerok married Maria Antonia Akerboom and took over the shipyard from his father-in-law. Gouwerok Shipyard was born.
During the years that followed, Arien's son Jasper took over the shipyard, followed grandson Adrianus. The shipyard relocated from the river Amstel to Amsterdam-West, causing the growing clientèle to change from contractors to horticulturists. These horticulturists used wooden horticulturists' barges or flat-bottomed boats to transport their vegetables to the market in the city.
With the arrival of increasing numbers of steel flat-bottomed boats, less replacement and maintenance were needed. Jasper, the son of Adrianus, therefore changed the course of the company and focused with his brother Willem on building steel pleasure boats.
During the war years, the brothers succeeded in modernising the shipyard to enable them to continue at full pelt after the war and establish their name as shipbuilders thanks to their carefully finished boats. Demand for a Gouwerok hull increased and in 1953, a collaboration began with Visch Shipyard of Warmond.
In 1955, the yard relocated to Aalsmeer and increasing numbers of Gouwerok cruisers were launched. They were known as West-End cruisers, named after the Westeinderplas lakes. When Gouwerok began to collaborate with Van Dam Shipyard in 1964, the construction of hulls for sailing yachts began and they developed an excellent reputation thanks to their familiar sleek bodies.
The sailing yachts are now so large that they no longer fit in the shed or on the yard. The usual method for building a boat is no longer satisfactory and a new revolutionary method was devised that Gouwerok is still using: everything is built on the ground in sections, before being constructed later. This approach is typical of Gouwerok, which also leads in other areas of shipbuilding, thereby delivering increasingly sleeker and more beautiful work time and time again.
After relocating to a new location on the other side of the Dorpsstraat in Aalsmeer, the yard's current location, in 1982, the first aluminium ship was built: a 17.5-metre Nordia sailing yacht. The following year, a hull for a mega sailing yacht was launched. His sailing yacht, Thalia, is still built in steel and has a length of 48.5 metres, but gradually, more and more are built in aluminium. First parts, but also entire hulls, especially for sailing yachts.
Just like in steel, building in aluminium was initially pioneering. Aluminium in itself is not as strong as steel, but it must be able to withstand the immense forces of water and wind just as effectively. The shipbuilders at Gouwerok have also succeeded in this field and in 1994, the first high-speed motor yacht was produced in aluminium, followed by another high-speed aluminium mega yacht in 1997: the 49.5-metre Sussurro.
Now that it has become apparent that it is technically possible to create these long lengths in aluminium, it is attracting more customers and numerous aluminium mega yachts are being produced. The longest so far, a 78-metre aluminium motor yacht built in 2009, is the most well-known of its type worldwide.
Gouwerok is now a renowned name in the shipbuilding industry. With unprecedented expertise and major powers of adaptability, the yacht builders at Gouwerok, both now and in the future, are tackling each new challenge with a top-quality product being the only permissible result.