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  • 05 October 2019

The Story of Boaz, Recruiter at Xelvin Yacht and Ship Building

The employees of Xelvin Yacht and Shipbuilding all have a unique passion for the industry. They are intrigued by the unimaginable luxury onboard an exclusive yacht or the sheer amount of technology involved. Our recruiter Boaz Dikken explains:

Boaz is 28 years old and comes from Vollenhove. He has been a recruiter at Xelvin Yacht and Shipbuilding since August 2017. “I can’t imagine being a recruiter in a different industry.” His love for yacht building started early. It’s in his blood: “It was always about boats at our house.” The family spent many holidays on the water. Learning to sail was part of growing up, and if friends came to play, they would often play down at the yacht yard.

Boaz’s shipyard is his grandfather’s. It is also one of the largest shipbuilders in the Netherlands; the family business Royal Huisman. It is partly thanks to this yacht yard that the Netherlands is third in the world for building mega yachts. Boaz is incredibly proud of his grandfather. “He was a true pioneer.” At the age of thirteen, Grandpa Wolter started as a carpenter in his father’s yard. He helped build the Beulakermeer cruisers, among other things. In 1959, Wolter took over the company, and in 1971 they moved to Vollenhove. He lived in the pursuit of perfection. He always said to his customers: “If you can dream it, we can build it.”

Boaz was able to witness these “dreams” up close when Grandpa took him into the yard. Every vessel is unique, and the customer determines how the ship will look. Cinema, jacuzzi and a gym onboard? Everything is possible. It takes about three years for a boat to be ready, so Boaz went through all the phases. A launch was always an extraordinary moment, and the celebrations were exuberant. Boaz remembers with a big smile. “As a little boy, I wanted to see and do different things, so once I had learned sailing, I went to football.” The family has since sold the company and Grandfather Wolter lives on in the minds of the family. “I learned from him that if you want to go for something, you just have to go for it.”

Boaz did just that. He chose to study facility services. “I didn’t know what I wanted to do, and boats didn’t interest me much, yet.” With the emphasis on yet. He worked in grandfather’s yard part-time while he was studying. During 2007 he cleaned every vessel inside and out. That reignited his interest in ships. Increasingly interested in the technology onboard, he enrolled in the study of maritime technology and completed it with flying colours. He went on to do internships at De Vries Scheepsbouw Makkum and Pendennis in Falmouth (England). The photo below shows how he was allowed to sail aboard the S/Y Lionhart after a six-month internship. A yacht where he cleaned and replaced many systems.

With two diplomas in his pocket, Boaz was still not finished with his education about ships. The words of grandfather Wolter echoed in his mind, and he undertook the study of shipbuilding. During this study, he gained vital technical knowledge. “I find the sheer amount of technology onboard a yacht fascinating.”

With this technical knowledge under his belt, Boaz was able to go to world-renowned boat shows as a representative of Royal Huisman. The elaborate shows in Monaco and Fort Lauderdale have stuck with him. He rubbed shoulders with the wealthiest people in the world. Boaz still remembers a story someone told him before the show in Monaco. A few shows ago a little boy had asked for a free baseball cap at one of the stands. He was refused, to which his mother reacted very indignantly: “I have just ordered four yachts here, and my son is not allowed a free baseball cap?” “This once again emphasized that I had to talk to everyone politely and with the same enthusiasm. You really can’t tell from the outside how much money someone has. “

Boaz takes all these colourful stories and experiences to work with him every day. Colleagues also say: “Don’t start Boaz on about yacht building, you’ll never get home for dinner”.  As a recruiter, Boaz focuses on all the major yacht yards in the Netherlands. He speaks to many different candidates, from furniture makers to engineers. They also get the best stories out of him. “I tell them how amazing working in this industry is — the clean efficiency of a shipyard, the precision on a yacht and the variety in your job. Every ship is singular and has its own technical issues, so there is no standard work manual. “Boaz believes it is crucial to make the right match. Due to his personal experience and technical knowledge, he knows best how to guide his candidates in their career. Are you looking for a job in this inspiring sector? Don’t hesitate to contact Boaz. Thanks to Grandfather Wolter, his idol, you’ll get to talk to one of the most eager recruiters in the industry!