Our Story

Kommer Damen

“Damen owes its success to the commitment and dedication that has been invested by our past and present employees. It has always been important that our personnel enjoy their work and it is their passion that has made the company into what it is today.”

Arnout Damen

“It is an opportune moment to identify the key characteristics that will strengthen our future position in the changing global maritime market.”
“Continued investment into building strong relationships with our clients will play a major role. It will be by understanding their markets, their activities and their needs that we can help make them a success.”

  • 1927
  • 1939
  • 1965
  • 1967
  • 1969 (1)
  • 1969 (2)


Damen officially founded 14th November 1927 in Hardinxveld-Giessendam by brothers Jan and Rien Damen.


Yard number 100 is delivered


Largest vessel up to then

The very luxurious pleasure vessel for that time, ‘Margaretha’, was launched.


Kommer Damen joins the Damen company, at that time about 40 people worked at the yard.

1969 (1)

Kommer Damen takes over – Scheepswerf Damen was established on 1st January 1969

After a difference of opinion as to the company’s future, in late 1968 the decision was made by the Damen brothers to go separate ways. Kommer’s vision was to supply vessels with a short delivery time from order to completion. This meant vessels and parts would have to be available from stock. There would also have to be a good worldwide after-sales services. He wanted to standardise vessels and expand the production package.

1969 (2)

Damen starts building rescue vessels

The first high speed rescue launch was built for the Royal North and South Holland Rescue Company.

1970 - 1990
  • 1970
  • 1973
  • 1975
  • 1980
  • 1982
  • 1989
  • 1990


Beginning of standardised production

The new design was the Damen Pushy Cat – a multifunctional and very manoeuvrable vessel at the same time.


Sales success of the Pushy Cat

Several countries in the Middle East experienced tremendous growth. Almost all harbours in the Middle East were being dredged. The dredging industry purchased dozens of Pushy Cats between 1969 and 1973. Damen Shipyards was able to boom while the Netherlands was still recovering from the 1973 oil crisis.


New headquarters in Gorinchem

Kommer Damen’s father, Jan Damen, driving the first pile. The shed in Hardinveld-Giessendam had become too small to build the ever increasing number of boats. By 1974 it was building 100 vessels a year.


First ocean-going vessels built



Damen Technical Cooperation (DTC) starts

DTC enables clients to build Damen vessels locally, anywhere in the world. DTC provides clients with a prefabricated shipbuilding kit and can, on request, combine this with expert assistance, training and backup.


Her Majesty Queen Beatrix christened the tall ship ‘Eendracht’



Global activities

Damen kept on growing gradually and soon the group started exporting. The Damen workboats quickly became the standard in many foreign markets and Damen saw the opportunity to export. Later on numerous yards were taken over with specialisation in niche markets. And Damen started partnerships and business cooperations with yards all over the world.

1991 – 2000
  • 1991 (1)
  • 1991 (2)
  • 1993
  • 2000

1991 (1)

Genesis of Damen’s Azimuth Stern Drive Tugs


1991 (2)

Amels Holland acquired

From that time Damen became actively involved in building luxury mega yachts, vessels very different from those that Damen had built previously.


Damen enters the ship repair market



Clipper ‘Stad Amsterdam’

Damen’s first Sail Training Vessel. Two more constructions of traditional steel clippers followed, the 74-metre ‘Cisne Branco’ for the Brazilian navy and the ‘Shabab Oman II’ for the Ministry of Defence of Oman.

2001 – 2012
  • 2001
  • 2002
  • 2003
  • 2004
  • 2005
  • 2009


Naval vessels: Royal Schelde joins Damen

Damen acquired Royal Schelde that was founded in the year 1875 along with all of its subsidiaries. Following the acquisition, Damen then introduced its unique, standardised modular construction concept also in Vlissingen.


First series of Platform Supply Vessels



Princess Maxima of the Netherlands at the naming ceremony of Air Defence and Command Frigate ‘Evertsen’ at the Koninklijke Schelde Group in Vlissingen (now Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding).


Axe bow concept developed



Standardisation copied to yachts, Limited Editions born



Introduction of the Yacht Support concept


  • 2013


Arnout Damen joins the company as Chief Commercial Officer


  • 2014 (1)
  • 2014 (2)
  • 2014 (3)
  • 2014 (4)
  • 2014 (5)

2014 (1)

Opening tug factory in Vietnam, Damen Song Cam Shipyard


2014 (2)

First Damen hybrid ASD Tug delivered


2014 (3)

Start of worldwide Services hub network


2014 (4)

Revolutionary Search and Rescue vessel wins “Ship of the Year” Award

2014 (5)

Naming of the 205 m Joint Logistic Support Ship HNLMS ‘Karel Doorman’, the biggest ship in the Dutch navy.

  • 2015 (1)
  • 2015 (2)
  • 2015 (3)

2015 (1)

Damen Marine Components

The oldest company in Damen Shipyards Group celebrates its 150th anniversary.

2015 (2)

Damen launches first composite fast crew supplier


2015 (3)

Since 2008 Rose Damen has been closely involved with Damen as a non-executive board member. In 2015 she joined Amels as Commercial Director.

  • 2016 (1)
  • 2016 (2)
  • 2016 (3)

2016 (1)

Cable Installation vessel for Maersk Supply Service


2016 (2)

First SeaXplorer expedition yacht sold, scheduled for delivery in 2019


2016 (3)

Damen presents the next generation of Expedition Cruising

  • 2017 (1)
  • 2017 (2)

2017 (1)

90th Anniversary Damen & 50th Anniversary Kommer Damen

2017 (2)

Kommer Damen received a Citizen of Honour Award from the City of Gorinchem

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