‘Gebroeders Buijs Scheepsbouw bv’ or Buijs Brothers Shipbuilders Ltd. is a company with a history dating back to 1859. It is one of the oldest, still independent, family owned shipyards in the Netherlands.
The Birth of a Family Business
In 1859 Jan Buijs started his own company at the request of his employer Van Der Giessen. He started building fishing boats, rowing boats and lifeboats, both for use at sea and inland waterways. After his death in 1895 his wife and sons continued running the company.
Between 1920 and 1930 very little was built in the yard for two reasons. First, the company had not yet converted to building iron ships, in spite of rising demand. And second, finding competent staff at that time was difficult, because the larger yards attracted young workers, including the brothers Cornelis Marinus and Arie Nicolaas Buijs. Both worked for the Van Der Giessen yard at the time.
As a result of the crisis at the end of the 1920’s the brothers were made redundant and in 1930 they decided to work for their own shipyard at Buijs Shipbuilders Ltd. They started building lifeboats for fishermen in Scheveningen, Katwijk and IJmuiden. In 1946 two new partners joined the directors, their sons Steven and Jan Buijs. The company converted to building iron ships that same year.
Innovation and Growth
The innovation continued. In 1959 they started providing a service of lengthening inland vessels. This turned out to be a ‘golden goose’, as 22 vessels were lengthened in one year. The yard continued to grow, as an assembly hall, quay reinforcement and a hoisting crane were added. This all helped bring in the first project for newly built ships - the construction of an inland vessel, 55 metres long with a loading capacity of 650 tonnes. Steven Buijs drew the designs himself.
In the seventies Buijs Brothers continued to grow; the company built coasters, mussel cutters and a variety of inland vessels. In the years that followed they also built large steel yachts, naval ships, bulbous bows, and rudders.
While the yard used to specialise mainly in building inland and coastal vessels until the beginning of the 90’s, today, Buijs Brothers has become a versatile yard. Besides building new vessels for ship-owners and shipping companies, the company sub-contracts to large internationally operating shipbuilders. We build sections and complete hulls for, amongst other things, yachts, naval vessels, tankers, freight and passenger ships. Buijs Brothers also manufacture parts and deliver customised metal formwork. Both are processes that require specific knowledge and years of experience.