Molenmaker & Mantel
In 1960, two young men, Willem Molenmaker and Piet Mantel, worked for cutter builder Arie van Nugteren in Sneek. It was a tough job at a time when indoor working was rare. "No heating", says Willem Molenmaker, "just work outside in the wind and drag twelve meters of railing iron". Willem was originally a machinist in a dairy factory, but lost his job and ended up at Van Nugteren. Piet had studied shipping and in his spare time built a "mallemok", a round bilge motor sailor.
In 1960 the two started their own business in a farm. The first boat they built was a Lemstra coastal cruiser for the famous freedom sailor Eddie Wierstra. More orders soon followed and the boats got bigger and bigger. One of the assignments was the construction of a 12 meter motor yacht with fan steering for Alberda.
After the farm, the company moved to the Prinsengracht in Sneek and from 1965 it was located on the Ijlsterkade in a new warehouse that they built themselves. Molenmaker and Mantel built designs by designers such as Koopman, Vripack, Colin Archer, De Vries Lentsch and of course their own designs, the Molenmaker and Mantel Kotters. In 1965 they built the first cutter according to the design of Piet Mantel. This immediately attracted attention because cutters were not very common at that time. During their career, Molenmaker and Mantel built sixty-five of these beautiful ships. They were also successful with the Molenmaker and Mantel motor vlet in sizes 9.80 and 10.60 metres. About fifty of these ships were built.
After more than 250 roundbilge ships, the collaboration between Willem Molenmaker and Piet Mantel came to an end in 2002. "We have always complemented each other well. That's why we lasted so long. Piet was responsible for the drawings and administration and I did the sales. We did everything together." Says Willem Molenmaker "You can't build a steel round bilge ship by yourself, you can't get a plate in place. Hardly anyone could build a round bilge in the past. Nowadays it's more about assembling, everything from the computer". According to Piet Mantel.
DOEVE Brokers and Valuers is your dedicated yacht broker for boats built by Molenmaker & Mantel. For further information about the sale of your Molenmaker & Mantel or if you wish to purchase a Molenmaker & Mantel, please contact us.