This is furniture construction of a special kind. Because it’s not individual cabinets that are built here, but rather, entire furnishing modules – a complete galley, a fully‐equipped bathroom, and so on. And all this has to fit with millimetric precision when these modules are later craned into the yacht hulls and laminated into place there.
Done! The final product (e.g. BAVARIA C38) is a sight to behold.
The carpentry workshop at the Bavaria shipyard is an impressive 3,020 square metres in area, in which 56 professionals work. They are supported by high‐tech machines such as four large CNC milling machines, on which the individual parts are cut out of the wooden panels to fit precisely. Furthermore, they work with two circular saws, an edge gluing machine and a lacquering line.
The process of building these furniture modules sounds relatively simple. The parts are milled from the wooden boards, whereupon the edges are glued with solid wood strips, before everything is lacquered and finally assembled. All this happens on a total of four assembly lines within the joinery.
When the module is finished, locker flaps and doors are mounted. Finally, the entire component is covered with furniture protection, before it goes to the main conveyor belt where the ships are assembled.
Precision work: Our experienced employees know that every millimeter counts.
Four assembly lines within the joinery ensure a structured process.
The principle challenge for the furniture makers in the joinery is to maintain dimensional accuracy. And all to consistent quality level, which of course also means that the direction of the grain, for example, is coordinated and adhered to. But above all, it all has to fit in the end! In the boat, the module is laminated to the hull with angular laminate.
But before it is ready, there is still much manual work to be done in the carpenter’s workshop. The assembly is done by hand, which includes the fitting of cupboards, cupboard doors and other fittings, and where necessary, the laying of cables or hoses. Every furnishing module is completed here, outside the boat, as far as possible. This includes washbasins and fittings as well as lamps and electrics.
There’s never a dull day here, confirm team leaders Michael Walter and André Reis. After all, three modules are built each day, and 16 boats have to be fully equipped every week. Depending on the type and size, each boat has six to ten such furnishing modules. And to make it more interesting, each is of course different. The owners have a choice when ordering: 14 different types of wood alone are available, plus a choice of material for work surfaces or upholstery fabrics.
All parts of the module are assembled and fitted by hand.
The finished module is craned into the yacht hull and laminated into place there.
None of this would work without precise planning. The production plan for the entire shipyard specifies which modules are built when and how: which boat, which cabin, which type of wood, and with which options.
Division Manager Michael Werdler explains why this modern series production is of great advantage: „It’s about making the quality replicable. After all, it must always be consistently high. That’s why we also let the employees change between the individual stations from time to time, because the processes should also be comprehensible for everyone. And everyone should be able to work at any part of the process, because we don’t need specialists for kitchens, saloons, or whatever. Just good carpenters."