World-famous Kiel, Germany based Knierim boatyard was founded January 6th, 1965 and is now building individual sailing and motor yachts since 50 years.
The boatyard’s name, Knierim, has an outstanding reputation among international yacht owners. Knierim is standing since exactly 50 years for high end craftsmanship. In its second generation, the yard has focused on building individual high-tech yachts, including the then unique German America’s Cup racer GERMANY I (2006) and the 31 metre catamaran TÛRANOR PLANET SOLAR (2010), driven by solar energy only.
The success story began in 1965 on an area with a former lifeboat shed on the Eastern banks of the Kiel Fjord. Günter Knierim’s boatyard serviced and repaired solid timber fishing boats.
As the number of fishing boats rapidly decreased Knierim started a few years later to focus in racing yachts. Plywood hulls were fitted out and complete boats were built. In the 70s, the IOR quarter-tonner VAGABUND, with a chine hull, was the prototype for three successors. The following quarter-tonners ATTACKE and KNINISPRI were made of moulded plywood. They proved to be extremely lightweight and fast. KNINISPRI became the 1983 Mini Ton world champion in the South of France.
In 2000, Gunnar Knierim, son of yard founder Günter Knierim, took over the yard as the managing director. Before then, Gunnar’s passion for ocean racing took him around the globe. One of the highlights was winning the Admirals’ Cup 1993 on Willi Illbruck’s PINTA. He was also involved in international regatta projects as a boat builder and crew member which gave him insight knowledge in the latest composite technologies.
2 years later, in 2002 the company was relocated to a former paper storage facility directly at the Kiel Canal with a long deep water pier.
Jointly managed by Gunnar Knierim and the businessman Steffen Müller, Knierim boatyard started there with building a 26 metre maxi, UCA, the fastest ship across the Atlantic in the 2003 DCNAC race. The success of this first project at the new location brought the young company to the next level. GERMANY 1, the first German America’s Cup campaign contender in 2006, was a high-tech prestigious project, just like TÛRANOR Planet Solar, a solar-powered catamaran, built and significantly designed by Knierim in 2010. With a length of 31 metres and a beam of 15 metres, it is to date the largest waterborne craft powered solely by solar energy.
After producing the motor boat Knierim Runabout 36 in 2013, the yard last year launched the 18.30 metre long Knierim 60 DS a fast sailing yacht for comfortable cruising.
Currently, an extraordinary 53ft fast cruiser and a 56ft high-tech racer are under construction.
To date, this courageous step has produced some 30 new builds, ranging from comfortable long range cruisers for sailing around the world to high-tech offshore racing yachts. The number of employees rose to around 45.
Spread over more than 20,000 square metres, Knierim offers winter storage, refit services, repairs, and paintwork.