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Feadship. The latest Dutch master
15th May 2023
Feadship made its marque by delivering the future. For over seven decades the Dutch superyacht manufacturer has pioneered and partnered with the best.

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KAHALANI Luxury Motor Yacht for Sale | C&N
55.05m | Feadship | 2010
6 Cabins | 11 Guests | 13 Crew

Asking: € 39,750,000

SEA HUNTRESS Luxury Motor Yacht for Sale | C&N
55.00m | De Vries, Feadship | 1997
6 Cabins | 14 Guests | 14 Crew

Asking: € 26,750,000

C&N News

Feadship. The latest Dutch master

In 1949, in a café in Amsterdam, one of the world’s leading superyacht manufacturers started as it meant to go on. Over coffee it was decided that two Netherlands shipbuilders should collaborate, rather than compete. The shipyards of Van Lent and De Vries, along with De Voogt naval architects, would share their know-how to offer clients the highest quality and most technologically advanced yachts possible.

The plan worked. Today the First Export Association of Dutch Shipbuilders — or Feadship for short — produces yachts that herald the future while holding their value like no other marque.

Four decades ago, Camper & Nicholsons started their long relationship with Feadship. George Nicholson, company chair at the time, placed orders for 44.8m Azteca and 46.6m Paraiso; one at the Van Lent yard, the other at De Vries. Once again, Feadship was happy to collaborate on design and tech. George proposed the duo be designed and built in aluminium by the legendary Jon Bannenberg, to whom Camper & Nicholsons had given his first yacht commission a decade earlier. The prowling lines of Azteca and Paraiso, combined with interior comfort and unrivalled seakeeping, set the scene for larger, grander yachts.

During the same era, Camper & Nicholsons senior sales broker Alex Lees-Buckley crewed on Feadships as a young sailor. “I realised they were in a different league,” he starts. “Rather like a Riva, which dominated the smaller yacht market in those days.” Alex first visited the historic Feadship shipyards in the late 1980s during his inaugural years as a yacht broker. “I witnessed the precision that went into the construction, all driven by rigorous management and a work ethic throughout the yards’ workforce that remains to this day.” Alex’s subsequent career would both act as a catalyst and a timeline for Feadship’s huge expansion.

Alex’s first sale of a pre-owned Feadship was La Belle Aire in 1988. “Selling my first Feadship, the 33.5m built as Prosit II in 1972 at Van Lent, was a milestone as it is in any yacht broker’s career.” His first new build contract was signed with De Vries for the delivery of the 43m Sea Sedan in 1993. Thereafter orders flowed to Feadship from various Camper & Nicholsons brokers. “In the 1990s the two Feadship yards produced an average three or four yachts a year at an average length of around 50m,” says Alex. “At the time this was deemed to be a very healthy order book and much admired by their competitors!”

Several owners have purchased multiple new or used Feadships. “One particular case is Sea Sedan,” continues Alex. “I recently resold her for the fifth time, an industry record I believe”. She was acquired by a gentleman based in Hong Kong, represented by Camper & Nicholsons senior advisor Carmen Lau, who purchased her sight unseen, such is the relationship between broker and client. “We also strive to stay close to our clients, keeping their yachts under management or in our charter fleet.”

It is said that everything that Rolls-Royce stands for in the automobile world, Feadship stands for in yachting. As each new launch is the result of constant innovation and mechanical excellence, they sail out to sea future-proofed. The Dutch yards also have first class refit facilities. They offer a certificate of authenticity attesting that every aspect of the boat — from the top of the mast to the bottom of the keel — is correctly maintained and safe. Such factors remove any doubt from a Feadship’s resale value. The administration of a Heritage Fleet for Feadships aged 30 years and older (Azteca and Paraiso are both members) further safeguards the legacy of the brand.

“In addition, Feadships are built by clients seeking perfection and with the will to maintain them to the highest standards,” says Alex. “Invariably the client will have a large budget and will attract a first class captain and crew.” 

That’s the case with 65m Callisto, a former Boat International Awards finalist, which was built under the stewardship of Camper & Nicholsons in 2006. She recently emerged from a refit at Feadship’s Amsterdam facility, which marked her fifteenth anniversary. “Callisto is in pristine condition and looks as good as new, and we've just sold her and she went to her new owners.” comments Alex.

Thanks in large part to Alex Lees-Buckley, no yachting agency has ordered more Feadships than Camper & Nicholsons. “I’ve been fortunate to broker and deliver nine new build Feadships,” he explains. In 2009 he delivered the highest volume ever build from the Dutch manufacturer, the 2,242 gross ton 76m Ocean Victory (now Ebony Shine). She features an outstanding interior by the late Alberto Pinto, who designed interiors for a wide range of private jets including the 747, five-star hotels and palaces. Following his delivery, “Feadship delivered ten larger vessels over the next five or six years”, says Alex, finally breaking the 100m barrier in 2015.

Another project was 55m Kahalani in 2010. Her owner was so delighted that he flew in members of Britain’s Light Infantry Buglers to serve as a guard of honour during her launch. Unusually, she coupled a classic Feadship profile with an ultra modern interior by Rémi Tessier, a former cabinetmaker who has styled some of the greatest yachts on earth. “The style contrast works remarkably well,” says Alex. “I was excited to have introduced Rémi to Henk de Vries and thus began the Tessier/Feadship relationship.” Kahalani is now offered for sale for the first time.

Alex’s tenth project is an 80m to be delivered at De Vries in 2026.

The launch will herald changing times at the pioneering shipyard, which aims to produce a carbon-neutral superyacht by 2030. Feadship recently released the concept 81.75m Pure. It’s a yacht of tomorrow — that could be built today. Pure pairs the cleanest possible architecture with next-generation yacht control, which can command the vessel using augmented reality cameras. The concept conforms to all structural and safety parameters to produce a consistent minimalist style throughout. Areas range from a three deck atrium with sunken pool to a sundeck that pours light into the decks below. She is a yacht to smash perceptions and inspire change.

Of prime importance is Pure’s propulsion. Feadship recently received an approval-inprinciple from Lloyds Registry for an ‘agnostic’ fuel system: one that will work with the fuels of today and be upgradeable to biofuels, synthetic e-diesel and eventually hydrogen cells as technology progresses. This will allow owners to make maximum use of alternative fuels as they become increasingly available. Dual-fuel engines with fuel cell solutions are already being integrated into refits and new build projects. Mature technologies such as exhaust treatment and waste heat generation are already installed as standard.

In terms of environmental impact, once again Feadship leads the field. The manufacturer also initiated the Yacht Environmental Transparency Index (YETI). The scheme unites designers, shipyards and naval architects in a bid to reduce impact and energy use over the life cycle of a yacht, in terms of hydrodynamics, materials and various other factors. In years to come, both the price and the cruising destination of a yacht might be affected by the environmental impact she makes. Rest assured that every Feadship launch will sail confidently into the future.

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