I hopped a flight last Thursday to Fort Lauderdale to take a tour of the newest Gallant Lady, delivered by Feadship’s Royal De Vries yard this spring. She’s the eighth Feadship to date commissioned by well-known yacht owners Jim and Jan Moran. While Jim passed away a few months ago, his spirit is alive and well in both the yacht and the people who oversee her.
Sure, the beauty of the woodwork and marble inlays and particularly the high level of engineering all struck me, and I’ll be writing about all of this in the November issue of Power & Motoryacht. But what struck me the most was how much pride each member of the crew and employee of JM Family Enterprises, the firm Jim founded, took in Gallant Lady. It went beyond the pride of maintaining a boat for the boss. This was a yacht with custom LED lighting that turned, to quote the second officer, “our colors.” A yacht where the director of marine operations–a well-experienced captain who’s seen his share of yachts–pointed to a hawsepipe and marveled about how he saw it take shape at Feadship, calling it “a work of art.” And a yacht where the T-shirts, hats, and other goodies with the “Gallant Lady” logo are sold to benefit the Youth Automotive Training Center, founded by Moran to teach at-risk kids valuable skills and get their lives back on track.
The next time someone wrings his or her hands about yachts being conspicuous consumption, relate this story. That’ll shut ’em up.