Feadship was co-founded by the De Vries family more than a century ago, and today, Henk de Vries carries on the tradition of building custom craft for clients worldwide. While Feadship’s clients are often kept confidential, as per their wishes, their megayachts dazzle yacht watchers and other owners alike in their diversity. From the late Steve Jobs’ Venus to the largest megayacht ever built in The Netherlands, namely Madame Gu, Feadships are noted for their technical and design achievements.
In this Megayacht News Leadership Series, De Vries discusses the challenges of changing regulations, and even how the collaboration with Ghost Yachts is right in line with some of the most famous Feadships ever built.
Q: Are today’s clients more educated, and perhaps even more demanding, than clients of a decade or so ago, and if so, in what ways?
A: The clients are better informed mainly thanks to the Internet and the fact that they often “shop” and therefore need to learn more about their yacht, the builders, and the industry.
Q: Have the annual Feadship Future Concept projects that the De Voogt Naval Architects’ office creates, and which Feadship showcases at the Monaco and Fort Lauderdale shows, brought in clients that might not have otherwise considered the yard? Or, have they even captured the attention of existing clients? Do they really raise the profile of the design and build teams more than if these projects weren’t created?
A: The Feadship concepts generate a lot of creativity and technological innovation within the Feadship design team, naval architects, and engineers. The market can see that Feadship is able to push the envelope and able to meet the expectations of the most demanding and innovative custom-yacht clients. Many of the elements of the concept designs are now part of our recent builds, allowing us to push the boundaries. Extensive glass use and Breathe’s propulsion are good examples.
Q: What convinced you to collaborate with Ghost Yachts? As we understand it, Bjorn Moonen of Ghost contacted the De Voogt office to gauge interest in helping bring his designs to fruition, and the De Voogt team in turn brought it to your attention, asking for your opinion. Is that correct, and if so, what was it about the designs and ideas that stood out?
A: Feadship is active in the market below 500 gross tons up to well over 3,000 gross tons. In recent years we have delivered quite a few yachts just under 500 gross tons and have several in build. Secondly, Feadship has successfully built fast, high-quality yachts such as Sussurro, Detroit Eagle, Ecstasea, and Predator. In order to serve the market for fast, high-quality yachts under 500 gross tons, we embraced the Ghost concept. Your statement is correct.
Q: What do you think about the ever-growing sizes of yachts: Is there a size where the “super” in “superyacht” is simply too big to remain a personal, private relaxation platform? And what about regulations: Does the new Passenger Yacht Code (PYC) make things better or even simpler for yacht builders compared to SOLAS? Has Feadship encountered any situations where the rules of the PYC conflict with those of SOLAS?
A: We build many Feadships over 80 meters, most under LY3, as this is the closest to a true pleasure yacht. Feadship is also building yachts under the PYC. As always, new regulations bring contradictions and indistinctness, causing changes and additional cost; it’s the consequence of being at the forefront. The rules continue to change, and we will always do our utmost to make sure that we deliver luxurious private yachts, being under PYC or LY3. Feadship has not built yachts under SOLAS.