- 1 February 2024
Feadship turns 75 and is looking to a sustainable future
Diamond jubilee celebrating Dutch shipyard Feadship’s 75th birthday, as they look to the future
Feadship celebrates 75 years in business, a diamond jubilee opening the doors to a time of celebration and new developments for the Dutch shipyard who, alongside their acquired family – Royal Van Lent Shipyards (celebrating its 175th anniversary this year, and specialised in steel and aluminium motoryachts), De Vries Group (founded in 1906, creators of majestic custom super yachts) and De Voogt Naval Architects (design studio founded in 1913) – can celebrate 404 years’ experience over all, possibly the only ones in the industry.
Founded in 1949, after 75 years, Feadship can now say they have built yachts for a total of 1700 metres, including their recent designs, including hydrogen propulsion, like the majestic 118.80 metre long, Project 821.
The shipyard currently has four manufacturing facilities in the Netherlands (Aalsmeer, Amsterdam, Kaag and Makkum), and double that number in offices, including one in the United States (Fort Lauderdale), with over 2000 employees.
THE BEGINNING OF THE ADVENTURE
The first vessels by Feadship appeared at the New York Boat Show in 1951, two years after the company was founded by a group of naval entrepreneurs who met at the De Roode Leeuw café in Amsterdam to work on an industrial plan that could help strengthen Dutch ship building, and sell the vessels abroad.
A very pragmatic program which was also, looking back now, desperate, if we look at the critical situation in which the Dutch shipbuilding industry found itself after the War, desperate for a stronger currency (which could only come through exports). But it was also prescient: deciding to look beyond the current circumstances, the six founders of Feadship chose the United States 75 years ago to “bring luxury vessels to them as well.” Investing 500 Dutch guilders each (the modern equivalent of just 2,400 euros each, but quite a large sum for the time), the group received support from the government and threw themselves into the adventure.
LANDING IN AMERICA
With the arrival of naval architect, Henri de Voogt, designer of a number of yachts for the brand (and initially also sales manager), in January 1951 the shipyard landed at the New York Boat Show with three small steel vessels: two motor cruisers, 8 and 10 metres respectively, and a 6.50 metre daysailer.
The interest initially shown by visitors to the stand, increased further after the order of a pair of custom 23 and 30 metre yachts by two well-known American owners, alongside awards won at the 1953 and 1954 New York Boat Show for the 17 metre Capri and 19 metre Coronet.
Over the first eight years, Feadship, in spite of some of the founders leaving, were able to sell 90 yachts in the United States. This was just the beginning of international recognition: two of these, Royal Van Lent Shipyards and Koninklijke De Vries are now huge in the super yacht industry, and the Feadship brand boasts over 500 yachts, 4 of which are to be delivered in 2024.
The work is non-stop, even in technical research, in order to reach their extremely high standards in, for example, corrosion control, mechanical and electrical systems, using aluminium, carbon fibre and crystal.
LOOKING TO THE FUTURE
Recent super yachts, Sussurro, Ecstasea and Predator demonstrate how luxury is yet another distinctive trait of the Dutch shipyard, while Savannah and Obsidian open up to sustainability and reducing the environmental impact of boating on the environment.
On the brink of these 75 years, Feadship has begun its roadmap towards “net zero” (cutting gas and greenhouse emissions to get them as close to zero as possible), which they aim to reach by 2030.
- 13 October 2023
The 103-metre yacht, Project 1011 by Feadship has left the building yard for its final fitting and testing
According to project estimates, Dunes by Feadship can eliminate up to 95% of potential negative environmental factors
- 29 April 2023
Project 710 by Feadship has left its construction hanger to be completed, before being tested in the water
- 22 November 2022
Feadship is preparing for a sustainable future with an evolutionary research process aimed at creating “agnostic” propulsion systems
- 2 November 2022