Feadship Yachts for Sale

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Feadship can trace its roots back to 1877, when the Akerboom family bought a small shipyard off the coast of the Netherlands to build and repair boats. They joined with the Van Lent family in 1927, and then in 1949 they joined with the De Vries, another family-based shipyard, to form Feadship.[1] Feadship has three shipyards in Aalsmeer, Makkum and Kaag and one design and engineering center, De Voogt Naval Architects.

After World War II the market for the previously successful industry was left in ruins. Even after four years of peace, there remained little money or inclination in Europe for ordering pleasure yachts. Encouraged by the Dutch government’s export incentives, Royal Van Lent Shipyard, De Vries Scheepsbouw and four other yards decided to set out their stall for the thriving American market.

The man behind this move was naval architect Henri de Voogt. The name Feadship – the First Export Association of Dutch Shipbuilders – was considered to be an innovation. It made the fledgling group sound like it was Dutch shipbuilding, an important distinction in a market where image was crucial. Yet recognition of the very real skills on offer was not long in coming. The New York Boat Show of 1951, for which several yachts were packed up and shipped across the Atlantic, proved a breakthrough. The Americans were amazed at Feadship’s use of steel – an almost unheard of phenomena at this time stateside, a specialty in the Netherlands since the 1930s.

Orders began to flow for yachts in both steel and aluminum; by the mid-1950s, Feadship stopped building in wood altogether. This move led to the first decrease in group membership, although it was only in 1966 that a convergence of factors was to finally leave the big three piloting the Feadship course together.

The 1960s as a whole witnessed steady growth – both in the organization’s reputation and the size of the vessels it built. 85–90 ft, 100–110 ft, 120 ft with fully raised wheelhouses, trans-Atlantic capabilities; various milestones in construction history were reached and surpassed. By the early 1970s however, Feadship’s popularity had greatly increased, with several yachts being launched each year.

As the American economy boomed, Henry Ford and Malcolm Forbes were but two of a host of famous folk to take advantage of Feadship’s custom-built yachts.

In 1977, a separate entity was established in the US in place of the customary representative agent. Don Kenniston was Feadship America’s first general manager, a position he still holds today. His early tenure coincided with an enormous increase in trans-Atlantic sailing.