Feadship Refit & Services Welcomes Home 'the Fleet'
Eight Feadship originals 'return home' to their launch yard for refit
The vessels, in and of themselves, are spectacular visuals. But the vision of them floating into town to Feadship in Hoofddorp, The Netherlands -- or one of the builder's other three Feadship yards -- is other-wordly with the juxtaposition of stylish and mammoth modern yachts set against the quaint European countryside.
In a huge milestone for the Refit & Services program that Feadship officially began offering in 2018, at least 10 yachts are arriving in the Netherlands for a winter season of refurbishments, upgrades and renovations at the four Feadship yards. To most of the yachts originally built by Feadship, it will be a homecoming, as wherever practical the yachts will return to the yards of their launch. Some vessels are yachts from other northern European yards whose owners are also Feadship clients, according to Pier Posthuma de Boer, Refit & Services Director.
These projects will bring updates to yachts as new as the well-traveled 2018 Sherpa and the hard-working Gallant Lady launched in 1996. Work booked ranges from routine service and warranty work or class-required surveys to major refits to systems and interiors, says Posthuma de Boer.
Returning to the Dutch yards is one that owners who want their Feadships to remain Feadships seem increasingly willing to do, especially if they are planning on enjoying some Baltic or high latitudes cruising. “Where the Makkum shipyard was historically the main focus of Feadship’s Refit & Services programmes, the Amsterdam yard now also offers easy entry for the yachts and we have all the services either alongside or within the huge new construction hall, but we also have yachts going to Kaag and Aalsmeer this winter,” says Posthuma de Boer. While Feadship has teamed up with three Mediterranean yards and one in the US (Amico & Co in Italy, Monaco Marine in France, MB92 in Spain, and Rybovich in the United States) to work with Feadship on refit and maintenance projects, nothing beats having the yachts back with the same teams that designed and built them. “If something unexpected comes up, we have access to two hundred engineers at Feadship De Voogt Naval Architects and many more at all four of our shipyards” he notes.
Access to De Voogt’s engineering staff is also a great plus for owners wanting to implement new technology to modernize their yachts. Examples of this, run the gamut from completely replacing engine room control rooms, installing state of the art power generation units instead of conventional diesel generators, adding improved sewage treatment plants to the latest environmental norms, switching to all LED lighting, or revamping bridges with all new electronics. Among the frequent requests for structural changes are providing new boarding apparatus and creating beach clubs, whether that means a hull addition or revamping a lazarette. Having the same teams that built the yacht make the changes, removes any doubt about the overall quality and pedigree of the refitted yacht.
More flexibility and capacity
Involving all the new-build yards gives Feadship more flexibility and capacity for its Refit & Services programme, which is managed by a team encompassing 75 individuals from project managers to dedicated purchasing and accounting specialists. Yachts booked for refits and repairs are assigned a project manager and project coordinator who work solely on that project to completion. “It is in our interest to stick to a time frame for delivery because the yachts are scheduled right in along with new builds in the same facilities,” says Posthuma de Boer.
While Feadship would prefer to help yachts develop one-, three- and five-year maintenance plans, the Covid-19 experience and recent explosion in brokerage yacht sales have meant that the Refit & Services Department has been inundated with shorter-term refit requests. “It’s all about serving our clients and looking at prioritizing what work needs to be done, where it can be done and how to fit the client’s schedule,” Posthuma de Boer says.
Among the yachts arriving for work this fall and winter are: Samadhi (ex-April Fool 2006), Harle (2007), Sherpa (2018), Moonrise (2020), Gitana (ex-Katrion 1997), Gallant Lady (1996),Najiba (2019), and Sea Huntress (ex-Sea Sedan 1997).