Formed as a group in 1949, the First Export Association of Dutch Shipbuilders (Feadship) has roots that can be traced back to the 1800s when iconic boats were launched under the leadership of the De Vries and Van Lent families. Many of their descendants have continued to create Feadships well into the 21st century.
The De Vries and Van Lent shipyards served owners around the world before World War II. The terrible destruction of that conflict meant that very few people in Europe could afford to buy luxury yachts in its immediate aftermath. Ever innovative, always adventurous, the De Vries and Van Lent families came together with several other Dutch yards to approach the American market, where sales were booming in the late 1940s. Joining them, among other companies, were De Voogt Naval Architects, which was responsible for the engineering of Serena.
Feadship was introduced to the American public at the 1951 New York Boat Show and immediately sold three boats. Feadship’s skill with steel, which was rarely used for yachts in North America at the time, was clearly evident. As orders started flowing in for motorboats in both steel and aluminium, Feadship stopped building wooden yachts – Souris II in 1955 was the last. Feadship was now firmly established in the lucrative American market and coming to the attention of some pretty famous people, including Malcolm Forbes, and later, Henry Ford II and Arthur Wirtz, among others.
In the ’60s, Feadship’s relentless pursuit of perfection revolutionized the way people saw motoryacht cruising. It was a golden era for new ideas, and fully raised wheelhouses or a genuine transatlantic capability were just two of the various markers in construction history to be reached and surpassed. Many of the cool yachts built in this decade are leading members of the Feadship Heritage Fleet today.