The Feadship Heritage Fleet played its part last week in the world’s largest free nautical event. SAIL Amsterdam, which takes place every five years, attracted a record number of 2.5 million visitors to the Dutch capital city. They came to see 600 vessels of all shapes and sizes, including over forty Tall Ships, giant naval vessels and many other boats from our maritime heritage.
One of the highlights of SAIL Amsterdam is the traditional SAIL-In Parade on the first of the five days as hundreds of vessels navigate the North Sea canal before mooring in and around the IJ harbour behind Amsterdam’s central station. Many launches and other boats take to the water to guide them in and hundreds of thousands of people line the banks of the river to see the spectacle. It was great to see the group of Feadship Heritage Fleet yachts take part in the procession, with many onlookers appreciating their intrinsic value.
The majority of the Feadships were berthed in a dedicated part of the Amsterdam Marina, where they were admired by visitors on the quay. A special day was organised for the Feadship Heritage Fleet sponsors on the third day and the rest of the time was spent socialising and enjoying the incredible atmosphere in Amsterdam.
Feadship Heritage Fleet members are owners of Feadships over 30 years of age. Among those present at SAIL was chairman Victor Muller, who expressed his pleasure with how the association has grown since its inauguration in April 2013. The developments have been beyond our wildest expectations and we currently have 55 members, with new ones joining every month. This is a tremendous response to our initiative, aimed at uniting owners of classic Feadships, offering them related services and organising events. The attendance at the latter has been impressive and we have also now started an American chapter.
Upcoming Feadship Heritage Fleet events include the classic week in Monaco and a meeting during the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show. “We have clearly catered for a desire among Feadship owners,” concluded Victor, owner of the 35.42-metre The Highlander, launched in 1967. “There is nothing even remotely comparable out there: the Feadship Heritage Fleet is the classic car club of the classic yacht world.”