Design at Feadship - Tapping Into a Century of Experience

This article has previously been published in the 19th edition of PILOT.

One of the ways to ensure that a Feadship truly reflects your sense of design and style is to co-create her with Feadship De Voogt Naval Architects. Having already drawn and engineered hundreds of Feadships, the Feadship designers have every form of expertise in-house.

In an era when exterior designers have become household names in the yachting world, it’s fascinating to note that almost all Feadships were designed by De Voogt Naval Architects until the early 1980s. Under the expert guidance initially of Henri de Voogt and, from 1960 onwards, his son Frits, the Feadship designers pioneered a wide range of features such as fashion plates, finely shaped masts, revolutionary tender positioning, elegant anchor pockets and the ever-graceful Feadship bow. 

We see owners as the creative minds while the Feadship designers serve as the painter's brush

Sea change

It was around forty years ago that a sea change occurred in the superyacht market. Some owners decided to first create a design template with a dedicated designer and then decide which yard would actually build their superyacht. The first Feadships to be built in this way came from the boards of the legendary Jon Bannenberg, who drew the radical lines on the 1983 Feadships Azteca and Paraiso.

Since then Feadship has partnered with virtually all renowned exterior designers on a fleet of Feadships in pretty much every style imaginable. The agencies have included John Munford, Donald Starkey, Andrew Winch, Redman Whiteley Dixon, Sinot Exclusive Yacht Design, Eidsgaard Design, Tim Heywood and CG Design. All the yachts born out of these collaborations have been distinctive and marvellous fun to create. 

“While every Feadship is totally bespoke, there are certain shared features that can be said to generate a ‘Feadship look’,” says Ronno Schouten, Head of Design at Feadship De Voogt. “These can be condensed into four core values: balance, exclusivity, elegance and reliability. Together with the exterior designer, the Feadship De Voogt team always make sure these values are translated into the eventual design.” 

In-house designs

What many people do not realise is that Feadship’s in-house designers and naval architects are still responsible for the entire exterior design and layout on more than half of the Feadships launched today. This reinforces the fact that Feadship is not only the first port of call for those looking for a true custom build – it can also offer equally bespoke designs. “A yacht should be for owners, not designers,” Ronno continues. “The challenge is to translate owner ideas into solutions that work for them. At Feadship our design philosophy is simple: clients have carte blanche to create whatever they desire, while we start with the assumption that everything is possible. There is no specific Feadship design signature as we have a variety of different designers behind the drawing boards at Feadship De Voogt Naval Architects, each with their own specific talents.

Moon Sand

Moon Sand is a textbook example of how projects evolve in terms of size, layout, features and interior décor. Take for instance the contraflow swimming pool on the aft deck, one of the first major additions during the design phase after the owners decided they would like to be able to exercise on the aft deck. Fitting such a pool on a 44-metre yacht called for considerable ingenuity, as well as a lengthening of the design. In a Feadship first, we engineered a floor system whereby a section of the deck lowers to create the pool depth required. It only takes twenty minutes for the pool to fill up, after which the contraflow system can be switched on and the pool used to its full effect.

But there’s more: as Moon Sand’s owners often cruise with their extended family, a mechanism was constructed to lower the main deck floor halfway and create a shallow pool for the kids and a Jacuzzi for the adults. Raise the floor back to its position on the main deck – revealing a totally flush finish 69 with stainless steel – and the full gamut of al fresco lounging and dining options becomes instantly available. This is in many ways an absolutely inspired use of space. 

Royal Romance 

The stunning stern on Royal Romance illustrates how something that is merely an idea at the design phase can become a real feature with multiple layers of complexity. The owners wished to make their yacht even more unique with a spectacular glass feature on the transom. By providing views into and from the beach club wellness area (which would otherwise have been enclosed), the glass would allow them to also interact with their young children and guests on the other side.

The stern area being of fundamental structural importance, this required the use of three-inch-thick glass. Water from the main deck swimming pool aft flows down this glass structure, adding to its aesthetic appeal. Keeping the owners’ interest in technology and entertainment in mind, we also incorporated an intricate system of LED lights. A thermal level between the glass layers keeps the LEDs dry and ensures there is no condensation build-up. Coloured patterns can be displayed via iPads and guests arriving by tender can be welcomed with personal messages. This means that the style of Royal Romance’s exterior can be changed at will.