Tue, Mar 31, 2015

50-year-old yacht ‘charter favourite’

Yachting aficionados are being offered a chance to charter a bit of Dutch naval history through a classic yacht built half a century ago which has since been renovated and refitted and is now sailing the seas in southern France.  

Built in 1965 by Feadship, the 28-m Najade has become a “favorite among yacht connoisseurs worldwide”, according to charter firm Ocean Independence.

Looking back on the history of Feadship and how it grew into a premier yacht builder, a spokesman says: “In the first days of the Dutch Feadship shipyard there were three parties involved, each with a distinguished past of their own: De Voogt Design and Engineering, formed in 1913, plus two shipyards, Van Lent on Kaag Island and De Vries at Aalsmeer, whose pedigrees date back to 1849 and 1906 respectively. 

“Looking back, it was a pivotal moment in the history of yacht building and yet those involved in the launch of Feadship in 1949 also remember it as a difficult time. 

“The Second World War had left the yacht building industry in ruins and despite the following four years of peace, there remained little money or inclination in Europe for ordering pleasure yachts. 

“However, encouraged by the Dutch government’s export incentives, De Voogt, Van Lent and De Vries decided to set out their stall for the thriving American market. 

“The man behind this move, naval architect Henri de Voogt, was a visionary. Even the name Feadship – the First Export Association of Dutch Shipbuilders – was a stroke of brilliance as it made the fledgling group sound like it was actually Dutch shipbuilding, an important distinction in a market where image was crucial.”

He continues: The 1960s witnessed steady growth, both in the Feadship’s stature and the size of the vessels built. Milestones were reached and surpassed as 85-90-ft, 100-110-ft and 120-ft boats with fully raised wheelhouses and trans-Atlantic capabilities were built and delivered.” 

It was during this period in 1965, that the 28-m Najade, constructed of welded steel with an aluminium superstructure, was delivered. 

Stabilisers were added to the yacht in the 1970s and its original features have since been restored, modern audio and visual systems integrated and galley improvements made.

“Today, Najade remains in pristine condition based in the South of France where it is still gracing the oceans and has become a charter favorite of yacht connoisseurs worldwide,” he says. 

Najade is available for charter with Ocean Independence at €29,500 ($31,895) per week plus expenses.

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