It’s not every day you catch a glimpse of a Feadship, and even rarer to spot a classic one. But between June 16th and 18th those lucky enough to be quayside in Haarlem or Amsterdam, The Netherlands, found themselves glimpsing an entire fleet of classic Feadships cruising as a confident collective. The occasion was the 10th Feadship Heritage Fleet Rendezvous, an annual event that brings together the owners of registered Feadships over thirty years old. The 10th Rendezvous also used the occasion to honour legendary naval architect and long-time Haarlem resident Frits de Voogt, who had a hand in designing many of the Feadships at the event.
All Feadships older than thirty years are eligible to become member of the Feadship Heritage Fleet (FHF), whose task is to promote Feadship’s yachting heritage while uniting the owners through services and events. These Rendezvous are an opportunity to not only put Feadship’s unequalled standards of construction in the spotlight, but to also celebrate the owners themselves who so scrupulously maintain their yachts.
Homage to Frits de Voogt
This year’s 10th rendezvous drew twenty-three classic Feadships and their owners from the United States, United Kingdom and The Netherlands. Ranging in size from 5.5 to 18.47 meters, this fleet of motor and sailing yachts sailed ceremoniously along Haarlem’s Spaarne River and tied up two and three yachts deep along the city’s picturesque quay. Accompanied by a marching band, the city’s mayor Jos Wienen kicked off the event, using the podium to honour Frits de Voogt who, as head of De Voogt Naval Architects between 1960 and 1995, played a pivotal role in Feadship’s history. It’s little wonder owners lined up to greet him. After all, as impressive as the oldest yacht at this year’s Rendezvous was (ninety years old), it was still younger than the spritely ninety-six-year-old Mr. De Voogt himself.
The yachts remained in the festive Haarlem until the following morning, when they sailed through the locks of the nearby small fishing village of Spaarnedam and along The North Sea canal to Amsterdam. Once there, they spent a weekend immersed in Amsterdam’s shipbuilding culture and heritage, visiting historic sites like the former headquarters of the Dutch East Indian Company and the Admiralty shipyards as well as cruising the city’s UNESCO-protected canals.
With nearly one hundred classic yachts as members, the Feadship Heritage Fleet is a valuable voice for Feadship and its growing global community of owners and enthusiasts. That the mayor, Mr. De Voogt and Feadship’s senior-most partners were on site for the event is testament to how much fun and meticulously planned the FHF’s Rendezvous are. It goes without saying that the planning for the 11th Rendezvous next summer is already in the works.