Captain David says, “The owners wanted their next boat to feel more like a resort. Specifically, they wanted to have all of the guest accommodations on the main deck to take advantage of the view. They also wanted to position all of the working and crew spaces below to maximize privacy and operational efficiency.” When the captain and owners approached the builder they had previously worked with, many of their ideas were met with resistance. When the owners’ concept was described to Merrigan and Sanford, they immediately recognized that Feadship’s Royal Van Lent Project 809 had many of their design specifications.
The project was presented to the owners, and their initial reaction was a 66-meter Feadship was a bigger boat and more money than they had in mind. However, as Captain David reviewed the listing, he felt the project might just be perfect for them. He says, “The owners did not want to end up boatless after they sold [the 50-meter] and the Feadship was already on track for an April delivery. Kevin and I flew over to look at the boat, and I was certain it was the right boat for them.”
Not initially convinced, the owners considered many other options, but they always looked at the Feadship’s layout as ideal. Merrigan says, “Top notch captains like David are the best advocates for their owners and understand our buyers’ needs better than anybody. The captain knows how the owners use the boat, spend their time and can be instrumental in helping them make the right choice.” David says, “I eventually made a return trip to see the boat with the owners. When they saw the layout and the quality of the construction, it really sold the boat. Wes put together some numbers to help [the owners] understand what a good opportunity the Feadship was, and the deal sequentially came together.”
The Feadship’s layout makes a lot of sense because guest and crew areas are not shuffled together. Dumbwaiters and trolleys make it so interior crew can work efficiently without running up and down the stairs and creating foot traffic. Being located on the main deck, the guest cabins have big windows and generous headroom. On the lower level, there is a huge garage that incorporates a beach club and a spa. Forward of that are the crew accommodations and workspaces including the galley. This purpose driven design is exactly what the owners and captain were looking to achieve.
Because the boat was so far along when it sold, David says, “Most of the changes we’ve made have been fine tuning small items with the exception of the helideck.” The boat already had touch-and-go helicopter capabilities, but the new owners wanted to be able to carry a helicopter full time. David says, “Feadship has been very accommodating, and the bridge deck extension for the second helideck makes the boat even better. Again, it all comes down to efficient flexibility.” The owners are adventurous, outdoorsy people, so the deck spaces are a big priority for them. Dual helidecks means the helicopter can be moved to the bow when the boat is not underway, so the sundeck reclaims that space at anchor.
As seasoned, multi-ocean adventurers, the buyers had some very clear ideas of what they wanted in their latest new construction project. That clarity, along with fortuitous timing and adept support, has these owners well on their way to having their dream fulfilled. “Feadship’s reputation for quality goes without saying,” says Dave. “So far the project has been everything you would expect from a shipyard of that caliber.” Watch this space as we follow the project and its players along to fruition.