There is something about the Feadship name that inspires respect and admiration from all levels of the yachting industry, from crew to owners, from brokers to builders. Feadship is a special breed of yacht, and a Feadship owner is a very special breed of person.
As a broker, my first opportunity to represent a Feadship for sale came to me this year in the form of a 183-foot (55.7m) Van Lent called ILLUSION. She was built in 1983 and is kept in the custody of a passionate owner who is totally committed to maintaining his yacht to the highest standards. When I visited ILLUSION in Barcelona, the benefits of her refit in 2010 were immediately obvious. The Bannenberg & Rowell interior in the main salon is simply sensational, striking the difficult balance between luxury and comfort to create a wonderfully inviting expanse that draws you in and conjures up dreams of idle evenings drinking cocktails with friends. Her deck space seems to be impossibly generous, offering sunbathing and dining areas on all decks; a large Jacuzzi tub and a clever sunbathing area forward of the bridge is elevated so that the foredeck hardware is out of sight.
Water toy storage aboard abounds, with two 20-foot (6.1m) tenders located conveniently on the boat deck, and a large transom lazarette — beautifully designed to accommodate more sizeable toys and diving equipment — opens up to create a wonderful swim platform. Remarkably, she fits six well-proportioned staterooms effortlessly in her voluminous interior and still reserves sensible space for the crew and technical areas. Modern yacht builders could learn much about the intelligent distribution of space from this yacht.
Shortly after my visit, and in the quest to keep ILLUSION in the manner to which Feadships are accustomed, she underwent another important refit that has further enhanced her desirability. This refit focused more on modernization and important technical improvements that will ensure that ILLUSION is enjoyed by many more people for many more years to come.
The entire yacht has been repainted, so she displays a beautiful new white livery, the engines and generators have been completely rebuilt and set to zero hours so that a new owner can cruise with confidence, all the major systems were overhauled and upgrades were made to the AV and communication equipment. Interior details have been “re-pristined” or replaced, the tenders and toys have been updated with new models and important work has been carried out while the yacht was in the shipyard, ensuring that she meets class requirements.
Upon leaving the shipyard, I barely had time to organize a photo shoot and video of ILLUSION before she started cruising with charter guests on board. ILLUSION and other timelessly elegant classic Feadship yachts are irresistibly enticing to knowledgeable yacht users; the same attributes that have made the Feadship brand stands head and shoulders above the rest also carved them out an enviable niche in the charter industry.
My mandate, however, is to find a buyer for this remarkable vessel, whilst my colleagues enjoy keeping her diary full of charter bookings. Thankfully, the charter season tends to slow down in September, just in time for the Cannes and Monaco Yacht Shows, so we plan for her to be present in the area so that the hosts of yacht buyers and industry professionals that attend those events will get the opportunity to feast their eyes on the newly painted, updated and revitalized ILLUSION; fresh from boat boot-camp and ready for cruising.
A special breed of yacht attracts a special breed of owner, and ILLUSION is without a doubt the most desirable, well-priced example on the market today. She is available for charter with Carine Zanotti from Northrop & Johnson’s office in Antibes, and for sale with Kevin Merrigan and David Seal from the Fort Lauderdale and Antibes offices.