The latest Feadship Heritage Fleet Rendezvous got off to an amazing start with the attendees having the chance to moor up at Royal Van Lent’s brand-new Amsterdam facility and attend its opening ceremony. “It was a fine sight to see nineteen FHF yachts lined up along the quay,” says FHF chair Wim van Kampen.
The association members ranged from seven to eighteen metres in length and from 1932 to 1967 in launch date. “As well as having the chance to showcase our pride and joy to the 2500 guests attending the opening of the new yard, we also had the honour to meet her Majesty in person, who took lots of time to look around and ask about our boats. It was the perfect beginning to what would turn out to be an excellent weekend for all who attended the Rendezvous.”
The next evening, Friday 17 May, the attendees enjoyed the official captain’s dinner with a yacht hop which went on until the wee hours. One of the reasons for the festive atmosphere were the large number of owners celebrating a special jubilee for their Feadship, such as Irene and D'Ouwe Freddy (both 80 years) and Torno and Regina (85 years). It was also good to welcome the first all-electric member of the Feadship Heritage Fleet, with the 1932 Miloke having recently completed a major rebuild at the Feadship yard in Makkum.
The following morning saw the fleet set off to Zaandam where the yachts were welcomed by the mayor, a 25-strong captain’s choir and lots of classic-boat-loving onlookers. A visit to the Czar Peter house allowed everyone to find out more about the famous visit by the Russian monarch to the area in the late 1600s to learn about shipbuilding, a trip which led to the start of leisure yachting in his vast country.
Back to the present and the return trip to Amsterdam included a spectacular photo shoot behind the Central Station before the FHF members sailed to the new Feadship yard for the evening party. Appropriately enough in the year Royal Van Lent is celebrating its 170th anniversary, the night included some top funk-soul entertainment by the Van Lent Band, which includes three brothers from the family.
“This was a great way to conclude an excellent rendezvous, one which again showed how we have become an association of friends as well as an association of boats,” adds Wim. “The membership numbers are also growing, although there is always room for more. Our goal is to attract more members from the USA and southern Europe, enabling us to hold extra events in these part of the world.”
One interesting sidenote from the weekend captures the unique attraction of these classic boats over the generations. The owners of Irene were recently interviewed for a sailing magazine article which was read by the family of the original owners. They were invited to attend the Rendezvous and were delighted to be reacquainted with a yacht that had been a part of their family for 46 years.
Like to join the Feadship Heritage Fleet? Membership is open to the owners of all Feadships launched thirty years or more ago. Please email us for more details at firstname.lastname@example.org