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A labour of love

Fruytier Lawyers in Business are specialists in corporate, banking and maritime law, making them ideal event sponsors for the FHF. For the firm’s owner and founding partner Marcel Fruytier, however, his Feadship Schollevaer is the best possible reason to be involved in our association.

It was Marcel’s brother Jos who found Schollevaer in 1987 and brought her home to Holland from Fort Lauderdale. This 13.85-metre sailyacht was launched by De Vries in Aalsmeer in 1938 as a racing boat for Willem Bruynzeel, the famous wood mill director.

“The Bruynzeel family were obviously pleased with their Feadship as they sailed her for three decades with a professional skipper,” explains Marcel. “In 1968 she was sold to an American couple who shipped Schollevaer to Florida and also enjoyed her for a good twenty years. My brother then had her comprehensively refitted by Nico Claasen, the first major project at a yard which has since become famous for building Truly Classics and other large sailyachts.

“At the time my brother decided to sell Schollevaer in 1998 I couldn’t afford to buy her and she was snapped up by a Dutch company. They did not look after her over the next five years and she also had to survive a fire at the yard where she was being repaired. It was then that I was able to negotiate a deal which enabled me to buy Schollevaer and give her the complete overhaul she now so desperately needed.”

It was an enormous job to complete but, literally, a labour of love for Marcel. “I’d already fallen for Schollevaer when my brother owned her and it was terrible to see her neglected for a while so close to where I lived. But everything happens for a reason and I will never forget the maiden voyage when she was ready in 2006. We’ve since spent pretty much every weekend on board from May through to the end of September, and various members of my family take her out for their summer holidays.”

Fruytier Lawyers in Business sponsored the 2016 FHF rendezvous dinner and the Christmas cocktail. “I’ve always been a maritime lawyer and done lots of work representing clients buying and selling yachts. It’s an honour to be involved in the Feadship Heritage Fleet and meet so many people who share my passion not only for our sailing history but also vintage cars. Like a number of members I’ve have taken part in many classic rallies, including winning the pre-war category of the Rally de Monte Carlo in a Bentley Derby sedan. But it is Schollevaer that will always have the most special place in my heart.”