Feadship – Royal Dutch Shipyards


feadship logo



Feadship is a Dutch ship building company located in Haarlem in the Netherlands. It is known for working closely with a diverse clientele in creating custom superyachts. The Feadship brand has become synonymous with one-off, exclusively designed yachts: by selecting this imaginative company to construct their yacht, customers are guaranteed that their unique vision will see the light of day in a seaworthy vessel of premium standards.

A Family-centred Team

In 1877 a modest shipyard in the Netherlands was purchased by the Akerboom family. They offered boat building and repair services to clients along the coast. The Akerbooms joined forces with another boat building family named Van Lent in 1927 and steadily built a client base. Soon expansion was necessary and the two families formed an alliance with the De Vries Shipyard, yet another ship building family.

Turning Setbacks into Opportunities

During and shortly after World War II, the pleasure yachting industry was in dire straits. In the wake of the devastation the war wreaked, Europeans simply did not have the money or the will to order luxury seafaring vessels. In response to this, the Dutch government introduced export incentives, and this led the company to implement plans to sell luxury yachts to clients in the United States. This was the start of Feadship (First Export Association of Dutch Shipbuilders), which was founded in 1949 at the behest of the naval architect Henri De Voogt. The Van de Stadt Shipyard of Zaandam and the Nicolaas Witsen & Vis, Alkmaar Shipyard then became members of the company before its official launch at the Boat Show in 1951 in New York.

New Technology for the New WorldF

The Feadship Sirius Yacht

One of Feadship’s yachts

At its official launch, the company proudly showcased their method of using steel – a technology not previously used for yachts in the U.S. The orders for steel and aluminium boats started coming in quickly and soon Feadship stopped using wood to build yachts. By 1966 Feadship had three yards, one in Makkum, one in Kaag and another in Aalsmeer. Through the 60s and 70s Feadship Shipyard started building bigger boats and grew in popularity, surpassing many milestones in ship construction – and in 1977 a Feadship office was established in the US.

Feadship Yachts Built for Prominent People

Several custom-built yachts were constructed by Feadship for famous people through the years. The Santa Maria was custom-built for Henry Ford in 1963 and revamped in the early 90s and again in 2009. This extremely well-built and maintained yacht remains available for charter to this day. The Highlander superyacht was built for the media tycoon Malcolm Forbes. The 162-foot ship can comfortably accommodate 12 guests and 11 crew members. One of the more recent custom-made superyachts built by Feadship is Venus, created for the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs. Designed through collaboration between Jobs, Feadship and the exceptional French designer Philippe Starck, Venus is a 260-foot superyacht with a remarkable design, impeccably matched to the late entrepreneur.