In October we held the biennial Feadship Captains Summit, giving a select group of skippers the chance to spend three days and nights in the Netherlands. A broad programme included visits to the Feadship yards in Aalsmeer, Kaag and Makkum, where the captains enjoyed an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the various bespoke builds currently underway.
There were brainstorming sessions with senior Feadship personnel and a fascinating session with the Feadship designers and naval architects in order to gather the thoughts and opinions of the second most important people to ever step on board our yachts (after the owners of course!). A lively social programme included a custom dinner at one of Haarlem’s finest restaurants and a night out in Amsterdam. The captains all expressed how valuable they found the entire experience.
The latest thinking
“The Captain’s Summit is the best possible place to interact with your professional colleagues and spend time with the people who build the finest boats in the world,” said Len Beck, captain of Samadhi (ex. April Fool), who previously spent fifteen years at the helm of the globetrotting Feadship Battered Bull. “I may have been doing this job for three decades but I never grow tired of hearing about new technologies. We have learned lots about design and the latest thinking at Feadship. The summit is also a great opportunity to talk about operational experience – it’s very rare to have so much knowledge in one place.”
Bursting the bubble
Christopher Walsh, captain of Archimedes, was also impressed. “There is nothing more productive than spending time with your peers. It is fantastic for captains to have a chance to tap into so much collective knowledge and share honestly with each other. I also welcome the opportunity to talk to the actual builders. As a captain you tend to live in a bubble and the Captain’s Summit allows us to contribute to the big picture of superyacht construction. Feadship is without doubt the best of the best in terms of superyacht construction and it is a genuine honour to be able to help improve the service and product in this way.”
Two-way learning curve
Ted McCumber, captain of the multi-award-winning Savannah, also emphasises this point. “One of the things that I love about the Captain’s Summit is that it is a two-way street of learning. We have spoken with senior people from every discipline of yacht design and construction at Feadship, and the fact that they are making notes and listening carefully to what we have to say speaks volume for the integrity of this gathering. There are hundreds of captains around the world who would love to be at a meeting such as this and I am delighted to say I was there!”
The next Feadship Captain’s Summit will take place in two years’ time. In 2017 we will host the biennial Feadship Broker’s Summit as we continue to access the expertise and experience of those who come into regular contact with our clients.