Research Committee

History Makers


The Feadship Heritage Fleet research committee was established at the start of 2016 with the goal to ensure an archive of information on classic Feadships that retains our shared heritage for future generations. On a practical level it aims to avoid people seeking information that is already available, hence the use of a Cloud archive to store as much as possible in word and image.

Encyclopaedic knowledge

The De Vries yard has long had a well- designed archive, with resident historian Huib de Vries taking up the role in 1995 following a distinguished teaching career. One of the few members of the De Vries clan not to have worked in the family business, Huib has an encyclopaedic knowledge of Feadship names and dates.

The same can be said for Nico Verhaar, a former carpenter at Van Lent who has dedicated many years to collecting information on the yard at which he worked. Unfortunately, there are still some gaps in the Van Lent archive from before Nico started his hobby and the yard is currently busy with a separate project trawling through maritime museum registers and other sources to establish a complete picture of the history of Royal van Lent.

Meanwhile, Nico and Huib are indispensable members of the research committee, which also currently consists of Jolande van Lent (secretary), Jan van Lent and Joost de Vries. All are dedicated to searching for missing Feadships, especially built by the other yards that initially joined Feadship: E.G. van der Stadt (Zaandam, left Feadship in 1953), Witsen & Vis (Alkmaar, left in 1959), De Vries Lentsch (Nieuwendam, left in 1958) and Akerboom (Lisse, left in 1968).

In addition to keeping a lookout in marinas and other places, the committee members also focus their energies on the internet.

Hidden treasures

This is how Jolande van Lent came to find ‘her’ Feadship, the 10-metre Marco, on the Dutch website Marktplaats. “This 1956 boat was in a pretty bad state,” she recalls. “A DIY enthusiast had spent a decade trying to do her up and then abandoned the project five years ago, leaving her with an uncharacteristic steel superstructure.

“After purchasing the boat I tracked down the family of the first owner and they were able to provide the launch name and date and even some photos. It’s a good example of how one can uncover hidden gems and Marco is now being brought back to life with a new interpretation by Willem Nieland of my grandfather’s original design. We hope to unveil her at the next FHF rendezvous.”

Sign of the times

Jolande stresses how all members can play a role in filling historical gaps. “It’s fascinating what you can find,” she says. “It was wonderful to be able to show a film from 1956 of the original launch of Hera (ex. Pien) during the members meeting last year. We also recently found correspondence relating to the sale eighty years ago of De Elft, which included a fifty-guilder discount for early payment and a willingness to even come and explain the offer on a Sunday if necessary. The archives are a rich source of information not just on Feadships but also about the different times in which they were built.”

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