The refit of a classic Feadship Caravelle motor yacht dating back to the 1960’s, blends vintage charm with modern super yacht comforts
The Dutch yacht building consortium Feadship has successfully completed the refit of the 24-metre motor yacht Caravelle, named after the line of classic beauties built by Feadship in the Sixties during a partnership with the legendary Italian designer Carlo Riva.
Having commissioned this year-long refit after falling in love with the yacht’s striking lines and vintage charm, the owners took the opportunity to also enhance her with 21st-century creature comforts such as zero-speed stabilisation.
The seven Feadships launched between August 1961 and October 1965 under the Caravelle name have gained an almost iconic status amongst connoisseurs of Sixties maritime cool. Much admired at the time by clients such as beer magnate Freddie Heineken, these fast steel motor yachts were resolutely ahead of the curve. Always popular, rarely available, the Caravelles made global headlines again when Dutch yacht builder totally rebuilt the fourth in the line, Serena, during 2010.
This latest refit was carried out for clients who were actively seeking a Caravelle of their own. The client was delighted when he discovered the fifth cruiser in the line, originally launched as Quien Sabe in 1965. She had been renamed Absolute by her then owners, who had extended the yacht by 1.5 metres to add a lazarette and folding swim platform. These changes did not negatively affect the design, which retained its beautiful soft body curves, charming blue hull, warm teak deck and gleaming chrome deck jewellery, captivating the current owners.
Renaming her Caravelle, the owners had the yacht shipped from the Mediterranean to the Feadship yard in Makkum in northern Holland for an extensive refit designed to ensure she lasts at least another half a century. The work included completely stripping and rebuilding the engine room and the installation of no less than four RotorSwing at-anchor stabilisers. In addition, the hull was repainted, and the interior and systems completely upgraded to meet the full scope of Feadship’s rather exacting Dutch yacht building standards.
Frances and Michael Howorth are an award-winning team of travel writers specialising in coverage of luxury yachts both large and small and are our yachting correspondents.
Photographs courtesy of Feadship