Pampering, for most boat owners, means the occasional wash and wax, an oil change, and perhaps a fresh coat of varnish for the woodwork.
For one boat however, pampering has been taken to an entirely new level. Meet Catch, a classic 87-foot sportfishing battlewagon built by the famed Feadship shipyard in the Netherlands in 1984. Over the past 39 years, it has been subject to back-to-back, multi-million-dollar refits and refreshes to keep it in better-than-new, “bristol” condition.
Take the latest owner, a Florida-based Feadship enthusiast who bought the yacht just a year ago. After changing the name from Patriot to the more fishing-appropriate Catch, he felt a freshening was in order, even though the yacht was reportedly in near-perfect shape.
But instead of commissioning a U.S. yard to do the work, in June last year he loaded his new pride and joy onto a transport ship and sent her back “home: to Feadship in Amsterdam, a trans-Atlantic journey of 4,600 miles.
During the 10-month refit, which has just been completed, Feadship’s team of artisans completely repainted the yacht, laid new solid-teak decks on that long foredeck, created an additional crew cabin below decks, modernized most of the soft furnishings, and did a top-to-bottom systems overhaul.
“The yacht was in excellent condition at the time of the sale, but the owner was determined to bring her back to the Netherlands to ensure his Feadship remains a Feadship,” said Pier Posthuma de Boer, director of Feadship Refit & Services.
Peter Wilson, of Annapolis-based Marine Construction Management and the owner’s hands-on representative during the refit, explained that much of the previous work had focused on updating mechanical systems.
“It was time to make the interior spaces a little more contemporary, a little more sophisticated. Taking the yacht back to Feadship gave us the quality and craftsmanship we were looking for. And the yard was genuinely thrilled to be working on her again,” Wilson tells Robb Report.
But this latest rehab is just one chapter in a 17-year history of exhaustive maintenance work carried out by the previous owner, another passionate Feadship fan.
After purchasing the yacht in 2005 from its original buyer, South Florida mega-auto dealer Jim Moran, who originally named it Gallant Lady, the new owner immediately sent the yacht to refit specialist Derecktor in Dania, Florida.
Here, during 15 months, the yacht, renamed Patriot, was taken down to the bare aluminum hull, and the interior completely stripped, reconfigured, and rebuilt using top-grade materials. At the same time, the enclosed bridge was removed and redesigned, and a major focus placed on shaving weight and reducing noise levels throughout the yacht.
The work also included replacing the original 1,320hp MTU diesels for a pair of brand-new 12V2000 MTUs, packing 1,800-hp a piece, that would raise the top speed to over 26 knots.
The bill at the end of the 15 months was reportedly in excess of $10 million. A coffee table book created to show the details of the refit is said to have cost a staggering $250,000 to produce.
And it didn’t stop there. There was more major work carried out between 2015 and 2016, and again between 2019 and 2020. Top of the list during the work in 2020 included yet another complete hull re-paint.
“Patriot‘s owner created an absolute work of art with his extensive refits. His goal was to produce a state-of-the-art, one-off Gentleman’s sport yacht with flawless styling, quality construction and incredible performance,” says Chris Collins, former broker with Denison Yachting who ran the listing for the yacht before last year’s sale.
What makes the yacht worth the considerable, ongoing investment and effort? One reason: Rarity. According to Feadship, this was the first of only three sportfishermen ever built by the yard, each one drawn by Feadship’s legendary designer and naval architect Frits de Voogt.
De Voogt is said to have based his design on the iconic American fishing “battlewagons” built by the Rybovich yard in Palm Beach County, Florida, with trademark broken shearlines, long, open foredecks and soaring aluminum tuna towers.
Today, Catch has luxurious accommodations for six guests in three, ensuite cabins, with the master suite forward and two twin cabins midships. Its big-windowed salon features a large galley stocked with Sub-Zero appliances. The quality of the cherry woodwork throughout is exquisite.
Right now, the yacht is on its way back to the U.S. where the plan is to spend the summer in the Chesapeake and Northeast, before heading to Florida and the Bahamas for the winter—with, inevitably, some more pampering in its future.
Click here to see more images of Catch.