There is something magical about a classic yacht. Akin to a vintage car, they have an irresistible grace and beauty that is hard to replicate with modern designs. A classic Feadship is something truly special and an astonishing number launched over three decades ago are still sailing today. Known as the ‘Feadship Heritage Fleet’ yachts have been painstakingly maintained or restored by obsessive owners and are testimony to Feadship’s standards of construction.

Istros, meaning ‘inspiration’ in ancient Greek, was built for the Pappadakis shipping family in 1954 by Amsterdam Shipyard Ltd. of Gerard de Vries Lentsch Jr. When delivered she was one of the largest motor yachts built in the Netherlands. The local press reported excitedly on her “sumptuously furnished cabins”, “violet blue-tinted bathrooms”, and new-fangled telephones that could “make calls to anywhere in the world”. Her subsequent history is less clear. She won Best Restored Vessel at the Prada Classic Yacht Show in 2001, but when spotted in Malta in 2015 by her current captain, Tristan Le Brun, she was in a pitiful state.

This is the 4th yacht and 3rd rebuild for the owner. He is passionate about yachting and takes huge pride in the restoration of ISTROS. The owner had been looking for a candidate for restoration for some time, and immediately saw ISTROS’ huge potential, with her classic shape.

“The whole idea behind Istros when we found the hull was to create a gentleman’s yacht that combined a classic soul with modern conveniences,” explains the captain. “The owner loves technology and with help from Feadship we’ve pushed it even further, because in some ways she’s actually ahead of her time, which is fantastic for a 65-year-old hull.”

“We weren’t looking for any old hull,” he adds. “We’d seen what Feadship had achieved with refits like MONARA and SULTANA, so knew they could offer the highest quality standards. It’s been a massive challenge for all concerned, but I don’t believe we could have done it without Feadship. Indeed, the entire Feadship team rose to the challenge.”

Istros was completely stripped down to a bare hull in Valletta, then shipped to the Netherlands in April 2019 and transported to a specialist subcontractor where she remained for the next three months.
While the hull underwent reconstructive surgery, Feadship was fashioning a new aluminium superstructure to replace the old steel deckhouse removed in Malta. With very few original plans available and building beginning before the hull was on site, this relied entirely on laser measurements. Thanks to 3D scanning both teams could work concurrently without the yacht being present. The result was a new aluminium superstructure that fitted perfectly.

The new interior layout was designed to fulfil today’s charter expectations. This meant maximising the accommodation. New CAT C18 main engines have freed up space for the staterooms, and the yacht has been made as eco-friendly as possible, it has also resulted in one of the quietest yachts available.

Van Geest Design created a family-oriented interior that delivers contemporary elements in a Scandinavian style Practicality is a priority: crew can now access fresh linen, towels and cleaning materials via underbed storage.

Tristan is just as passionate and proud of ISTROS’ transformation as her owner . “On most busy charter yachts and despite the constant upkeep, the interior quickly starts to look a bit tired,” says Tristan. “Our goal is that guests have the same impression of immaculate freshness as though no one else had been on board before them, day after day.”

Istros’ transformation completed in September 2020 and the crew are busy preparing for her first charter season in 2021.

“ I’m absolutely delighted to welcome Istros to our charter fleet. There are few classic yachts of this calibre available to charter. She will be in huge demand.”

ISTROS at a glance:

• 42.0m classic Feadship
• Launched 1954, rebuilt 2020
• 10 guests in 5 staterooms
• 7 crew
• From €95,000 per week
• Very low fuel consumption and emissions
• Beautiful interior

Istros Before
Guillaume Plisson 0538
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