Racing car driver and recently appointed board member of the Feadship Heritage Fleet, Chapman Ducote, is the proud owner of 1952 Feadship Anahita V, which he admits was a very rare and lucky find. Ducote stumbled across the boat while searching listings for a tugboat to convert into an office at the end of his garden. Anahita was not advertised as a Feadship, as the previous owner did not realise what he had, but Ducote saw the lines reminiscent of the yard and began his research.

“It is probably accurate to say that this particular boat is the boat on which Feadship founded its business model,” says Ducote. “Feadship was formed in 1949 with the purpose of bringing a group of Dutch builders together and pooling their resources to build boats for the American market. At the 1951 New York Yacht Show they finally sold a boat to be delivered to their first client in 1952, which is now my boat. So Anahita was the first boat on which Feadship established their business model of building yachts for the American market.”

Anahita V

Ducote has since joined the Feadship Heritage Fleet and as become a board member. Originally he was the first and only American to join the fleet and his new mission is to recruit more Americans. He is also looking to undertake a significant refit on Anahita at Feadship next year, and he hopes that the yard will take an active involvement in her restoration.

Chapman Ducote

“I really would like Feadship to be involved in the project and perhaps partner with me and use the boat for whatever they wish because it is historically significant,” he explains. “It was their first boat that was out there and so it is a big part of their heritage. Feadship didn’t used to think that their heritage was relevant but after the formation of the club and all the interest, they are starting to see that it is really relevant and are starting to embrace it.”

"I think that everything that has happened in the industry up until this point has been in the same vein since all the way back to the 60s – from construction to sales processes to after care processes."

In addition to owning Anahita V, Ducote is also heavily invested in the yachting industry in a commercial sense, being the president of Delta Powerboats USA, which he is growing to be increasingly involved in the superyacht market. “Our smaller boats work very well as superyacht tenders,” he explains. “They are obviously great quality and great design, but the fact that they are carbon fibre makes them extremely light. For a superyacht that wants to get as much tender as it can on board, but is restricted by weight allowances, having a tender made out of carbon fibre makes a big difference.”

The Delta range

Currently in discussions with one client who is building a 130m motoryacht and is interested in the Delta 54 as a tender, the company is feeling the benefits of a motoryacht market that is currently growing in the larger sector. “I don’t want to be in the tender market per se, but I would rather be selling our yachts as superyacht tenders than to the one-off buyer because I feel that it is a more educated audience who can appreciate the quality of the build versus other boats that are out there in that size range,” says Ducote.

Chapman Ducote with wife Kristen

“My vision for the future of the brand is that I would like to see our larger boats come into their own and have people appreciate the different hull design, different construction, different propulsion technologies and all the engineering and technology that we have crammed into our boats. Selling them as superyacht tenders doubles our market so the influx of big motoryachts being built over 100m is definitely a benefit to us.”

Speaking about the yachting industry as a whole, Ducote believes that it is “ripe for change”. “Delta is definitely breaking the mould in terms of what we are doing, how we are building and how we are marketing,” he explains. “We are very broker friendly and don’t want to do things the way that everyone else is doing them. I think that everything that has happened in the industry up until this point has been in the same vein since all the way back to the 60s – from construction to sales processes to after care processes. I am definitely taking note of the way other builders are doing things and after care service is a big factor for me going forward.”

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