Is your Feadship still a Feadship?
SuperyachtNews speaks with Ico Vergouwe and Francis Gumbs about the motivations behind 'My Feadship'…
At The Superyacht Forum 2018, Feadship launched its new ‘My Feadship’ initiative, which sees the Dutch superyacht new-build stalwart maintaining greater control of the lifecycle quality of its delivered vessels.
SuperyachtNews speaks with Ico Vergouwe, head of refit sales for Feadship Refit & Service, and Francis Gumbs, head of design & engineering for Feadship Refit and Services, about the motivations behind the development of the My Feadship suite of services, which includes Feadship Rebuild, the Feadship Services Network and the Feadship Authentication Certificate.
“For a number of years, we have been changing our approach to, and treatment of the refit market, as well as how we communicate with our client base,” starts Vergouwe. “As well as developing our own refit programme in the Netherlands [Feadship Rebuild], in 2008 we began by contacting a number of refit yards in the Mediterranean such as Monaco Marine, Compositeworks and MB92, as well as Rybovich in the US - Amico was less active at that time.
“With these yards, we developed strong relationships, but not to the point that we were prepared to make them an official service partner of Feadship. When clients were not able to bring their Feadships to the Netherlands, we advised that they visited these yards and we aided with the refit or maintenance work.”
The Feadship team found that, without a network of service providers in place, a number of Feadships, once the warranty period was over, fell out of contact with Feadship, as the captains and management teams were left to their own devices when it came to maintaining the vessel. As a result, refit works were conducted without Feadship’s advice or influence and, therefore, there was no guarantee that the quality of the works lived up to Feadship’s exacting standards.
“The Feadships were out of our sight and, in some cases, this has led to situations where it was doubtful that the quality that we had put into the original build had been replicated and maintained,” explains Gumbs. “For an owner, it is not just important that the Feadship badge is on the side, but also that the quality assumed by the badge is reflected in the overall and continued quality of the vessel.”
Therefore, in order to guarantee the quality of refit works that are not carried out at the Feadship facilities in the Netherlands, Feadship has formalised the Feadship Services Network, which leverages a new series of agreements with MB92 (Spain), Monaco Marine (France), Amico & Co (Italy) and Rybovich (US) as refit partners of Feadship.
“Working together more closely with our partners gives us the leverage to make sure that they have all the necessary information to hand and that they are willing to follow our instructions – that is what we request in order for them to become part of our service network,” continues Gumbs. “That is why the process of developing the official network has taken so long, we needed to see how the yards operated and this allowed us to slowly build our confidence in them so that we, in turn, were able to tell our clients with certainty that these yards were the best places to take their Feadships.”
The final element of the My Feadship suite of services is the development of the Feadship Authentification Certificate. “In order to clarify whether or refit standards have been maintained, we have created a system by which we can readopt those vessels, that have been out of sight for some time, into a Feadship maintenance programme,” continues Vergouwe. “Through survey work, we will be able to confirm whether or not a Feadship still meets our exacting standards. The superyacht may be approved first time or, alternatively, we will provide a list of works that are required in order for the vessel to be certified.”
Vergouwe compares the authentication system to those used in the automotive industry. If, for example, a Mercedes was up for sale but it had been out of Mercedes service for a while, it is possible to reestablish the service record by returning the car to Mercedes in order for the garage to evaluate the car and pass judgement. The system now adopted by Feadship is designed to provide both owners and buyers the peace of mind required to be fully satisfied by the operation, sale or purchase of a Feadship. Newly delivered Feadships will be provided with an authentication certificate on delivery.
“This three-pillar system is of great benefit to owners who invest in a Feadship. They invest in a name, a brand, an expectation of quality… This new system will give them the confidence that they have invested their money correctly, when it comes to the annual maintenance spend and that everything on board remains top notch,” concludes Vergouwe.
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