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Owner’s story: The joys of sailing a classical yacht for 15 years

13 July 2022• Written by Laura Nicholls for Holland Yacht Connection

After 82 years at sea and a series of passionate owners, Iduna is a yacht with a story to tell. The classic ketch is now listed for sale, meaning there's an opportunity for a new owner to experience the joys of sailing a yacht with a rich history.

But before that, we hear from her current owner, who shares what he has found most enjoyable about spending the last 15 years sailing on board Iduna in the Mediterranean.

Continue history

Built in 1939, Iduna was built by the De Vries family’s shipyard in the Netherlands to a design by Henri de Voogt. A decade later, these families joined forces and founded the Dutch shipyard Feadship. Ever since, Iduna has carried the credentials as being one of the most original and unique Feadship superyachts in service.

Considered a nautical artefact, Iduna was restored in 1999 after having slipped into a state of disrepair in Antibes, France. Her dedicated owners at the time invested in the two-year project and saw the yacht transform from a skeleton to an entirely new boat. “Iduna would have fallen apart if it had not been for the efforts of her last owner and his team,” says Iduna’s current owner. “I love Iduna’s history. She has survived the war and has travelled all over Europe. It was incredible what happened during her rebuild. At least 80% of the hull was renewed, as well as the decks, styling and interior,” he adds. “I bought her in 2007 – seven years after her restoration – and she was still in brand-new condition. I have maintained her every year without fail ever since.”

The simple life

Despite being fitted with all the modern conveniences, Iduna is an uncomplicated superyacht. “Although the entire interior is brand new, the rebuild brief was to recreate the way she looked back in 1939,” says the owner. The modern technology on board helps to keep her comfortable with low maintenance costs, and features such as her main mast, compass, anchor winch and steering wheel were fitted to mimic her original design. “Even Iduna’s teak deck was laid in the traditional way with a planking pattern that follows the old style to the millimetre,” adds the owner.

The rigging and classically coloured Ratsey & Lapthorne sails look impressive in any setting and are easy enough for anyone to handle. “Sailing Iduna is so easy and a real pleasure. I have had great times putting a sail up and choosing the right angle,” her owner says.

Having first experienced sailing thanks to a friend, Iduna’s owner has made the most of every opportunity to go cruising with friends and family. “I like sailing because of the freedom it gives me. When I’m at sea it is such a different world,” he explains. “I think real happiness is finding purity, and Iduna is a pure thing, especially in terms of style and architecture.”

Finding hidden treasures

After 15 years, Iduna’s owner has circumnavigated the Mediterranean “two or three times”. The experience has led him to discover many of the region’s more hidden locations – places which have been the backdrop of many fond memories. “There is so much fun to be had when you come across a location that nobody has heard of and where there are no tourists. When this happens it feels very special and exclusive,” he says.

On Iduna, her owner has visited the likes of Italy, the Sicilian islands and the Ionian Sea. By doing so he has seen and experienced many different ways of life and cultures. “When you travel through Europe by boat, you see things that you would never normally see,” he explains. “On the west coast of Sicily, it feels like time has stopped, and in some ways they live like they did 100 years ago. The front doors are always open, and on Sundays you can smell and hear the families all cooking together. And seeing the classic Iduna moored in an old town is so harmonious.”

Creating a special home

As part of Iduna’s rebuild, she was given an interior decor scheme of cherrywood with understated cream carpets and colourful accents such as cushions and bedspreads. “At 133GT, the quality of the furnishings and heavy wood is undeniable,” the owner adds. Another important element of her design is the classic details added as part of Iduna’s history-inspired rebuild. For example, the door handles, hinges, porthole basins and lighting were all carefully considered to mimic the classic yacht’s original style.

Iduna’s purposeful layout of an owner’s stateroom and two additional guest suites, a galley, lounge and fine dining area was improved by her current owner. “The experience on board Iduna is always a romantic and fun experience for all friends and family. So I wanted more places to be able to sit together and enjoy a nice meal,” he explains. “This is why I added the seating area behind the deckhouse. And downstairs, I removed 50% of the saloon to make way for the third guest suite. It makes her layout more convenient and suited to real living,” the owner adds. Iduna is also an ideal family boat. “She’s great for children and a young family,” the owner explains. “There is plenty of privacy and she is very safe. Her next owner will love everything, I am sure.”

Iduna is currently listed for sale with Derk Jan Rolff, broker at Holland Yacht Connection (HYC) for €5,200,000. To find out more about her sales listing, contact HYC directly here.