73m Feadship superyacht Predator, now listed for sale

10 images

Credit: SuperYachtsMonaco

Predator: the speed-optimised superyacht that got a design carte blanche from her captain

10 April 2024 • Written by Holly Margerrison

Following on from the news of her €10M price drop, Holly Margerrison reflects on Feadship's radical 72.8-metre superyacht Predator and her striking bullet-like design.

Before the launch of Predator in 2008, the Feadship fleet had a few head-turners that broke the norms of yacht design; yachts like 67-metre Siran, with her turquoise-tinted windows, and 65-metre Wedge Too, with her wood-panelled exterior, proved that the Dutch builder was a custom yard to its core. But until Predator, Feadship hadn’t veered into the realm of sporty styling, low profiles and deeply reversed bows.

Predator's tender replicates the inverted bow look of the mothership
Credit: SuperYachtsMonaco

Delivered in 2008, Predator was a yacht of firsts, built for an owner who liked to party. In spite of that, no concessions were made when it came to powerful cruising. She was the first to house a four-engine propulsion package – driving her to a top speed of 25.5 knots – yet she was also branded as one of the quietest Feadships ever built thanks to mounts, floating floors and vibration panels on bulkheads. To facilitate those speeds, weight reduction played a pivotal role in the design and decor of the boat.

Back in the mid-2000s, an ambitious owner approached a captain with a unique prospect. At his request, 30-year yachting veteran Captain Greg Drewes was tasked with overseeing the build of the vessel. 

Captain Drewes explains: “[The owner] submitted a letter to DeVries Feadship stating that I had 100 per cent control over the decision-making for the entire project. He asked me to put my entire life at sea into a yacht like no other. His primary requests were to make it quiet, to have no vibration, and 25 knots top speed without a turbine."

Read More/€10M price drop on 73m Feadship superyacht Predator
Concept sketches from Bannenberg & Rowell's studio
Credit: Bannenberg & Rowell
Images from Predator's original shoot
Credit: David Churchill

Captain Drewes was approached by a naval architect working for De Voogt, named Jaap Van Kuelen. He proposed the reverse bow and, later, the design of the two custom tenders that mimicked the lines of their mothership. "I presented his design to the owner and he loved it as much as I did, asking if it was feasible. I said, 'only after model testing'. Three weeks of testing at Marin in Holland, and we proceeded to build Predator," Captain Drewes explains.

Credit: David Churchill

Her interior was quite the feat for the newly formed London studio Bannenberg & Rowell at the time. One of the first major contracts in the studio's era, it was hired directly by Feadship de Vries, and Captain Drewes, to complete the interior. 

Dickie Bannenberg, one half of Bannenberg & Rowell explains: "It had some very particular requirements: it had to be a physically lightweight-constructed interior, which is not only an issue for the interior subcontractor, but also for us as designers. Despite needing it to be lightweight, the real skill was to make it look the very opposite, frankly: massive and solid."

Vanity units in the master en suite, crafted with Emperador marble tops, were made out of honeycomb composite. While they had a visible thickness and solid detailing, they could be picked up by two people during their installation. The studio also had a specific request from the outset: to make extensive use of a veneer called Karelian birch, which was a favourite of the owner. "It’s quite a busy timber – it's a sort of pale blonde timber with a lot of squiggles. It's very unusual. We teamed that up with a very contrasting dark veneer called Macassar Ebony, and Zebrano," explains Dickie.

Credit: Bannenberg & Rowell
Credit: David Churchill

In the mix of custom design details, standout furniture included coffee tables and an imposing dining table which could split into two or three, allowing it to facilitate parties of 12, or be divided for smaller parties. Lush carpets were handmade and hand-knotted in Nepal, a practice which was unusual at the time, says Dickie. 

In terms of accommodation, Predator is generous and luxurious. There were originally four guest cabins and an owner’s cabin, but this changed late into the build. "Pretty late in the day, the owner decided he was going to sacrifice two of the guest cabins and increase the size of his accommodation. So, very grandly, it ended up as two guest cabins and a huge owner’s suite. It was really unusual," Dickie says.

Credit: Bannenberg & Rowell
Credit: David Churchill

Dickie explains it was almost the least frequent client interaction the studio has ever had on any project – "we met maybe three times". It would get instructions from the client, albeit in a slightly roundabout way through various representatives and, to a degree, from the shipyard.

The project may just go down in the London-based studio's history for more reasons than one. During one of the few times Dickie met the client, he and Simon Rowell travelled to the owner's property in the south of France to present.

"For the client meeting, we hired a car and had these big presentation boards. One of the boards blew off on the front of the autoroute because we had them strapped to the roof. It was after the meeting, fortunately, but we kept it for many years and it still has tyre tracks from where a truck drove over it," Dickie says, adding: "It was quite a good adventure and suitably unsafe. An amazing project and very significant for us – one of our first yachts in the design studio with Simon."

Credit: David Churchill

The yacht for sale is currently listed with Alex Banning of SuperYachtsMonaco, who adds: "With a recent market-beating price drop of  10,000,000, I believe Predator is the stand-out option in the market, and an iconic Feadship at this value, condition and quality. She is a very rare opportunity."

Banning adds: "For sale with her second owner since new, she has unique features such as 25 knots – or 12 knots – five staterooms, stunning unique looks, helipad, beach club, big volumes, very low hours, steel hull, all Class and servicing up to date. Predator is in truly pristine condition, an ideal turnkey proposition for any buyer for this season."

Predator is now asking €69,000,000.

Read More/Designer's insight: Dickie Bannenberg on six of his most compelling designs

More about this yacht

Feadship   72.8 m •  2008

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