After an extensive refit, the iconic 1986 Feadship superyacht The Highlander is back in the water for sea trails and is being readied for charter through Feadship Charter Division. Launched for Malcolm Forbes of Forbes magazine fame, the Jon Bannenberg designed yacht is on schedule to be delivered to her new owners in Febuary after her recent relaunch at the Derecktor shipyard. “We are very big fans of Feadship,” say the owners. “The Highlander has Feadship’s outstanding quality and Jon Bannenberg’s iconic profile. The Feadship and Bannenberg mix is irresistible.”
The story has it that Malcolm Forbes – who was already a three-time Feadship owner – was visiting Holland to sign the contract for his new yacht when he saw the Feadship Azteca under construction. This was one of several ground-breaking projects then being built at Feadship and designed by Bannenberg. “Oh my God! We’ll have to paint mine green!” Forbes said. He engaged Bannenberg to create the next The Highlander. She shared a similar external appearance to the all-aluminium Azteca, but was built with a steel hull to suit the need for long-range cruising to China, Alaska and Bora Bora. Her interior layout incorporated large reception and conference areas, enabling Forbes to entertain countless dignitaries, heads of state and business leaders. The guest list included Prince Charles, Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan, Liz Taylor, Robert De Niro and Harrison Ford.
The Highlander remained in the Forbes family for over a quarter of a century. The enormous refit project included upgrading and modernising all the mechanics while extending the stern by four metres to create a contemporary transom and accommodate a lifting platform. The top deck has also been extended forward. “The new exterior profile follows Bannenberg’s strong lines. It shows how far ahead of his time Bannenberg was in the early 1980s. We look forward to sharing Highlander with people who truly appreciate Feadship’s quality and Bannenberg’s revolutionary design,” say the owners. The yacht appeared on SuperYacht World’s poll of the Top 50 Finest Superyachts Ever conducted last year.
Under her new name – simply Highlander – the yacht charters for $240,000 per week high season and $210,000 per week low. She will be available in the Mediterranean from April.