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Feadship’s ‘Ice Bear’ Is One of the First Sportfishing Superyachts

Feadship’s ‘Ice Bear’ Is One of the First Sportfishing Superyachts

Feadship’s ‘Ice Bear’ Is One of the First Sportfishing Superyachts

The Feadship Ice Bear is a 1988 throwback, at least partially frozen in time, from its straight-edged De Voogt exterior to the original interior by Paola D. Smith. The 170-footer, originally one of the Gallant Lady series, was one of the most interesting vessels at the Palm Beach boat show, not only for its pedigree, because it was the forerunner to modern sportfishing superyachts like the just-delivered 171-foot Special One from Royal Huisman. Feadship had built convertibles such as Catch as far back 1984, but Ice Bear is the first hybrid sportfish/superyacht.

For starters, this superyacht is a bluewater fishing boat, having spent much of its 36-year-old life traveling up and down the West Coast, summering in Alaska, where the owners spent most of their time catching halibut and salmon.

During the winters, it moved to Costa Rica as a mothership to a sportfishing boat chasing big pelagics like sailfish and marlin. Ice Bear’s cockpit could be on a large convertible, with two teak fighting chairs, livewells, fishboxes, an ice chipper, and rocket launchers. A large stowage compartment on the mezzanine deck reveals enough rod stowage to last a lifetime. The yacht also has a tower with a full helm station, designed so the captain has a clear line of sight to the cockpit down below, a key element for a fishing boat.

Ice Bear’s cockpit is set up for serious sportfishing.

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The other interesting part of Ice Bear is the interior. It has undergone a partial refit in the early 2000s to replace dated 1980s furniture, but it’s definitely dated with the lush, wood-rich, and sometimes ornate style that is in counterpoint to today’s minimalist interior. But on Ice Bear, it works.

The full-beam primary suite feels palatial, especially with the adjoining office and lounge, complete with wood trimming. The bridge deck sky lounge might look a bit like your grandparents’ living room with the formal furniture and wainscot walls, but it’s warm and inviting with great views. Even the stairwell and foyer down to the guest staterooms, typically an afterthought on most yacht designs, is paneled in light woods, with a signature oval design on the ceiling.

The observation lounge has a dated, luxe look but exceptional views of the water.

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The location of the dining room at the aft section of the main deck serves two purposes: The owner can keep an eye on the cockpit fishing action while eating breakfast, but it also exudes a sense of elegance (even with the crimson-upholstered dining chairs) for formal dining.

Most likely a new owner would redo most of these sections, along with the light woods and cream marbles in the bathrooms for modernity’s sake. (The superyacht’s listed for $9.95 million after a $1.55 million price drop.) But the bones are there, says Burgess, as well as a hull that is in good shape given its age.

One part of the boat that is timeless is the observation lounge on the upper deck. The space is dotted with plush, leather rotating chairs and surrounded by the large windows. A wetbar in the rear section handles the refreshments. Overhead, the blue-covered oval on the ceiling adds a stately but not especially tacky look. Perched in a chair there, one can easily imagine what it must be like to pull into the sub-arctic climes of Alaska, with a nice drink in hand, enjoying the sweeping vistas of the state’s rugged coastline from the coziest of places. It’s a feature that will stand the test of time.

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