Heesen Yachts is moving swiftly on the construction of its new flagship, a yacht with fresh styling and an innovative hull and construction.
On the occasion of our latest visit to Heesen’s facilities in Oss, we had the opportunity to get aboard the builder’s new flagship, the all-aluminum Heesen 65m. Construction started in December 2011 after a long design and planning process. The much-anticipated yacht, currently in the outfitting stages, is well on her way to an on-time delivery in 2013.
Frank Laupman of Omega Architects, who gave the yacht her sleek profile, led us on a tour. The measurements speak well of this slender yacht. Despite her length of about 213 feet, the yacht (still identified by the code name YN 16465) has a beam of only 37 feet 4 inches, a displacement weight at half load of 560 tons (only 60 tons more than the 55-meter semi-displacement yacht the yard builds) and gross tonnage of 1,000 GT, much less than other yachts in this size (usually around 1,500 GT).
Laupman walked us through the process that led to this point. “It was a challenging project for us,” says Laupman, “and I am pleased to see how the lines I sketched a couple of years ago turned into such a beautiful yacht.” For the interior design, the owner asked London-based designers Bannenberg & Rowell to create a modern and sophisticated interior that meshes well with the dynamic exterior lines. Much of the final look is still under wraps, but the renderings suggest a ’60s flair.
We did not see the finished interior during our visit but did have the opportunity to take a look at the yacht’s inner systems—including the meticulous piping, insulation and equipment installation—as well as to appreciate the interesting layout.
Among the yacht’s original design features are a huge beach club that boasts a portside balcony and a very large swim platform, as well as a sauna, hammam, shower room, dayhead and a fully equipped bar. An amazingly large area aft of the main deck accommodates a swimming pool and plenty of space for outdoor living with a seating area protected by the upper deck’s overhang. With its large glass inserts, it is a design feature well worth mentioning. The yacht, as a whole, features particularly spacious outdoor areas on all decks and the cozy interior spaces visually connect to the exterior through large windows.
Laupman’s design, Heesen’s quality construction and Van Oossanen and Associates’ Fast Displacement Hull Form (FDHF) answered the owner’s wishes in terms of style and performance. The hull itself warrants a bit more explanation.
The FDHF is designed to perform well at all speeds with respect to resistance, seakeeping and maneuvering abilities. Architects at Van Oossanen noted that luxury motoryachts only use top speeds for very short periods and often spend much more time cruising over long distance in the mid- to low-speed ranges, rather than “sprinting” from point A to B.
Instead of focusing on achieving best performance at the top-end speed range, the architects took into consideration the way the hull would perform at economical and mid-range speeds. At semi-displacement speed, the FDHF is designed to do as well or better than conventional semi-displacement vessel in terms of resistance, resulting in improved efficiency (less fuel consumed and fewer emissions). Featuring twin MTU 20V 4000 M93L engines, each developing 5,592hp (4,170kW) at 2,100 rpm, YN 16465 will reach a top speed of 27 knots and navigate at a cruising speed of 24 knots. Heesen chose Seakeeper gyroscopic stabilizers rather than the more commonly used fin stabilizers for its 65m project, making this yacht the largest ever to feature this kind of stabilizing device.
The Heesen 65m also features interesting techniques in the construction of decks, bulkheads and part of the superstructure plating. Extruded aluminum plates 12 inches wide were welded together using a “friction-stir” welding method developed by NASA to form 8-foot 2-inch by 39-foot 4-inch plates with uniform mechanical properties. Heesen says that combined with Van Oossanen’s hull configuration, this sophisticated building technique results in a yacht that is 30 percent more efficient than a traditionally built round-bilge motoryacht.
There is much to look forward to when Hull No. One of this exciting new series undergoes her sea trials in a few months.
For more information, visit heesenyachts.nl.
LOA: 213ft. 3in. (65m)
Beam: 37ft. 6in. (11.5m)
Draft: 10ft. (3.1m)
Hull construction: aluminum
Engines: 2 x MTU 20V 4000 M93L 5,592hp (4,170kW) @ 2,100 rpm
Speed (max.): 27 knots (1/2 load)
Speed (cruising): 24 knots (1/2 load)
Fuel capacity: 23,770 gal. (90,000L)
Freshwater capacity: 7,920 gal. (30,000L)
Range (@ 12 knots): 4,200 nm
Propellers: Schaffran five blade fixed pitch Ø 2.000mm
Exterior design: Omega Architects
Interior design: Bannenberg & Rowell
Naval architecture: Heesen Yachts/ Van Oossanen Naval Architects
Class: ABS @ A1 Yachting Service @ AMS Large Commercial Yacht Code LY2 / MCA
Guests/crew: 12/13 (incl. Captain)
Builder: Heesen Yachts - 2013