Following a period of sea trials, Heesen Yachts oversaw the delivery of its latest project, 51m Irisha, to her owners last week. The yacht, which was sold by Superyachts Monaco, marks the first-time that the British design studio Harrison Eidsgaard has collaborated with the Dutch shipyard. The new style is a truly interesting development for the Heesen Fleet and represents a very different direction for the shipyard. Speaking exclusively with SuperyachtNews, Ben Harrison, partner at Harrison Eidsgaard, discusses the new project.
“Right from the very start it was a challenging venture, building what is essentially a fully custom project,” says Harrison, who managed the design of the 51m project. “Initially, there was a kind of synergy between Irisha and previous projects in terms of the engineering platform, however, we quickly moved away from that because she has bigger engines and many new spaces, so essentially she is a fully custom Heesen at 51m.”
Harrison explains that the primary goal was to design around the outgoing and sporty nature of the owner and their family. As a result, the entire arrangement was developed in accordance with this lifestyle, which resulted in some unique compositions in the layout. “It is meant to be a very comfortable and contemporary space – this is how we see our owners living on board,” says Harrison. “The owners are far more active and more interested in sport and swimming, which they do off the back of the boat. So, there is very much this connection between the water and then the main deck. It’s very much driven by the way the owners use the boat.”
The distinctive approach to Irisha’s design dictated that a number of features demanded intense development, however the result was something truly unique and entirely different from the rest of Heesen’s fleet. “The exterior glass, for example, was a very challenging aspect of the project,” explains Harrison, speaking about the vast windscreen that stretches up the entire front of the superstructure. “One of the glass pieces for the atrium staircase had to be made 14 times because it is such a tight bend when the staircase curves around.
“In terms of the layout and the GA, Peder and I think it is essential that when you board a boat, you know where you are,” says Harrison. “On board Irisha, when you leave all the doors open you can actually see from the transom, right the way through to the forward bulkhead of the master bathroom. So, there is one line that runs the whole way through the boat.” The idea was not only promote that sense of being at sea, but open up the interior to make it feel like a much larger space.
“There are some interesting elements here, obviously she’s sub 500 gross tonnes so we played on the indoor-outdoor space making the living room more of an outdoor space,” Harrison explains. “We really wanted to move away from the formal lounge and formal dining aspect. Maybe on charter this kind of arrangement would get used once or twice a week, but actually for the owners, the idea was to create a space which they can actually use; you can be sitting in this area with swimming gear on and you don’t feel like you can’t sit down.”
A natural palate of blues, greys and beige has been used throughout the interior in order to promote a relaxing atmosphere, alongside a series of textured materials, which are designed to catch and reflect the light in different ways. However, in addition to the relaxed areas on the aft deck and the main saloon, the versatile yacht also has a number of formal areas on board that has been designed to meet the owners’ desire to have both formal and informal gatherings.
From the beginning, it’s been an absolute pleasure working with Heesen,” concludes Harrison. “They are a fantastic team and we were delighted to have delivered such a special vessel at the end of three and a half years work.”
Irisha is available to charter in the Mediterranean with Superyachts Monaco and will make her official debut to the public during this years’ Monaco Yacht Show in September.
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