On Tuesday 14th May, Dutch superyacht builder Heesen Yachts laid the keel for 80m Project Cosmos, which upon completion will be the largest superyacht the shipyard has built to date.

During the official ceremony, held at the shipyard in Oss during the HISWA press tour, the owner’s representative, designers, and the Heesen senior management gathered to witness this important occasion and hear about the design and development of this new project.

During the ceremony, Heesen’s CEO Arthur Brouwer and the shipyard’s director of sales Mark Cavendish took to the stage to mark the occasion and explain the current status of the shipyard’s activities.

“Today for us is a beginning of a new phase, or a new era if you will,” begins Brouwer. “This is quite a claim, but I will explain why we can state this. Project Cosmos is quite a project for us; it is a particularly large vessel for Heesen at 80.7m. The new yacht will reach an impressive speed of 30 knots and will be the fastest and largest fully aluminium yacht ever built.”

At 80.7m, the new aluminium superyacht has been designed by renowned British studio, Winch Design, benefitting from the Fast Displacement Hull Form (FDHF) and the resulting highly-efficient cruising performance. To arrive at this stage, the new project has undergone a rigorous testing process, comprising several stages, starting with the base naval architecture through to the extensive computational fluid dynamics.

"Today for us is a beginning of a new phase, or a new era if you will”

Alongside its in-house design and engineering department, Heesen has called upon the expertise of its long-standing partners, Van Oossanen Naval Architects and propulsion specialist Rolls Royce.

In order to ensure that the aluminium project benefitted not only from efficiency, but also stiffness, Heesen implemented its patented ‘Backbone’ technology – a method of construction which delivers stiffness, but no extra weight. Subsequently, Heesen has developed the project in order to meet the owner’s request of reaching a top speed of 30 knots.

“The ‘Backbone’ is a new design in superyacht building, which we now have successfully patented,” Brouwer explains. “It is a core design element of the vessel which means that the ship isn’t carried by the hull plating, but is carried by the design itself, which makes is a very rigid, stiff and light boat.”

As this is a fully aluminium project, the implementation of the FDHF configuration and the yacht’s ‘Backbone’, Project Cosmos requires a slightly deeper keel, which sees a low block coefficient, resulting in improved performance and efficiency. The project also features variable pitch propellers that were developed with Rolls Royce at its research centre in Kristinehamn, Sweden. The result is a fine-tuned Promas system, where the propeller and rudder are integrated to achieve optimised hydrodynamic efficiency.

 

 

“We kicked off 2019 with the launch of Vida, which has just been delivered and today our order book stands at 12 yachts, seven of which are being built on speculation,” says Cavendish. “This is an interesting point and the order book highlights that out spec yacht programme has now overtaken our custom-building programme, which is a new development for us. This is illustrative of the modern client, who is often cash rich, but time poor.

"We are not standing still; we are constantly evolving to meet future trends.”

“In 2018, the market in our core segment, which is the 50-80m range, grew slightly and we still see a stable and slightly growing market looking towards the future,” continues Cavendish. “I’m purposefully not mentioning anything below 50m as we are really not building anything that size any more. We are not standing still; we are constantly evolving to meet future trends.”

Last week Project Castor  was sold. Rupert Connor from Luxury Yacht Group introduced the client and worked closely with Thom Conboy from the Heesen US office. “Indeed, our US office has been responsible for the last six of our last ten yachts,” says Cavendish. “This is a remarkable statistic that confirms the importance of the US market for Heesen as well as the key role played by the Fort Lauderdale team.”

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