Heesen Yachts has announced that on 17 December, the hull and superstructure of YN 18250, known as Project Ayla, was joined at its facility in Oss, The Netherlands. The 50m semi-displacement yacht is a speculative build, which is currently available for sale and with delivery scheduled for April 2018.

Styled by Frank Laupman of Omega Architects, one can already see the distinctive Heesen design cues taking shape, such as the high sloping bow and hard chine hull configuration. On the upper deck, Project Ayla has a similar curved structure to that of Monaco Wolf, delivered in 2014. But, while the styling of the yacht is crucial, the real focus in the brief is the yachts impressive performance, range and stability.

According to the yard, the hull design of Project Ayla is based on the experience of the in-house naval architects and engineers, who have built 36 semi-displacement yachts over 40m since 1990, when Heesen delivered, 44m M/Y At Last, its first semi-displacement yacht over 40m. Thanks to this wealth of expertise, Project Ayla will reach a top speed of 23 knots and a deliver a transatlantic range of 3,200 nautical miles at 11 knots.

However, it is not just about speed and power; Heesen has highlighted that a special effort was taken to ensure only the upmost comfort on board while underway and at anchor, and as a result, Heesen has installed zero-speed stabilisers to keep lateral motion to a minimum.

For this design package, and with a gross tonnage just below the 500gt threshold, Heesen has worked to maximise the interior spaces, making a number of changes to the standard general arrangement to ensure there is plenty of space for 12 guests across six cabins. This includes the full-beam master suite, which is traditionally located on the main deck forward, while the guest cabins are found on the lower deck.

The minimalistic interior has been created by Chrisitano Gatto and his team, who took the contemporary inspiration of ‘New Deco’ style from the work of Jean Michel Frank. However, clients will have the opportunity to personalise the styling at different stages of the construction process thanks to the extensive use of fabric and upholstery, which will allow the new owners to choose the materials and colour palate to satisfy their own tastes and lifestyle.

Project Ayla will soon undergo an extensive period of sea trials in the North Sea, followed by her outfitting stage, ready for her 2018 delivery.



Photos by Dick Holthuis

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