Following the delivery of 51m Heesen-built MY Irisha, SuperyachtNews speaks exclusively with Stuart King, director of Technical Marine UK, to discuss the processes involved in the development of this particular new build superyacht and consider some of the challenges encountered during the build of Irisha from the perspective of the owner’s team.
“We started the project towards the end of 2014 and the contract with Heesen was not signed until May 2015,’ starts King. “When we [Technical Marine UK] first got involved, the project consisted of the proposal drawings from Harrison Eidsgaard Design. Irisha began as a 55m custom vessel and we became engaged in a number of studies to try and ascertain how we could limit her volume to ensure her tonnage was below the 500gt threshold, which is incredibly difficult at 55m.”
Once Irisha’s 55m sub-500gt design had been validated, King explains that the team then approached a number of shipyards in order to ascertain pricing and the viability of the project from the perspectives of a variety of sources.
“Firstly, you need to make sure that the information that is being provided to yards is consistent and that they are able to quote against it,” continues King. “Before we consider a contract, we create a single coherent package of build information. This package will include a specification, GA and some exterior renderings amongst other things. At this point you are able to approach several yards and what you expect is to receive in return is a series of bids that, when choosing a final yard, become a case of comparing apples with apples.”
If, however, a coherent set of information and documents is not created, invariably the quotes that are received in return will fail to represent the needs of the project and may vary wildly from one another.
“Obviously you choose the yard that you feel is best qualified to build what it is you have set out to achieve. We chose Heesen because, unlike the other yards, it presented us with an opportunity to integrate Harrison Eidsgaard’s beautiful design into one of its platform,” King explains. “The yard has a proved 50m semi-displacement platform that does 23kts, the Satori series hull. The yard has built a number of these over the years.”
It is not uncommon, according to King, for shipyards to incorporate custom designs into their tried and tested hull platforms. One may be forgiven for believing that the desire to do this is a time and cost saving exercise, however, while savings may be a by-product of such a process in some cases, the real benefit to both yard and owner is the mitigation of risk associated with the build.
“The main benefit for the yard is risk. If the platform is already proven, they can be confident that the vessel is going to meet the necessary performance parameters; they know it will be stable, up to speed and they will have a designed and tested engineering packaged,” says King. “The slight inconvenience with Irisha was that Heesen’s existing platform only reached 23kts, but she was required to reach 25kts. The yard therefore worked hard to upgrade the engineering package to meet the owner’s requirements. In the end there was quite a few changes to the platform.”
Importantly, Irisha was required to match Harrison Eidsgaard’s original profile. Irisha’s owner would quite rightly not have accepted amendments to the original design that had diluted his vision that had been made real by the British design studio.
“It was quite an exchange of drawings between ourselves, the owner and Eidsgaard to show the owner that the design would not be compromised by using the platform,” continues King. “The forward third of the vessel is completely different to the platform, as is the transom and the entire superstructure. You can tell just from looking at the images that Irisha appears to be completely fresh and new.”
Once the various combinations of custom and platform had been realised, Irisha became a 51m sub-500gt project that achieved over 26kts during her sea trial. For more details on the design and features of Irisha, click here.
“Looking back, the final Irisha delivered to the owner by Heesen is remarkably close to the preliminary sketches of the custom boat developed by Harrison Eidsgaard back in late 2014. The work carried out by Heesen to integrate the unique custom design into their well proven 50m engineering platform is very impressive given the increase in speed required and the entirely custom profile and layout. Despite the difficulties in producing the extensive and complex curved exterior glass, the result speaks for itself and the photos of the yacht in recent trials look just like the earliest sketches from Harrison Eidsgaard. She is the impressive result of no compromises being made during the build, by a yard that worked hard to accommodate the requirements of the client,” concludes King.
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