Dutch shipbuilder, Heesen Yachts, have launched YN 19055 Project Castor at their facility in Oss, meaning that the vessel is on schedule for her delivery in August, avoiding any delays that may have occurred a result of coronavirus.

During a recent webinar by Camper & Nicholsons International (CNI), Heesen's Director of Sales and Marketing, Mark Cavendish, revealed that Heesen was well-prepared to continue work during the lockdown. "[Heesen] took drastic actions early on in order to comply with social distancing and various regulations," stated Cavendish.  The webinar, hosted by The Superyacht Group's Martin Redmayne, is available to view here.

Thanks to these drastic measures adopted early on, both in Heesen's production processes and in the offices, they managed to introduce the necessary physical distance and were, therefore, able to carry on with work (following the Dutch governmental guidelines) with as little disruption as possible. By halving the number of employees working in the shipyard at any one time by working in two shifts, Heesen increased flexibility.

“We have been beyond impressed with how the Heesen team adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic. They have adjusted their working hours to increase social distancing, yet retain optimal man-hours on our project and preserve an on-time, high-quality delivery which is no small feat in these challenging times," commented Rupert Connor from Luxury Yacht Group who represents the client.

According to The Superyacht Agency's Intelligence division, there are currently 55 projects launched for a 2020 delivery across the superyacht industry. 40 per cent are 30-40m, 25 per cent are 40-60m and 35 per cent are 60m+. A testament to shipyards in the same region as Heesen, 30 out of 55 of these launches are Dutch projects. 

Project Castor can accommodate twelve guests within six staterooms, with the master suite located forward on the main deck. Four guest cabins (two double and two twin) are on the lower deck, while the VIP is on the bridge deck, and Project Castor is the first in the class to offer the new layout configuration. 

YN 19055 is still set to be delivered to her owners in August 2020, after rigorous sea trials in the North Sea.

At 760GT, Project Castor is the most voluminous 55 metre currently offered by a Northern European shipyard. Powered by two MTU 8V 4000 M63 diesel main engines, she will reach a top speed of 15.5 knots and will boast a range of 4,500 nautical miles at a cruising speed of 13 knots. 

This competitive performance is thanks to the design and engineering platform that sports the FDHF hull by Van Oossanen. According to Heesen, the 55-metre FDHF Steel offers good seakeeping qualities coupled with more frugal fuel consumption compared to any other yacht in her class.

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