Over its 40-year history, Heesen has developed a reputation for building cutting-edge superyachts that have pushed boundaries in design, speed and efficiency. From record-breakers such as Octopussy to more recent innovators such as Galactica Star, Galactica Supernova and Home, Heesen’s facility in Oss continues to play host to remarkable superyacht projects.
The latest project to draw on this extraordinary heritage is Cosmos, an 80.7 metre aluminium superyacht that is set to push the boundaries even further. With a designed top speed close to 30 knots and an efficient cruising speed in excess of 20 knots, Cosmos will use a development of the Fast Displacement Hull Form (FDHF) coupled with innovative construction and advanced propulsion solutions to set new standards for large aluminium yachts. Although the keel-laying ceremony is due to take place later this year in May, this is not the start of the project – indeed, an extraordinary amount of design and testing has already been undertaken and completed.
The proof-of-concept and testing process has comprised several stages, starting with the base naval architecture of the vessel and its hull form, progressing through extensive computational fluid dynamics (CFD) work and physical tank testing of a scale model, and culminating with the design of the propellers and rudder system. For these aspects, Heesen has drawn not only on the expertise of its in-house design and engineering department but also that of long-standing partners Van Oossanen Naval Architects, and propulsion specialists at Rolls-Royce.
The first stage was to develop the FDHF concept and ensure not only that Cosmos benefitted from the efficiency and speed gains of the design, but also that the yacht could retain inherent stiffness – a challenge because Cosmos features all-aluminium construction in order to achieve the client’s desired maximum speed of close to 30 knots. The solution was for Heesen to develop the Backbone® – a method of construction that could deliver the required stiffness in the yacht without adding weight that would have impacted on the yacht’s performance. Such has been the success of the design that the Backbone® has now been patented.
A 3.7m scale segmented model of the yacht was built to use in physical tank tests at the Wolfson Unit in Southampton. After initial data on hydrodynamics, resistance and speed had been gathered, the model has been radio-controlled and self-propelled in order to measure the various bending forces acting within the hull and to prove the Backbone® concept. That provided valuable data for fine-tuning the structural design and to further optimise the construction method.
For such a large aluminium yacht, it is particularly important to know the real forces created by the sea on the hull, not just to meet Lloyd’s Register requirements but to exceed those and construct the boat to the highest loads that could be encountered.
Using the FDHF design and the Backbone® for such a large aluminium yacht requires a slightly deeper keel depth, but this actually brings further benefits. Due to the slightly increased draft Project Cosmos has a very low block coefficient, which means that the underwater body is very slim with nice verticals in the aft ship area, for an optimal flow of water towards the propellers. This results not only in improved performance but also in higher efficiency, ensuring fast cruising with comparatively low fuel consumption.
Refining the propeller design is the ongoing job of research and design engineers at Rolls-Royce. Alongside the propeller design itself, the Promas system – where propeller and rudder are integrated into a single unit to optimise hydrodynamic efficiency – has been implemented in the design.
Rolls-Royce engineers started by gathering CFD information of the water flow towards the propeller. Then the design process began with Rolls-Royce proprietary software: different iterations of propeller and rudder design were tried before arriving at the optimal solution, which was then tested in physical experiments.
By creating a 1:11 scale model of the Promas rudder and propeller in the test tank facilities of the Rolls-Royce Hydrodynamic Research Centre (HRC) in Kristinehamn, Sweden, the propeller design was fine-tuned not only to ensure the speed and efficiency requirements are met, but also that any potential problems with cavitation can be eliminated. Cavitation is essentially where air bubbles form in the flow of water around and behind the propeller. It is particularly challenging at high speed, and as well as affecting performance it can also have severe impacts on noise and vibration – a critical consideration for any superyacht project, especially for one close to 30 knots! Cavitation issues were identified and eliminated by adjusting the rudder design. Finally, the tests proved that the propeller performed above expectations.
Project Cosmos will feature variable pitch propellers that will enable the yacht to handle both impressive cruising speeds in excess of 20 knots, as well as reaching a maximum speed close to 30 knots – a considerable achievement for an 80-metre superyacht. With the hull design optimised, the construction engineering finalised and the propulsion system going through the last stages of testing, Cosmos is already proving a milestone project for Heesen and the teams involved.
“Project Cosmos is raising the bar once again not only for Heesen, but for custom aluminium yacht building in general,” says Arthur Brouwer, CEO of Heesen. “Both from a technical standpoint and from a performance point of view we are pushing boundaries. Not only has this 80.7m project been designed to reach close to 30 knots, she has been designed for fast, 20+ knots cruising in an efficient manner. The solutions we have implemented to meet all these requirements are once again driving superyachting forward – just as Heesen has done with innovative and ground-breaking projects throughout its 40-year history.”
Rodriguez Design Studio in collaboration with Spanish shipyard Atollvic has presented a new 55-metre aluminium superyacht concept named Project Saona.The exterior design of Project Saona has been described as sporty yet elegant, featuring a sharp and aggressive bow. The vessel is fitted with an oversized swim platform, beach club and foldable balconies for maximised access to the sea. Dedicated tender storage spacious enough to house a Williams Dieseljet 625 tender and jet skis sits forward of the beach club. The latter is also equipped with a day head and storage for diving equipment.Other features on-board comprise a private owner’s terrace on the upper deck, large sunpads on the main deck and a large saloon flooded with natural light. A Jacuzzi with a sunpad would sit on the foredeck, shaded by carbon fibre awnings.Project Saona would offer accommodation to up to 10 guests across five cabins, including a 60-square-metre master suite. Other cabins lay on the lower deck, with two full-beam VIPs and two doubles.Propelled by two MTU 20V 4000 M93L, the yacht will be capable of a top speed of 22 knots and a range of 4,500 nautical miles at 12 knots. The studio’s founder Josh Rodriguez believes, that with her draught of only 2.1 metres, Project Soana would come out as an ideal yacht for Bahamas.
June 26, 2019
The first Venice Boat Show took place from June 18 to June 23, proving to be a reference for the world of recreational boating, strong of its dual commercial and cultural nature. The show reportedly received over 27,000 visitors.The objectives of the premises, summarised as “The Naval Art Back to Home”, were achieved. According to the organisers, the atmosphere amazed visitors, with multiple dedicated activities. During the Salone, 43 meetings were held to discuss all aspects of navigation: from the environment to sustainability and yacht design, accompanied by 8 exhibitions on the themes of boating, sea and transport.The Mayor of the city Luigi Brugnaro declared: Venice has returned as the queen of the seas in the widest cultural sense. <…> As a municipal administration, we have already financed the Salone for two more years. The goal we have set, is that the event becomes a fixed appointment and we have already started to collect registrations for the next edition. We want to have the whole supply chain, from small boats to big ones. During the show, the Ferretti Group deployed the Arsenal for the inaugural party of the 50-metre Riva flagship “Race” and for the world premiere of the motoryacht Custom Line 106.In future, the venue aims to respond to the needs of the shipyards that have their production units in the Adriatic and to those who sail along the tourist corridor that leads from Venice to Istanbul via Croatia, Montenegro, Albania, Greece.
June 26, 2019
Legendary heavyweight boxing champion Wladimir Klitschko and his family were rescued by the coastguards after the superyacht they were on-board had caught fire. The incident took place in the early hours of Monday about 11km off the coast of Mallorca, Spain.The Ukrainian sportsmen who had retired in 2017, tweeted a video of the rescue operation. The video depicts firefighters aboard the yacht, covered with firefighting foam. Fortunately, no one got hurt, stated Klitchko.Klitschko could be heard saying in the video:It's 3 in the morning. We're in the sea getting rescued from the Mallorcan/Spanish fire department. The boat was on fire, we're hanging out outside."Be careful what you wish for: fate took my wish for “some #adrenalin” a bit too literally and our boat-trip Sunday night ended up in our boat #igniting and family & friends being evacuated by coast guard and fire rescue-team. No worries: we are all fine!" - he wrote.According to German media Spiegel, the damaged vessel could have been a 28.14-metre Sunseeker yacht UM7.Palma's Maritime Rescue spokesman Miguel Chicon told CNN, the yacht's crew asked for urgent assistance once the incident occured. A coastguard rescue boat was sent for help and, once the fire was gone, they towed the damaged vessel to Port Adriano. However, during the towing further smoke came out from the engine room, forcing the crew to evacuate the passengers.The Maritime Rescue Service confirmed they evacuated nine people following the fire in the boat's engine room. No medical assistance was needed for the yacht's occupants, Miguel Chicon said.Klitschko, aged 43, was the world's most dominant heavyweight for a decade, reeling off 20 straight title bout wins. He retained his heavyweight title for over nine years, winning 64 out of his 69 fights. His last match took place in April 2017, finished with a knockout defeat by his rival Anthony Joshua.
June 26, 2019
Cristiano Ronaldo, a living legend of the football world and one of the highest-paid athletes ever, has shared pictures of his family holidays aboard a 47-metre Benetti superyacht Africa in the French Riviera. The photos were posted on the social media accounts of an athlete, whose yearly earnings were estimated at $109 million (Forbes). Africa is Benetti's FB501 hull, launched in Italy in 2010 and christened Imagination by her original owner. Two years later, she was put on the market through Camper & Nicholsons asking € 22,000,000. After price reduction up to €16,500,000, the yacht was sold through Camper in 2014 and renamed Africa. In 2016, she was listed for sale once again, with the deal closed in January 2018 at the asking price of € 16,750,000. The ownership meanwhile has not been officially confirmed. With a beam of 8.5 metres and a draft of 2.8 metres, the yacht boasts interior volume of of 492 GT. Built to an aluminium hull and aluminium superstructure, Africa features exteriors by Stefano Natucci and interiors by Francois Zuretti.The motor yacht can accommodate up to 12 guests across 6 cabins, including a master suite, four doubles and a twin cabin. As to the amenities on-board, Africa is fitted with a spacious Jacuzzi on the sun deck and a fully-equipped gym.According to The Sun, the yacht comes equipped with multiple water toys including two Seadoo RXP-X RS 300 Waverunners jet skis, one Seadoo 260 HP Waverunner jet ski, two F5S Seabobs, paddle board, wake board, and snorkelling equipment.Two MTU engines propel the yacht to a maximum speed of 24 knots and a cruising speed of 20 knots. Africa's maximum range is estimated at 3,400 nautical miles.
June 25, 2019
Benetti has announced the sale of the first superyacht to fly under Chinese flag, with a certificate issued by the China Classification Society. The 65-metre custom yacht FB270 continues the group’s success in the Asia Pacific area, following the recent sales of a Mediterraneo 116, Fast 125 and 50M custom yachts.Mr. Fu Buming, Port Administration Chief at the Department of Commerce of Hainan province, explains:Hainan is striving to become an international tourist centre, in accordance with the state’s general guidelines and requirements, in order to further develop the city as a first-class port tourism destination with a window to display world-class yachts and innovation within the global yachting industry.FB270 is a custom yacht with a steel hull and an aluminium superstructure. She features exteriors by Giorgio M. Cassetta in collaboration with Benetti in-house design team and Pierluigi Ausonio. The interiors present colourways reminiscent of the sea, beaches and tropical islands, with a design developed entirely in-house by Maria Rosa Remedi of the Benetti Interior Style Department.Some distinctive features on-board FB270 include the service bathrooms on every deck and a wealth of technical spaces and storage areas. Special care has been taken to separate crew flows from the guest areas to ensure maximum guest privacy.Peter Mahony, General Manager Benetti Yachts Asia, commented:The sale of FB270 shows that an evolution is taking place and that a market will adapt to its new environment if an open mind, hard work and can do attitude is shared by all parties involved.FB270 has been scheduled for delivery in the first half of 2021. Meanwhile, the sale represents more of an uncommon trend among the Chinese rich, who are keen to avoid buying private yachts. The same cannot be said for American customers, with just a recent order of a 67-metre superyacht from Benetti.
June 25, 2019