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.”

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65m Galactica Star on sealed bid sale after Nigerian corruption case
Heesen' second largest yacht Galactica Star is being offered for sale in a sealed bid arrangement starting on April 4, 2019 with the close of bidding on May 19th. The sale process was proposed by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Republic of Nigeria and approved by U.S. federal court, as a part of ongoing corruption case against two Nigerian nationals, according to The Marine News.The sale follows a court-ordered seizure of the yacht's owner's assets due to possible connections to an ongoing Nigerian oil corruption scandal, triggered by the Panama Papers investigation.The superyacht was allegedly bought by Nigerian oil magnate Kolawole Aluko, who is one of four defendants accused of cheating Nigeria out of almost $1.8 billion in siphoned crude oil sales, reports The Marine News. The U.S. government also accused Aluko and another oil executive, Olajide Omokore, of laundering money in the United States and using it to acquire the yacht, among other assets.The US and Nigerian governments received Federal Court approval to sell the superyacht last month in Texas. According to Law360, a legal news source, U.S. District Judge Keith Ellison approved it due to high maintenance and dockage fees, estimating the combined cost at around $170,000 per month.The sealed bid will be managed by Fraser, with the MRP set at $42,000,000. Following the close of bidding, the winning bidder will have five days to deposit five percent of the accepted total into an escrow account.Custom motor yacht Galactica Star was built by Heesen in Netherlands at their Oss shipyard and delivered to her owner in 2013. She features exterior styling by Omega Architects, and engineering by Van Oossanen & Associates. Meanwhile, the yacht's interior has been designed by Bannenberg & Rowell. Galactica Star accommodates up to 12 guests overnight in 6 cabins, comprising a master suite, 1 VIP stateroom, and 4 double cabins. She is also capable of carrying up to 13 crew onboard to ensure a relaxed luxury yacht experience. The most alluring feature about the vessel is what goes on below the waterline. Van Ossaanen Naval Architects successfully created a yacht that cruises 30% more efficiently than a conventional round-bilged motor yacht in this size range. Powered by 2 MTU 5,592 HP diesel engines and propelled by twin screw propellers, Galactica Star is capable of a top speed of 27 knots, and comfortably cruises at 24 knots. With her 90,000 fuel tanks she has a maximum range of 4,200 nautical miles at 14 knots. Her water tanks store around 30,000 litres of fresh water. The yacht used to be popular for charter among celebrities, for instance, once rented by American music industry power couple, Jay Z and Beyonce for a holiday cruise, according to WithinNigeria.
63m Hakvoort explorer superyacht Scout delivered
Dutch builder Hakvoort has announced delivery of the 63.72-metre superyacht Scout, that departed from Amsterdam facility on April 16th. The vessel is trademarked with interiors and exteriors by H2 Yacht Design, representing the builder’s largest project so far seconded by 61-metre Just J's.Scout during her sea trials.Scout was launched at Hakvoort’s facilities in Monnickendam in December 2018 and then towed to Amsterdam for final completion. First known as Project Brio, the yacht started construction under a different ownership, changing owners early on and shifting the project to the steel and aluminium explorer that it is today. The owner’s brief called for a rugged explorer style yacht intended to look like a conversion from a commercial vessel,commented H2's Jonny Horsfield, who was responsible for the vessel’s naval architecture. We placed the tenders on the bow, leaving them exposed to add to the utilitarian aesthetic. There is a helideck and a forward observation lounge in addition to an expansive sun deck.Scout features four guest cabins each designed with a specific nautical theme on the main deck, in addition to the owner's deck. Furthermore, eleven staff cabins can be found on the lower deck. Exterior design details such as Scout’s high bow, exposed tenders in the bow with cut-down bulwarks and integrated forward-sloping windows embody the trawler-aesthetic of her design. Other Scout’s notable features include a helideck as well as an expansive sun deck complete with large Jacuzzi and unobstructed views fore and aft.Powered by twin CAT engines, Scout will cruise at 12.5 knots and reach a top speed of 14.8 knots. Her maximum range will be at 4,800 nautical miles once delivered, coupled with an ice-class hull.The yacht will now embark her maiden voyage to the USA. The delivery takes place in the time when explorer yachts are becoming a new trend of the yachting world, with the world’s largest 182.9 -metre explorer project REV under construction at the VARS shipyard.Photos via Hakvoort
Overmarine presents new 50m Mangusta Oceanco line
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7 largest yachts built by Perini Navi
A pioneer in automation and furling systems on large sailing yachts, Italian shipyard Perini Navi was founded in 1983 by Fabio Perini. The builder has constructed 61 motor and sailing superyachts so far, with an average LOA of 49 metres. Meanwhile, the company’s legendary Maltese Falcon remained the world’s largest sailing yacht until 2017. Today Yacht Harbour recalls the largest vessels built by the yard.#1. Maltese FalconLength: 88mYear: 2006 Maltese Falcon is an iconic yacht that had held the title of the world’s largest sailing yacht until Oceanco launched the Black Pearl in 2017.Commissioned in 2000 by Tom Perkins, the late venture capitalist, the Maltese Falcon took nearly six years to complete. Sold to hedge fund manager Elena Ambrosiadou at an asking price of €70 million in 2009, the 88-meter is now one of the largest yachts available for charter with a rate starting from €360,000 per week.Maltese Falcon’ most innovative attribute became her sails that could rotate based on the direction of the wind. This was a first for the yachting industry. This innovative system allows the yacht to even sail against the wind. Maltese Falcon features a cruising speed of 16 knots. Meanwhile, in a storm in the Gulf of Lion, France she demonstrated a speed of 26 knots under sail alone.Designed by Ken Freivokh, the Maltese Falcon was extensively refurbished in 2015/2016 during a refit. She can accommodate up to 12 guests on-board.#2. Nautilus (ex. Grace E)Length: 73mYear: 2013Delivered in 2013 by Picchiotti, part of the Perini Navi group, Nautilus (back then Grace E) instantly received a positive reaction at the Monaco Yacht Show in 2014, thanks to a unique design. Her first owner, according to several sources, was Florida-based billionaire Bob Stiller, who built his fortune on a coffee empire known as Keurig Green Mountain. In Q2 2017, the yacht was listed for sale and ultimately found a buyer in March 2018. She was sold asking € 78,500,000.With a beam of 13.2 metres and a draft of 4 metres, Nautilus features exterior design by Philippe Briand and interior style by Remi Tessier. Her gross tonnage makes 1590 tons.The superyacht's key features include an open-air Jacuzzi, sauna, gym, hydrotherapy bath and pool. She also hosts a beauty salon, meditation room, sunbathing and massage area as well as a sushi bar. If that is not enough to entertain the guests, there is also a film library, satellite TV, iPod docking stations and Wi-Fi.From a technical standpoint, Nautilus can reach a top speed of 16.5 knots and cruise at 14.5 knots. As for the accommodation, 12 guests in 6 suites can be carried on-board, as well as a crew of 20. #3. Badis I (ex. Sybaris)Length: 70mYear: 2016The second largest sailing yacht built by the yard since the Maltese Falcon, Badis I (originally Sybaris) was conceived for American businessman Bill Duker in 2016. The yacht was listed for sale in April 2017 asking €88 million and sold at the same asking price in October 2018.Naval architecture on this project was handled by Perini Navi's in-house team and French designer, Philippe Briand who had previously worked with the group on the 73-metre motor yacht Grace E.The yacht was built out of alloy complete with a keel of variable draught (4.5m to 11.74m) in order to allow access to shallow areas and achieve good sailing performance. Badis I' sails stretch over a surface of 2,300 square meters and can be controlled solely with consoles in the cockpit.Badis I cruises at 12.5 knots and reaches a top speed at 17.5 knots. She can host up to 12 guests taken care of by a crew of 12.#4. Spirit Of The C'sLength: 64mYear: 2003The Spirit Of The C’s is the largest aluminium sailing yacht in the world. She features a beam of 12.7 metres and a draft of 9.4 metres, adding up to a gross tonnage of 655 tons. She is powered by Deutz-MWM engines of 1400 HP each, giving her a maximum speed of 16 knots and a cruising speed of 14 knots. Featuring exteriors by Nuvolari & Lenard and interiors by Perini Navi, Remi Tessier, Dernier Etage, and the vessel is trademarked with a large retractable bathing platform, providing easy access into the water or onto the tenders and folding perfectly into the stern aft, when not in use.Along with a crew of 11, Spirit Of The C's can accommodate up to 10 guests within five staterooms, including a full-beam master suite.The yacht is now back on the charter market, following an extensive refit which included a sundeck extension, a complete rebuild and refurbishment of her interior and the remodelling of the guest cockpit area. The charter price starts from €198,000 per week.#5. SeahawkLength: 60mYear: 2013All-aluminium sailing yacht Seahawk features Perini Navi in-house exteriors and naval architecture developed in collaboration with Ron Holland Design, along with interiors by French studio Liaigre. She offers accommodation to 12 guests within 6 cabins.With a beam of 11.4 metres and a draft of 12.3 metres, she has an aluminium hull and aluminium superstructure. This adds up to a gross tonnage of 491 tons. Seahawk reaches a maximum speed of 15.50 knots and cruises comfortably at 13 knots. Following her 2018 refit, Seahawk has been listed for sale asking €32,000,000.#6. Perseus 3Length: 60mYear: 2014Second 60m of the series, the design brief called for Perseus 3 to feature the tallest carbon fibre mast ever built, and the biggest downwind sail area on a yacht, thanks to her unique bowsprit. Built in aluminium with a carbon bowsprit, she features a cruising speed of 12 knots.Perseus 3 offers accommodation to up to 12 guests within five spacious suites, including a full-beam master suite with a private lounge and study, two VIP doubles, and two twins with additional Pullman berths.The yacht’s on-deck trademarks comprise a swim-in-place heated pool on the foredeck and a large flybridge with cushioned sun pads, sofas and a BBQ. On the main deck, more formal al fresco dining can be enjoyed in the cockpit, which is sheltered by a curve of glass, also enclosing the exterior lounge.The yacht is available for charter from €250,000 per week.#7. SevenLength: 60mYear: 2017The seventh largest yacht by Perini Navi, Seven, was launched in 2017 as the third 60-metre unit.Seven is trademarked with lighting design by Videoworks and design studio Dante O Benini & Partners. She can accommodate 10 guests in 5 cabins with an interior design by Studio Dante O. Bellini and an exterior design by Perini Navi.The yacht is fitted with two Panamax aluminium masts with carbon-fibre rigging, booms and spreaders, contributing to a total sail plan of more than 2,000 square metres. Meanwhile, Seven’s maximum speed makes 15 knots.