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.”
Italian builder Codecasa has launched their 43-metre Project 122, the latest superyacht in their Vintage series featuring a 43 meter hull. The yacht was initially launched in summer 2018 at the company’s Viareggio facility, and is to be delivered to her owner in May 2019, after sea trials.The yacht with a beam of 9 metres and a maximum draft of 2,6 metres attributes a steel hull and aluminium superstructure. Engined by two Caterpillar 3512C of 1,650 HP, she reaches her maximum speed at 16,5 knots. At the same time, with a comfortable cruising speed of 11 knots, she boasts a cruising range of 4,000 nautical miles thanks to her fuel capacity of 65,000 litres.Project 122’ interior design concept was developed by the Codecasa team. The concept implements a combination of elegance and modernity, with predominance of light and neutral colours applied to natural materials.The yacht’s accommodation capacity amounts to ten guests within 5 cabins, including the owner’s full-beam suite. The latter is located on the main deck, featuring two en-suites. As to the staff, there is accommodation space for up to 9 crew members on-board.In contrast to previous 42-metre versions, Project 122 boasts a Sun Deck Jacuzzi and a Captain’s Cabin situated on the upper deck. The yacht’s on-board tender storage holds a Zodiac rescue boat and a Castoldi 21 jet tender. Codecasa is planning to display the yacht at the upcoming Versilia Yachting Rendez-Vous, held in Viareggio in May. Meanwhile, the company's yard is busy constructing two more vessels, a 55-metre and a 65-metre projects to be finished later this year.
February 19, 2019
During the recent Miami International Boat Show 2019, a new product from the series of collaborations between Mercedes-AMG and Miami builder Cigarette Racing Team was released. This year’s model was inspired by Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S Coupe, featuring the same colour patterns and design motifs.This 12,5-metre racing boat has been christened 41 AMG Carbon Edition. One of her most significant features is carbon-fibre construction developed by Cigarette engineers in order to resonate with Mercedes model. It is evident, that Carbon fibre becomes a new trend among fast boats structure materials, for instance, as it is in the latest Pershing 8X. Still, the constructors claim, their new model is one of a few boats of that kind, where carbon is used as not complementary but major constructing material.Cigarette Racing Team’s president Skip Braver emphasises that from his point of view there are not so many differences between cars and boats. “Just as they did with the car, we lightened the boat without sacrificing performance. We modified the design by lowering the centre of gravity and used carbon fibre across the whole boat,” he said.The innovations introduced in hull construction enabled the builders to make the new boat 227 kg lighter than previous 50 Marauder AMG powerboat built in collaboration. 41 AMG Carbon Edition lays on sandwich construction with carbon-fiber structural layers around the boat’s lightweight hull. The deck and hardtop are also made of carbon fibre.Daimler AG and Cigarette work together on design concepts of all AMG boats. This year’s edition transmits the colour patterns of Mercedes saloon, easily recognisable in the boat cabin, with a prevalence of red and black. It is noticeable, that normally dark colours, especially black, are avoided in boat upholstery design, as they easily get hot in the sun. Within this boat, the dark colours can be used due to upholstery materials featuring cooling ability, that can decrease heat up to 30 percent.AMG 41 is equipped with Mercury Racing 400R engine of 1,600 horses. Thus, the boat is capable of reaching her maximum speed of 72 knots with 8 passengers on-board. Meanwhile, she cruises comfortably at around 55 knots with a maximum capacity of 20 passengers. Due to carbon materials used in the construction, a hull becomes firmer, lowering the boat’s flexibility and the “feeling of ship motions” even at the highest speed.Hull construction for such models normally takes about 8 months, including 2 months set aside for painting. Hand-stitched upholstering also takes more than a month. During the process, the project goes through multiple approval stages, so that it would finally satisfy both parties involved in the process.According to Braver, the two brands have already started working on their next joint project. “It feels like mutual admiration and when we hear them talking, it seems like they feel the same. It’s an honor to be partnering with them,” he concludes.
February 19, 2019
Italian builder CRN has recently announced sale of their new project, a 60-metre superyacht with custom aluminium hull yet assigned to number 141. She is going to become the newest project produced from CRN’s partnership with Nuvolari & Lenard design studio, that has been lasting for more than 50 years.CRN Ancona facilityThe design of the model was developed by the yard’s technicians, while interior and exterior concepts were finalised by the studio. Thus, CRN Project 141 is conceived to feature advanced high-tech solutions and dynamic lines in design concept. The new vessel will be built at CRN’s Livorno facility. She is scheduled for delivery to the owner in 2023. Further details and renderings of the project will be released as soon as they become available.CRN Ancona facilityCRN, being a part of the Ferretti Group, specialises in design and construction of fully custom aluminium and steel yachts with LOA of up to 100 metres. The company’s Ancona facility, where all the CRN megayachts have been built, occupies almost 80,000 square metres. At the moment, the yard is busy building four fully custom CRN yachts, including recently sold 70-metre CRN 139 yacht devised by Vallicelli Design. At the same time, 18 custom line models of 30 to 42 metres in length, two 50-metre Riva and two Pershing 140 units are currently being constructed at the yard.
February 18, 2019
Italian yacht builder Viareggio Super Yachts (VSY) has released new renderings of their 63,8-metre superyacht Project 003, currently being under construction at the company’s facility in Viareggio. The vessel sold in 2016 is now going through final constructing processes, while the delivery first planned for September 2018, has been rescheduled to the beginning of 2019.The yacht’s exterior design has been developed by Espin Oeino. With a beam of 11 metres and a draft of 3,15 metres, Project 003 features total 915 square metres of guest areas. Within that space, she offers accommodation to up to 12 guests, with the staff of up to 16 members on-board. There are six cabins, including the master suite with panoramic views and outdoor terraces.Interior design concept was commissioned to Darnet Design studio based in France. The design was inspired by the owner’s previous yacht, with the focus put on spacious rooms and warm colours, visible in leather panels and polished marble. Key interior motif is implemented in decorative steel and nickel panels resembling coral reefs, that will reflect the owner’s passion for scuba diving. Furthermore, Project 003 is equipped with on-board diving centre for 12 people at a lower deck. At the same time, the sundeck will be equipped with bar area, infinity pool and fire pit.Project 003 will be powered by a pair of 2,682 HP Caterpillar 3516B engines. Thus, she will reach her maximum speed at 17 knots, and cruise with a range of 5,000 nautical miles at 12 knots. The naval architecture by Laurent Giles studio is featured with bulbous bow, for better seakeeping under rough weather conditions.Although this yacht is named Project 003, it is in fact the fourth VSY superyacht. However, number 3 represents the conceived evolution of similar models Candyscape II and Roma. At the moment, the yard is also busy working with Siemens and Lloyd’s Register on hydrogen fuel cells technology for their 65-metre project Waterecho.
February 18, 2019
Italian shipyard’s ambitious superyacht project launched on February 5, 2019 at the company’s Livorno facility has been yet christened Project ZOZA. This 107-metre yacht with a displacement of more than 5,500 GT, and a 17-metre beam was reportedly thought over by the owner, an Australian billionaire James Packer, nine years ago. Photo: Instagram/@giorgio_casettaThe concept was developed in cooperation with Burgess Technical Services from the start on. Different designers were involved in the planning of exterior design concept that required a long process. Hugo van Wieringen from Azure Architectes and Reymond Langton Design, as well as Benetti’s designer Giorgio M. Cassetta had contributed to the project, while Zaniz Jakubowski from Zaniz Interiors finalised exterior and interior outlines of the yacht.The core idea of design concept was creation of see-through spaces, which would have given unhindered panoramic views from any part of the vessel. Significant amount of glass used in the construction and simplified structures serve that purpose on the vessel of steel hull and aluminium superstructure. Moreover, ZOZA’s six decks provide many alfresco zones in the sun or in shade. On the main deck, guests will find dining and lounging spaces, under the shelter of superstructure, while a private deck leading to the helicopter pad with a refuelling station, is located above. ZOZA operates on diesel-electric propulsion system with 2 Azipods and 2 massive bow thrusters. The propulsion package is based on the most modern technologies and allows vibration-free navigation in complete silence. The yacht can silently operate on her batteries for up to 12 hours without an engine running. The air conditioning system is something to be mentioned, too, as it is regarded one of the biggest fitted to a vessel of that kind, with cooling capacity of nearly 3,000 KW. In order to enable construction of superyachts of that size, Benetti have invested a lot in their yards recently, meaning the infrastructure, organizational, safety, and security matters. The company has added a two-shed expansion to their Livorno construction facility and have also set up the Giga Yacht Construction Programme attracting expert employers to the brand.
February 15, 2019