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.”

Latest News

How would a panic room on a superyacht actually work?
Piracy, an extremely rare, yet often talked about hazard in the boating space, has yielded few solutions other than armed security whilst cruising in dangerous areas. The real estate market has come up decades ago with the concept of a panic room where owners could hide in the event of an armed robbery. How could this actually work in yachting?Simon Rowland, CEO of Veritas International Consultants, indicates that while the general concern with security matters in the world is growing, it is not surprising that these issues transmit into the yachting industry. “If you go back five years, it would have been a hard justification to have a panic room on board, but now it is becoming more of a requirement,” claims Rowland.There are two significant functions that a panic room should perform. It should not only support life, but also enable communication between the sheltered ones and the outer world. That is why the consultants from Veritas company normally recommend to locate a panic room at the crew mess, and it is important to think over all security measures on design stage. It is also cheaper to equip a safe room within that area, as a lot of important facilities such as water supply and toilets are already fit into the mess room.However, the locations, where a completely secure room can be equipped, are not limited to the crew mess. Rowland reports that they have advised several clients to equip their room or bathroom as secondary safe rooms, so that they could hide themselves in case they feel anxious or if the boat is being robbed.It is natural, that most of the owners would not stay on board while the boat passes through dangerous zones, therefore panic rooms are in a greater degree a measure aimed to protect the crew rather than the owners. The yachts themselves might be comparatively vulnerable against piracy, as conventional defense mechanisms applied to many vessels do not seem that effective. For instance, many rely on razor wire, but in fact this measure would not normally prevent the criminals from getting on board.That is why the need of taking security measures on-board is becoming more vital these days. Rowland stresses, that it is much more common to have a fully equipped safe room on larger vessels of 70 metres and above, as it might be quite problematic to fit such room onto a smaller yacht. All in all, the danger of piracy or any other form of attack on a large vessel is very low in our time. Nonetheless, panic rooms have become one of the latest trends the owners would not want to overlook in their superyacht design.
First glimpse at Oceanco’s new 90m superyacht project Y716
Oceanco’s new project currently named Y716 has been demonstrated for the first time earlier today, moved within the company’s facility at Albasserdam, Netherlands. Official launch and delivery of Y716 to her owner is scheduled later this year.Photo by Tom Van OosanenNot so much information on the project has been revealed so far. Y716 is trademarked with aluminum superstructure featured with teak decks on a steel hull within a 14,2-metre beam. Additionally, her interior volume will make 2950 GT. Her top speed will reportedly be reached at 20 knots, with cruising speed of 18,5 knots.Photo by Tom Van OosanenThe yacht will be equipped with spa zones, swimming pool and Jacuzzi, beach club, underwater lights system, tender garage and helicopter hangar. Accommodation capacity will make 23 guests and up to 33 crew members onboard. Photo by Tom Van OosanenIn contrast to her 90-metre forerunner Dar, that featured extravagant black-and-white contrasts resembling killer whale colouration, new superyacht’s exterior designer Espen Oeino has limited her surface outfit to classical white colour.Dar (90m), OceancoY716 is announced to be the only project to be launched by Oceanco in 2019. Meanwhile, the company has received several design industry awards for their project Black Pearl.
Equanimity: Malaysian government to start now negotiating direct with buyers
The story behind Oceanco’s 91,5-metre luxury superyacht Equanimity takes another twist. According to Malaysian lawyer Jeremy Joseph, parties potentially interested in purchasing Equanimity can bow approach the government or 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) alongside the yachts’ broker Burgess. Burgess though retain their right to be considered an exclusive central agent. It was earlier announced, that the auction for Equanimity will take place in March 2019.Mr Joseph, who represents both 1MDB and the government, reports that prospective buyers can negotiate directly with them from that moment on. The main purpose of this decision is to increase potential sale opportunities of the vessel. At the moment, the government of Malaysia allocates $500,000 monthly for Equanimity’s maintenance, according to Bloomberg. The yacht has been reportedly remained in a good condition under a supervision of 21 crew members.Burgess is determined to sale the superyacht at a price not lower than $130,000,000, which halves her initially estimated price of $250,000,000. The main concern of potential purchasers remains the vessel’s undesirable past, that could potentially cause trouble to owners once they leave Malaysian waters, as several claims from other countries have been already levied against Equanimity. However, Sitpah Selvaratnam, consultant at Tommy Thomas Advocates and Solicitors, disproves those risks. The judicial sale would determine an official start-over of the yacht’s history and wipe out her notorious background, he claims.
Benetti sold their first Diamond 145
44,06-metre Benetti’s yacht Diamond 145 recently presented at Cannes Yachting Festival has been announced sold. The yacht is currently under construction at the company’s Viareggio shipyard with her delivery scheduled to the beginning of 2020.The project features a 9,05-metre beam and a maximum draft of 2,28 metres, whilst her full load displacement makes 362 tonnes.Diamond 145’s exterior design concept was developed by Giorgio M. Cassette, a renowned Italian architect. In general, the project demonstrates smooth and elegant lines entwining into her particularly high hull sides and elongated line of reverse sheer. Glazed surfaces dominate within the concept, implementing two important functions: they highlight the yacht’s visual length and brighten her interiors with natural light.The vessel’s interior design was commissioned to Salvagni Architetti. The main idea was to transmit the overall concept of smooth twisted lines into inner zones and open-air recreational areas and fill the yacht’s spacious rooms with light. The motor yacht can accommodate up to 10 guests in 5 cabins, coloured in light natural palette. Meanwhile, Diamond 145’s crew accommodation capacity is limited to 7 people. The master suite is situated at the main deck’s bow area and is extended to the beam’s size. The vessel offers a variety of lounge zones featuring onboard beach club at water level in the stern.The yacht will be reaching her top speed at 15 knots with normal cruising speed of 11 knots, powered by two MAN engines of 1400 HP each. Generally, Diamond 145’s range can boasts 3,800 nautical miles. Franco Fusignani, CEO of the Bennetti Group, emphasises the significance of this contract to the company’s general course. "Diamond 145 was presented only four months ago but right from the design stage we realised it was a model with incredible potential, representing the perfect synthesis of the core features of the Benetti Displacement Class across its entire history", he comments.
39-meter superyacht The Beast close to delivery
According to a recent update from Zelanian yacht builder Profab Central Engineering, their current catamaran project The Beast planned for delivery in spring 2019, has been nearly completed. The Beast has been already moved from her Palmerston North build yard, and her superstructure has been joined to the hull at her new location at Loxton beach. The yacht is now being perfected with final touches, before her release for sea trials. This 39,5-metre superyacht project features a 2,3-metre draft and an 11,7-metre beam, offering a lot of space on-board, while her gross tonnage of 493 tonnes is spread upon three decks. The Beast's exterior fully-aluminum design concept was developed by LOMOcean, known among others for their work on Echo Yachts' Charley's naval architecture. One of key design features of the yacht is her large aft deck more typical for work boats. That is why The Beast has an option of storing a full range of tenders and water toys. This enables launching and retrieving of a small custom-built sport fishing yacht (13 metre), what makes it easier to reach narrow or distant spots (for instance, remote atolls). A 9,3-metre amphibious tender and a rescue boat shall be listed among other equipment options of the vessel.The yacht’s accommodation capacity amounts to 12 guests with up to ten crew members on-board. The guests can comfortably use 4 double cabins that can be easily converted into twins and a twin cabin fit with Pullman beds. Meanwhile, the interior decoration will be designed in the owners’ cooperation with Oceania Interiors studio based in New Zeland. When it comes to open-air recreational zones, they can be found on the upper deck along with a barbecue of teppanyaki style.A pair of Caterpillar C32 engines should secure extensive cruising range of The Beast, while the vessel’s total fuel capacity amounts to 76,000 litres.