This story originally appeared in the September/October 2018 issue of Elite Traveler.
Sports yachts pack serious punch. They’re built with performance and speed in mind, and are ideal for those looking to zip around the Riviera or Caribbean—fast. But if you’re torn between a super-speedy vessel and a larger yacht on which you can host parties, entertain your friends and family and spend a few weeks of the year on board, which do you prioritize? This is where a builder like Heesen steps in. It creates high-performance yachts that can reach incredible speeds, but in the size and finish of a luxury superyacht.
So,what performance-enhancing design and build elements go into creating something that behaves like a sports yacht, but looks and feels like a superyacht? There are a few options, but they all involve serious tank testing, years of research and development, and a group of yachting-mad engineers with brains that in noway
work like mine.
Amore Mio, a 147ft yacht built in 2016, is an example of Heesen taking its technological prowess to meet the needs and demands of a particular owner who uses the vessel as part of a larger fleet. Heesen gave Amore Mio her impressive speed credentials (30 knots) by minimizing the internal volume. Unusual for a yacht of this size, she has no third deck, so she is not only lighter but has a more streamlined shape that is aerodynamically perfect to speed around in like a rocket.
For some of its larger superyachts, such as 229ft Galactica Super Nova and 180ft Laurentia, Heesen turned to industry experts Van Oossanen Naval Architects who developed a Fast Displacement Hull Form (FDHF). This FDHF is basically a hull that has been designed and built to cut through the water in the optimum way to reduce drag and anything else that will slow her down. It not only ensures a yacht can move faster, but it also makes the journey smoother and encourages fuel efficiency (a term you don’t often hear in yachting circles). Another innovation that Heesen uses is the Hull Vane. This harnesses waves to produce power. As the yacht moves forward, the water flowing over the wing produces lift and thrust and helps propel her along.
So whether you’re after a smaller sports yacht, or something that offers a bit more space, builders like Heesen incorporate advanced technology to ensure that you don’t have to sacrifice speed for comfort.
Photos © Kurt Arrigo