It’s not often that a new superyacht causes such excitement – especially a yacht that has yet to be built. But that’s the case with the Dutch shipyard Heesen and what is being referred to as Project Cosmos. And perhaps small wonder. The planned yacht – announced at the Monaco Yacht Show last month – will be a colossal 80m, big enough to include four guest suites for 12 guests, a VIP suite and private studio, a master stateroom and 11 cabins for a crew of up to 19. That makes it Heesen’s largest yacht to date. But it will also have a top speed of 29 knots, making it also the fastest yacht in her class.
Size and speed, indeed, were the key aspects of the brief set Heesen – which required the superyacht builders to devise new ways of working with aluminium to bring longitudinal strength to the design without adding additional weight to the overall structure. Fortunately, developing large aluminium yachts in Heesen’s USP, though the need to create and then patent a new technology does not happen often. It’s dubbed the new tech ‘the backbone’ and – while details are somewhat secret – makes use of a capital ‘i’ girder shape to bring greater strength that can wrought from a flat metal bar. That’s not a new idea in architecture – that you can’t bend an I beam where you can a flat one – but it’s new to yacht building.
The speed, on the other hand, comes from fitting a fast displacement hull form with four engines from MTU – a German company that started out making Maybach engines for use in Zeppelins – driving two controllable pitch propellers. All told this arrangement will bring some 19,000 horsepower. That’s jew-dropping. But that’s also what’s needed to make this 1,090 ton yacht go as fast as it will.
The look of the final superyacht itself is set to be no less awesome, thanks to a partnership with Winch Design, which styled its exterior lines (to a brief that said the yacht should look akin to a contemporary sports car), giving the yacht a gigantic 270 sqm sun deck, a flushed foredeck big enough to double as a helicopter landing pad and an outdoor cinema; a seven metre glass-bottomed swimming pool – complete with a waterfall cascading from an upper deck; and a beach club with a sunken bar. The interior meanwhile – designed by Dutch studio Sinot – includes a spiral staircase and a full glass elevator.
It is, in other words, completely nuts in its ambition. Sold in March of this year, Project Cosmos has undergone tank testing and the build is underway, with delivery planned for April 2022. Yes, the person who put their money – and that, presumably, is a lot of money – into this majestic beast now has a four year wait. But a wait that will surely be worth it.