YARD UPDATE ‘06: Heesen Yachts...

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YARD UPDATE ‘06: Heesen Yachts...

Yard Updates

A dozen motoryacht projects in hand.

JUNE 2006

Heesen Yachts currently has no fewer than 12 motoryacht projects from 37-50m (121-164ft) in progress. All but two of those are sold. Ten of them are all-aluminium semi-displacement projects and two are steel/aluminium displacement designs.
More and more of the Oss-based yard’s new-builds these days are semi-custom projects. It has enjoyed huge success with its semi-custom all-aluminium 37m (121ft) 3700 Series design. Six have delivered thus far, three of which have completed earlier this year, and two more figure in the schedules. The most recent one to deliver was G-Force, which benefits from a very striking Art Deco-influenced interior that uses plenty of light-dark contrasts. The interior designer was Jean-Pierre Gilardino; it was his first yacht project. For G-Force he has made use of sycamore veneers, inlaid with silver and ebony/macassa.
Moreover, Heesen has recently extended the semi-custom formula with the introduction of the all-aluminium 44m (144ft) 4400 Series. The first one of those delivers to an English owner for autumn ’07 and three more figure on the yard schedule thus far. There aren’t even any engine options with this model; only MTU 16V4000 diesels, which should provide a maximum of 27-28 knots.
Heesen’s 3700 and 4400 are certainly priced competitively, particularly considering the build quality involved. The 3700 is pitched at around €13.45 million and the 4400 is €20.8 million, both of which would probably be around 15-20 per cent less than fully custom projects of the same size and broad specification, suggests Heesen’s commercial director Jan Gremmen.
Thus far Heesen’s two biggest launches have been the aluminium 47.6m (156ft) Blowzy, which delivered in ’98, and steel/aluminium round-bilged 46.8m (154ft) displacement motoryacht Yalla, which delivered in ‘04. However, such is the demand for bigger and bigger vessels, Heesen now has no fewer than two 50m (164ft) projects and four 47m (154ft) projects in hand, all of which come in under the 500GT rule, which would dictate a more complex and costly specification. June ’06 saw the 47m (154ft) Sirocco on her sea trials and the 47m (154ft) Let it be completes later this year.
The first of its 50m (164ft) projects Galatica, an extremely interesting project, will deliver to her Russian owner for summer ’07. The second 50m (164ft) will be Man of Steel, which is being built for the American owner, who currently has the Heesen 3700 of the same name.
All Heesen’s current work-in-progress projects are the result of creative collaborations between Heesen and Omega Design, which seems to work for the yard more or less exclusively, save for one 47m, which will have a Dickie Bannenberg interior.
In all Heesen delivers five motoryachts in ’06 — the three 3700s Man of Steel, Buka and G-Force, plus the two 47m (154ft) designs Sirocco and Let it be.
Current yard capacity at Heesen is around 55m (180ft), but such a size vessel would probably cause height problems. Heesen has six halls at the moment, although it says it is contemplating adding a seventh. It employs 300 people directly in the yard, although with subcontractors there are a lot more there than that at any one time. It also employs another 50 or so at its Oortgiese joinery subsidiary, which was acquired several years ago and also does work for other yards. Most of the Heesen aluminium requirements are now handled in house, but all the steel fabrication stuff is subcontracted.

For more, www.heesenyachts.nl.

© Phil Draper