Heesen sets out superyacht strategy and issues Project Cosmos update


Heesen’s all-aluminium 65-metre Saturnus preceeded the 80-metre Project Cosmos, which is nearing the half-way point in its construction.

Superyacht builder Heesen Yachts has set out its strategy for building luxury yachts and delivered a progress report on its biggest ever construction Project Cosmos.

Heesen has a twin-track approach to yacht construction, explained its CEO Arthur Brouwer at a press meeting in London on Tuesday December 3rd. This is based on building fully-customised yachts, while at the same time constructing vessels speculatively in the hope of attracting buyers who want to take delivery within a year.

“We see a dynamic in the market, at least for us, centred around the uptake of fully-customised yachts,” said Brouwer. Under construction at the shipyard are vessels of 59 metres, 60 metres, and 67 metres in addition to the 80-metre Project Cosmos. “These are full-blown custom yachts; not off-the-shelf existing designs. These are truly unique vehicles we put on the water.”

Examples include the sale of the 67-metre Project Sparta, based on a design showcased at the Monaco Yacht Show two years ago as well as Project Cosmos.

‘Our speculative build programme’

Heesen also has a speculative building programme designed to appeal to buyers who want to avoid a lengthy wait for their luxury vessel. “Our speculative-build programme focuses on yachts of up to 55 metres,” said Brouwer. “Here, we cater for cash-rich people who have a lot of money to buy but don’t like waiting. So, we offer the market a boat with a waiting time of six months or one year, but taking the risk ourselves.

“We live in a world of instant gratification and not all clients are willing to wait two to three years to take possession of their yacht.”

It is a strategy that appears to be paying off for the Netherlands-based builder. So far this year, the builder has sold three yachts and delivered four, with negotiations continuing on several other projects. “The year is not over yet.”

Heesen’s order book consists of 13 vessels under construction, with deliveries stretching from next year to 2022. Eight projects are being built on a speculative basis.

‘Very successful for us’

“Full-custom and speculation boats have been very successful for us in recent years. And we make constant investments to stay on top of technology. We don’t build 25 boats of the same breed. We innovate – every four or five boats, we come again [design afresh].”

The builder is also committed to developing hybrid yachts, which feature two or more power sources both for propulsion and for on-board power needs. Typically, such systems marry diesel engines with electric motors for use either together or individually. In 2017, Heesen’s luxury vessel Home became the world’s first fast-​displacement-hull-form motor yacht to use hybrid propulsion.

“We recognise the fact that society is changing and a couple of years ago, at our risk, we built a hybrid boat [Home],” said Brouwer. “We sold that boat and we are building another one. So, we are not just talking about hybrid boats we are actually investing ourselves – making the change ourselves.”

Meanwhile, Heesen said the construction of its 80-metre Project Cosmos was nearing 50% completion. Currently under construction are the hull and the superstructure. The next phase of the build will be joining the hull and the superstructure together, which, when complete, will show the full size of Heesen’s biggest ever construction.

Also, don’t miss Brouwer’s advice on six things to consider before ordering a superyacht.