Heesen Lays Keel on Biggest Yacht Yet: 80M Cosmos
The 14th May 2019 marked a momentous day in esteemed Dutch shipyard Heesen’s history, as it saw the keel-laying of its largest project to date, 80.7 metre Cosmos, at its Oss shipyard. With an expected launch date of March 2022, Cosmos is remarkable not just for Heesen but for the superyacht industry in general, as once complete, she will be both the fastest and largest full aluminium yacht ever built.
However, this moment did not come about without much effort. To build a yacht that combined Cosmos’ length, lightness and speed required some serious innovation. Over a year of dedicated combined research efforts between shipyard, designers, naval architects and the build engineer has resulted in just that – marking a veritable leap in technology and landmark in shipbuilding thus far.
The standout feature of this yacht is her ‘backbone’ – a new, patented design consisting of a concentric core which allows for the rigidity needed to carry Cosmos at sea. This internal structure and the stiffness it provides mean that the ship is not carried by the hull plates, but by the design itself, allowing her to remain super-light and reach remarkable speeds of up to 30 knots without compromising on size or rigidity.
Of this innovation, CEO of Heesen Arthur Brouwer proudly reported at the keel-laying ceremony that, “It’s not all about speed, or technical innovation, it also represents what we love to do here – it’s the epitome of what we can do in Dutch quality. It’s about build, and it’s also about fit and finish. Absolute Dutch quality. If all those elements come together you need quite some discipline.”
Yet Cosmos’ exceptional qualities do not stop there. Cosmos is the first project on which Winch Design and Heesen have collaborated, excepting the 66 m concept Avanti. She features a truly remarkable onboard beach club, with an unprecedented glass ceiling affording a view of the swimming pool above, which required close collaboration between interior designers at Sinot, exterior designers at Winch and Heesen in its elaboration. Jim Dixon of Winch Design described the amount of glass onboard Cosmos as ‘hugely challenging not only from a design but a fabrication point of view’, but also representative of a growing theme and development within the yachting industry.
Project Cosmos has also involved particularly close consultation with build engineers and MTU to ensure that the wishes of her owner are carried out precisely and perfectly. Heesen has placed much value on learning from previous builds in the constant requirement to improve, adapt and innovate – emphasising that ‘our best build is our next’ - for example, in ensuring that the deck cinema screen on this 80m build can be operated quicker and more efficiently than ever before, or the installation of a silent mode on her engines.
So what do we know about the lucky future owner of this superyacht? Well, not much - other than the fact he or she is an experienced and previous yacht owner. While Heesen would disclose very little about Cosmos’ owner in the shipyard’s ever-enduring respect for confidentiality and privacy, the owner has had his or her very clear wishes for the yacht’s design and standout features exacted to the finest degree.
Apart from her beach club, Cosmos also features a magnificent staircase, an elegant design with delicate materials and soft, gentle interiors. Sinot Interior Designers described Cosmos’ layout and colour scheme as ‘non-offensive but still modern and clean, very different to what we normally do’, as adapted to the clear brief of the owner.
For those speculating whether this foray into larger custom yachts marks Heesen’s abandonment of its post as champion of the 50-60 metre field, we can confirm that this is not the case. Finance Director Niels Vaessen added that 80% of Heesen builds measure between 50 and 60 metres, and it still ‘owns that market’ – only that the shipyard has grown and adapted as have the industry’s demands.
It is certainly an amazing sight to behold such talented innovators of design and build come together in perfect harmony for this exciting project. We would like to warmly congratulate Heesen on the commencement of Cosmos, a truly monumental build, and add that we anxiously anticipate her arrival in spring of 2022.