Building big is one thing, building fast quite another. Combining the two? Now there is a challenge. Such was the task facing Heesen and Espen Oeino when they began to map out plans for Kometa – which is due for delivery in April next year.
The demanding owner had his own ideas: a larger than average swimming pool (with contraflow system) and a protected top deck suitable for a high-speed boat – which was needed as the Dutch shipyard’s new-breed fast displacement hull form is being used on this project for the first time. The concept will allow Kometa to reach speeds of up to 30 knots – an incredible achievement on a boat of 70 metres, the largest yacht that Heesen has built to date.
All of which brought novel problems for Mark Cavendish, the yard’s managing director, and his team to face. “The unique thing about this boat is that she has a round bilge hull shape and a bulbuous bow,” he explains, “which are all the characteristics that you expect from a typical, traditional, regular full-displacement boat. You would imagine at that size to be doing something around 17 to 18 knots maybe.”
It is this innovative and efficient hull shape – designed in conjunction with the naval architect Van Oossanen Yacht Design, who also invented the revolutionary Hull Vane – in combination with a propulsion system consisting of two 20V4000 engines and one 16V4000 MTU engines, the latter of which is connected to a Kamewa Rolls-Royce waterjet. “It is the hull design that allows you to do that speed. Without the fast displacement hull concept, you could still do the speed, but you would need a lot more power,” Cavendish explains.
Rapidity was also a key factor in another area – “The real challenge of that boat is the build time. We only have two years and five months for such a big yacht” – while the specific challenges of going large posed other problems. “Everything is bigger,” Cavendish says. “Generators are bigger, a bigger lifting system is required, the pumps and the piping, the systems on board, the anchor winches. On a smaller yacht you could perhaps lift the anchor winches with two people, but on a yacht this size you need proper lifting equipment”
Yet the result of this hard work should lead to plenty of fun. From the renderings of Kometa, she is instantly recognisable as a true Heesen design with all the distinctive DNA features of the shipyard. And size matters in the entertainment department as well.
“There will be a wonderful, enormous beach club,” Cavendish enthuses, “and a huge screen and a projector to show movies on the foredeck. You’ll watch them while sitting on the sundeck’s two U-shaped seating areas. The boat will be a lot of fun.”
Big is clearly beautiful this time round for Heesen.