The Marriage of Cosmos: Heesen’s ground-breaking 80m Cosmos becomes the largest and fastest aluminium yacht ever built

By Polly Jean Harrison | 15 Jul 2020 | Speed

The marriage of Heesen’s Cosmos yacht is full steam ahead for the Dutch luxury yacht company

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* Heesen's Cosmos is the largest super yacht the shipbuilder has ever made

Dutch shipyard Heesen has been creating innovative yachts since 1978 and has delivered more than 175 boats in that time. One of their custom yachts currently in-build, Project Cosmos, has taken the next significant step in the building process, the 'marriage', where her hull and superstructure are fused together, all captured on film by the shipyard.

Cosmos is Heesen’s largest superyacht to date, and one of the largest and fastest aluminium yachts in existence. Measuring a colossal 80m, with a top speed of almost 30 knots, she is designed by client specification to be a vessel of speed and size, all while maintaining the aesthetic and features you would expect from a luxury yacht.

“[30 knots] the kind of speed that warships do, rather than private yachts,” Mark Cavendish, Heesen’s director of sales and marketing, told Tempus. “Yet it still has to carry all the features that a luxury yacht has to have. It can’t miss out on anything just because it goes fast.”

The yacht, described as a “thoroughbred racehorse and the next evolution of the Heesen breed”, was also required to have high aesthetic design to fit in with the company’s reputation for unparalleled luxury craftsmanship. For this, the company turned to British design studio Winch Design

“The brief, for us, was about retaining the Heesen DNA,” said the studio’s exterior yacht designer, James Russell. “Being a very fast boat, we didn’t want to make something that looks slow, so we the design was timeless and elegant.”

The biggest challenge in the project so far for the team has been in how to make the yacht as lightweight as possible, in order to gain the top speeds required by their client. Where most boats of this size are made from steel, Heesen uniquely works with aluminium as standard across their range of world-first yachts. >>

Related: Take a look at the green machines changing the face of yachting 

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* The bow of the 80m vessel is large enough for an outdoor cinema – or a helipad

“You need some quite clever engineering and, in fact, we’ve developed a style of construction that is now unique and patented to us,” Cavendish said. This new technology, dubbed ‘The Backbone’, was designed by in house engineers to support the boat in a way similar to the I-girder more commonly found in skyscrapers. “All the strength of the boat is in the tip of this I-girder,” said Cavendish “the hull around it is just to keep the water out, and the furniture in.”

Creating a yacht such as Cosmos is no simple feat at the best of times, regardless of the global pandemic we are currently experiencing. However, despite the challenges posed by Covid-19, the project is still on schedule to be delivered in April 2022. To ensure this, the company implemented arrangements that meant workers could socially distance, creating more shifts and putting testing procedures in place. “It was a mixture of luck and good organisation but, as a result, our shipyard has never closed and the boats we’re building for clients are all on time,” said Cavendish. 

The Covid-19 pandemic has affected all industries around the world, but when it comes to luxury travel, Cavendish is optimistic that yachting will continue to thrive. “We don’t know what the future is going to hold, but I read an article that said dealers of smaller boats are completely sold out and people are spending a lot of time in their yachts. At the end of the day, what safer environment can there be than a private yacht?”

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* A rendering of the colossal Heesen Cosmos, with design by British studio Winch Design