Founded in 1978 Frans Heesen, the shipyard’s first yacht was a 20-meter with an aluminum hull. “That yacht set the DNA for the shipyard we are today,” says Cavendish. Heesen is a standout among Holland’s impressive catalogue of builders thanks to its specialties and in-house production systems. “We are the world leader in high-quality aluminum luxury motor yachts,” says Cavendish, who maintains that almost all production, with exception of paint, electronics and teak, is done in-house by Heesen, from hull to interiors to plumbing. Heesen’s ability to craft its own custom projects from keel to couches has allowed the builder to push boundaries and create one-of-a-kind yachts not available from other shipyards.
In the 1990s, Heesen added a steel production line, yet most yachts built at the yard, approximately 60 to 70%, are built with aluminum hulls. “We are a modern shipyard,” says Cavendish. “We deliver between four and five yachts a year, roughly between 30 and 80 meters, but lately our average LOA is 45 meters and larger.”
Currently, Heesen has 10 yachts in build at its yard, one of which is an exceptionally exciting project KOMETA. Set for launch in Q1 of 2016, this yacht will boast top speeds of 30 knots. At 70 meters in length, her ability to veritably fly through the water will come from her high-speed aluminum hull and high-speed construction. “We really are the market leader in [this genre],” remarks Cavendish. “We are known as a contemporary shipyard and we build quite fast yachts. I would say that we’re sort of the Aston Martin-end of the range, where others are more like Range Rover.” In addition to KOMETA, Heesen also has a 50-meter yacht in the works with an exceptionally distinctive interior and a 50-meter aluminum hulled yacht with a vertical bow. This yacht is slated for delivery in 2017. She will be very lightweight and have a cruising range of 3570 miles with a fuel capacity of 4,500 liters. But what’s really special about this 50-meter is her fuel consumption. At 12 knots, she will use only 135 liters per hour. Reduce her speed to 10 knots and the consumption goes down to 85 liters an hour.
And what can we expect to see from Heesen at this year’s big boat shows? “We should have one of our new yachts on display at Monaco,” says Cavendish. “She is set for delivery in July. We also will be announcing more exciting details about our new 50-meter yacht. Additionally, there will be discussion of some marketing initiatives from Heesen that will be new to the market.” And as for Fort Lauderdale 2015, Cavendish says an exciting announcement will be made, but he wasn’t keen to give away any details. We simply will have to wait until November 2015.