Heesen Journal Spring 2021

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Spring 2021

Navigating through a new era

Contents 6 Stunning submersibles: U-Boat Worx - New blue worlds 10 Captain profile: Alexander Hawkins - The only way is up 14 The Heesen Tulip - A gift of love and friendship 20 Interview: Ilona Kesaeva - Plans and elevation 24 Q&A: Rupert Connor, Luxury Yacht Group - Making dreams real 28 Interview: Liesbeth Bulk, Crush on Nature - Nature offered up as art 34 Luca Dini Design & Architecture - The Italian touch 38 Friso Visser, Heesen’s new CCO - Sails and marketing 42 Interview: Dr. Paolo Vranjes - Uncommon scents 44 Axis all areas - The name of the game 48 In memory of Paul Andrews - Looking back 52 The great Cosmos LEGO® competition - Block party 58 Our fast deliveries - Fast and furious


Heesen Journal - Spring 2021



Stunning submersibles: U-Boat Worx


A gift of love and friendship


Q&A: Rupert Connor, Luxury Yacht Group

New blue worlds

The Heesen tulip

Making dreams real

ompact, capable and C awesomely high-tech, these private subs are surely the ultimate superyacht toys

As Heesen adopts its own unique bloom, an eminent gardening writer evaluates the flower’s significance, symbolism and meaning

The yachting entrepreneur behind the Luxury Yacht Group, and manager of the 55-metre charter yacht Solemates

Friso Visser, Heesen’s new CCO


The name of the game


The great Cosmos LEGO® competition

Sails and marketing

Axis all areas

Block party

An accomplished manager with a long track record in shipbuilding, and salt water running through his veins

new lease of life for a classic A Heesen, with all the sybaritic comforts – and an ideal draught for the sandy shallows of the Bahamas

hen you pit one team of W LEGO® Masters against another with a brief to recreate Heesen’s most daring superyacht, the results are as surprising as Cosmos herself



Heesen Journal - Spring 2021

Navigating through a new era Heesen has weathered the pandemic pretty well. We Dutch pride ourselves on our organisational abilities, and we succeeded in keeping the shipyard open and operational while strictly following local and national government Covid guidelines.


t wasn't easy. But the resilience, commitment and passion of Heesen's women and men, and of our extended family of suppliers, is something to see. Everyone has adapted to the new ways of working, and we emerged from 2020 both better and stronger. There was minimal disruption to production.

There were no setbacks to the completion of the sold yachts. With 14 yachts currently in build, ranging from 50 to 80 metres, that is no small achievement. So 2020 actually ended up being one of our most successful years ever. We sold five yachts without attending a single boat show. Our marketing team put their creativity at the sales department's service and introduced innovative tools to promote our yachts and engage with clients and prospects. We are encouraged to see that these endeavours have been appreciated, and our customers have quickly adapted to this new way of buying a yacht and following its progress during construction. We're cautiously optimistic about 2021. We are seeing the same level of interest as in the Q4 of last year, and expect things to remain stable through to the end of the year. Yachting has always been a life-affirming way to discover new places and new experiences, and that has never been more true than now. It is one of the great freedoms, and feeds the nomadic soul that exists within us all. Today more than ever, a yacht represents a safe place to gather with family and friends. With a fleet of over 140 yachts sailing the world's seas, I must mention the tireless work of our Customer Care and After Sales team. They have gone above and beyond to take care of our clients, their crews and their yachts, in a period when traveling has become a real challenge. We miss welcoming you to our shipyard, and meeting you at the boat shows and on the docks. To fill this gap we have sent most of our friends a bouquet. Even more than yachting, the tulip symbolises Dutch heritage, and is a great source of national pride. This year in particular,

Arthur Brouwer CEO Heesen Yachts

when we could all do with a reminder that brighter days lie ahead, we are starting this new tradition with the special Heesen Tulip, to celebrate spring and bring some glorious colour into the homes of our friends and partners in the industry. 


Stunning submersibles: U-Boat Worx

New blue worlds ompact, capable and awesomely high-tech, these C private subs are surely the ultimate superyacht toys


Heesen Journal - Spring 2021

By Julia Zaltzman


xperiential travel is rapidly gaining traction, thanks in no small part to a younger generation of yacht owners and their zest for adventure. From the vast wilds of Patagonia to heli-skiing in Greenland and the rich coral reefs of

Papua New Guinea, the desire to encounter these final frontiers is driving innovation. And for underwater enthusiasts, the deep blue is calling louder than it has ever done before. Private manned submersibles are the latest superyacht obsession. Though still considered to be the ultimate accessory, they are not mere toys. The rise in demand to dive deeper, for longer, is driving the technology, fuelled by high-profile discoveries of lost shipwrecks and new marine species, and ongoing projects to map the world’s seabed. 


Roy Heijdra, marketing manager at U-Boat Worx

Add to that the fact it can take just

Piloting appeals to the owners who

two weeks to learn how to pilot your

are drawn to expedition vessels

own sub, and it’s clear why yacht

and who want to be free to explore

owners are getting involved.

for themselves.”

“We opened our dedicated pilot

In response to the call for explorer

training facility in Curaçao to cater for

yachts, Heesen’s Winch-designed

the high demand,” says Roy Heijdra,

XVenture concept combines notable

marketing manager at U-Boat Worx.

features, such as a crystal elevator,

“As well as crew, we get a lot of

swimming pool and Jacuzzi, with

owners who want to be sub pilots.

expedition capabilities, including a

It’s a really different audience to the

helideck, larger tenders, an Ice Class

typical superyacht owner who simply

option, and room for an onboard

cruises around the Mediterranean.



Heesen Journal - Spring 2021

“At Heesen, we’re renowned for building fast aluminium boats, which are perfect for owners looking for speed and performance,” says Heesen’s sales manager Robert Drontmann. “But the average submarine weighs around 4,000 kilograms and requires a heavy-duty onboard crane. For owners looking to factor one of those in, either a steel, full-displacement yacht is best, or an explorer vessel, like XVenture.” Heijdra recommends his U-Boat Worx Super Yacht Sub 3 model as the ideal companion to XVenture – a three-seater capable of diving down to 300 metres, that weighs 3,800 kilograms. A key benefit of submersibles, aside from being customisable and air-conditioned, is that the interior operates at surface air pressure, making them as comfortable for guests as they are enjoyable. “We see some owners who build their yacht around their submarine, or to save on interior volume opt for a shadow vessel,” says Heijdra. What is key, however, is that any owner choosing to have a sub on board needs to plan it from the start of their new-build project. Then sit back, submerge, and let the adventure begin. 

Building on spec Heesen is renowned for successfully

2,500 kilograms and diving to a

building on speculation, meaning

depth of 100 metres. The recipient

it can deliver semi-custom yachts

of the 2020 Red Dot Design Award,

with proven engineering platforms

the NEMO occupies a remarkably

in very short lead times. When Erik

small footprint, the equivalent of

Hasselman, commercial director at

just two jet skis.

U-Boat Worx appeared on episode six of Heesen’s YachtTalk chat

“We tried to build the NEMO as

show, he unveiled a similar spec

compact as possible to appeal

programme for the brand’s latest

to a much broader audience,”

submarine model, the NEMO.

says Heijdra. “Anybody who

The two-person submersible is

has a yacht has space for two

the smallest and lightest sub they

jet skis, so in theory they can

have ever produced, weighing just

fit a NEMO, too.”

 Heesen`s 57 metre explorer yacht XVenture


 Alexander Hawkins

Heesen Journal - Spring 2021

Captain profile: Alexander Hawkins

The only way is up From getting his hands dirty in his father’s boatyard to supervising construction of a 47-metre Heesen, Alexander Hawkins knows the business from top to bottom

By Charlotte Kan


ith 32 years of experience as

natural charm of the English with the mildly raffish

a yacht captain, you might

directness of southern Europe. It’s probably a good

assume that Alexander

mix when it comes to dealing with owners, crew

Hawkins has seen it all.

and guests on board the social microcosm of a

But he certainly doesn’t


convey that impression. His enthusiasm for the life remains undimmed. “When I’m on watch at sunrise

Apart from a few years in the automotive trade,

on a lovely flat sea, with a well found yacht beneath

Alexander has always been in yachting. In fact,

my feet… that is a big, big joy,” he says.

he grew up in it: “My father used to build boats, before I was born, in England,” he explains.

He is British by birth, but grew up in the South of

“We moved to the South of France in 1963, to the

France, which perhaps explains how his manners

lovely port of Villefranche-sur-Mer.” He learned

seem to combine the affable politeness and

the ropes working for his father’s firm in Antibes 


 47-metre yacht 4YOU

“I was 30-plus by the time I got all the big tickets. It was hard work, but very interesting”


Heesen Journal - Spring 2021

back in the Seventies, undertaking yacht main­

Since becoming a yacht captain he has worked

tenance, engineering and delivery tasks. But it was

on numerous vessels, in many parts of the world,

in the US Virgin Islands that he began his induction

gaining experience which few can rival. His first

into superyachting, aboard a 33-metre Feadship.

encounter with Heesen came in 2009, when he

With his practical background and engineering

was engaged as project captain on an aluminium

experience he started, naturally enough, in the

47-metre then in build at the shipyard. He remem-


bers it as a big moment. His input into the design and layouts of the engineroom and bridge were

“I was crossing the Atlantic as an engineer when

obviously invaluable, but he also worked with the

I finally decided to get my qualifications to become

interior designers, visiting marble quarries in Italy

a captain,” Alexander recalls. “I had enough of all

and glass manufacturers in Holland. “It was a dream,”

the noise in the engineroom, and decided I wanted

he says today. “I met Frans Heesen, and you could

a room with a view.” So it was back to school, which

feel his influence everywhere. There was amazing

he had left when he was 15. “I was 30-plus by the

technical expertise, people who really knew what

time I got all the big tickets. It was hard work, but

they were doing, but also a family atmosphere. I saw

very interesting.”

people taking pride in what they do, and respecting their co-workers in other disciplines.” What Alexander likes most about being a captain is the variety. Every day presents a different challenge, even if it’s just finding a nice spot to anchor, but the object is always the same: “When things fall into place and you have a smile on the owner’s or the charter client’s face, that’s the most important thing for me.” People management, of course, is a crucial skill: “Getting crew of different identities and backgrounds to work altogether in a very small and very demanding environment.” It is vital to get to know people, show an interest, and understand what lies behind the scenes: “The roots of people, where they come from, what they’ve done, and where they want to go.” It’s often a matter of trusting his instincts. Alexander has roamed the oceans for many years and in many parts of the world, but there are still objectives to accomplish, adventures ahead. Such as? “Build another boat in a Dutch shipyard,” he smiles. “Or find an owner who wants to escape the Champagne Route.” He would like to see Chile, and dive with the orcas off Norway, but for now he’s off to Asia, a new cruising territory he’s excited to explore. Good luck captain, and bon vent.   Dawn in the Virgin Islands


As Heesen adopts its own unique bloom, an eminent gardening writer evaluates the flower’s significance, symbolism and meaning

The Heesen Tulip

A gift of love and friendship By Geoff Hodge


f there’s one flower above all others that brings joy and brightens up our lives, gardens and homes in spring, it’s the tulip. And in these strange and unconventional times, that’s something we can all do with.

There is an emblematic connection between the tulip and the Dutch, and Heesen’s proud heritage of shipbuilding in the Netherlands has led the company to work with one of the best Dutch tulip producers to start a new annual tradition. The Heesen Tulip has a classic tulip vase flower with a delightful and unique purple colouring, and is being grown in Holland for Heesen. From 2021 onwards, Heesen is sending bouquets of these tulip flowers each spring to all its friends – including owners, brokers, journalists and shipyard colleagues – to mark and celebrate the start of spring and friendship. 


Heesen Journal - Spring 2021


Not only do tulips come in

Ottoman Empire, when

a kaleidoscope of colours –

the Sultan demanded the

from white to almost black

cultivation of particular

and everything in between

blooms for his pleasure.

– but the flowers come in a

The name tulip comes

multitude of shapes, from

from the Turkish word

the classic single tulip vase,

for turban.

to flared lily tulips and the weird and wonderful parrot

The tulip first came to


Europe during the late 16th century and became


But the first humble tulip

popular in every country,

species, from which all

demonstrating its ability

our current and brilliant

to adapt to every condi-

varieties have been bred,

tion. It became a symbol

originated as wild flowers

of durability and strength

in Central Asia. They were

- something else we all

first cultivated by the

need in these trying times

Turks as early as 1000 AD.

- but it was the Dutch who

Tulip obsession started

embraced tulips more

in Turkey during the 16th

than any other nation

century, at the time of the

and they have become

Heesen Journal - Spring 2021

an emblematic part of

arose in the 1630s. When

narily high levels, until the

Dutch heritage since the

botanists started to

inevitable market crash.

17 century. People still

hybridise and breed tulips,

It was the world’s first

identify cultivated tulip

they found ways of making

major financial bubble.

varieties as ‘Dutch tulips’.

extremely decorative and

The average price of a single

tempting flowers. Some

flower exceeded the annual

The Dutch loved them so

of these fashionable new

income of a skilled worker

much that a phenomenon

varieties became so prized

and cost more than some

known as Tulipmania

that their prices soared

houses in Amsterdam at

(in Dutch, Tulpenmanie)

and reached extraordi-

the time! 



“Tulips are a cornerstone of Dutch heritage, as is yachting”  Keukenhof, known as the Garden of Europe


The Netherlands is still the

situated in the municipality

most recognised country

of Lisse. Here you’ll see

for tulips, and they are

tulips growing in their

widely cultivated to blank­-

hundreds of thousands,

et fields with incredible

highlighting the full range

displays of colour during

of colours, shapes and

spring. Keukenhof, known

beauty they provide.

as the Garden of Europe,

It’s a spectacle well worth

is one of the world’s

visiting during tulip time

largest flower gardens,

in April.

Heesen Journal - Spring 2021

“Purple is the color of loyalty, constancy to purpose, unswerving steadfastness to a cause”

The choice of colour for

color of loyalty, constancy

Heesen’s tulip is not with-

to purpose, unswerving

out significance. Purple

steadfastness to a cause.”

has its meanings, as noted by The New York Times in

Heesen CEO Arthur

its report on the fashion

Brouwer said: “Tulips are

messages conveyed during

a cornerstone of Dutch

the recent US presidential

heritage, as is yachting.

inauguration: “Purple is the

The Netherlands may be known as Yacht Valley, but we are also worldfamous for our flower industry, which is a great

source of pride. This year

in the Netherlands, but

in particular, when we

there are deeper layers

could all do with a re-

of symbolism that make

minder that brighter days

tulips the perfect flowers

lie ahead, we are starting

for Heesen to give to its

this new tradition with the

friends. Tulips mean deep

Heesen Tulip to celebrate

and perfect love, as well as

spring, and bring some

charity, and as they start to

glorious colour into the

bloom in the spring they

homes of our friends and

are also associated with

partners in the industry.”

rebirth. So Heesen decided there could be no better


They may symbolise

gift to brighten your home

heritage and horticulture

– or your yacht. 

Interview: Ilona Kesaeva

Plans and elevation A young gallerist in Moscow with excellent connections, following in her mother’s footsteps

By Jonathan Bell


he Mercury Tower is located in the heart of Moscow’s business district, one of a cluster of super-tall buildings that have redefined the city’s skyline in recent years. It’s also home to ILONA-K, a new gallery with a

singular purpose – to promote and showcase the work of contemporary Russian art. The gallery was founded by Ilona Kesaeva, and opened in early September 2020. “We’re the first gallery here,” says Kesaeva proudly. “We have a space on the second floor and then a gallery on the 40th floor, with incredible views across Moscow.” This 339-metre bronze-tinted structure is one of the tallest buildings in Europe, and was originally designed by the American architect Frank Williams. Following his death, the Dutch architect Erick van Egeraat finished the project, bringing his distinct contemporary expression to the site.


Heesen Journal - Spring 2021

Kesaeva has spent most of her life embedded in the art world, but the gallery is her first major project. Her mother, Stella Kesaeva, set up the acclaimed Stella Art Foundation in 2003 and is a major player in the global art market. Her father is the indu­ strialist Igor Kesaev, one of the developers of the tower complex and a long-term Heesen owner. “The very first exhibition I can remember was at the Bilbao Guggenheim in Spain", Kesaeva says. “There were these huge Richard Serra sculptures. I was only 10 or 11 and it made such a big impression on me, as well as the building itself. I was always visiting such places with my mother.” Kesaeva subsequently did a business BA at the London School of Economics before heading to the Sotheby’s Institute for a Master’s degree. “While there I focused on contemporary art, especially Russian,” she says, “I loved studying art. The course also offers internships and I spent about four months at Sotheby’s New York, where I learnt how the auction houses work with clients and increasingly with galleries.” On her 


return to Moscow, she found herself amidst a burgeoning art scene, driven in part by the work of the Stella Art Foundation. “My mother was one of the first people to bring artists like Alex Katz, Andy Warhol and Robert Mapplethorpe to Russia,” she says, “then Dasha Zukova opened her contemporary museum and many others followed.” ILONA-K intends to broaden the appeal of contemporary art in Moscow, helping encourage a new generation of collectors. The gallery is also intent on nurturing the talents of artists occupying the many studio-led creative communities in the Moscow area, such as the Garage Studios, the Winzavod arts centre, and the artist residencies at VDNKh, the Soviet-era exhibition centre. The CosMoscow art fair, held at the city’s Gostiny Dvor market, is another important source of new work. “My mother believed that a strong commercial structure would help promote Russian artists further,” says Kesaeva, explaining the gallery’s ethos. “We will also initiate exchanges with other galleries in Europe and the UK using connections established by her Foundation.”


Heesen Journal - Spring 2021

“Contemporary art is one of the main things that attracts people to big luxury yachts”

Kesaeva’s focus on Russian contemporary art starts with the conceptual and ideologically focused work of the late Soviet era from the 1970s and goes through to the art of today. “Our sales are now going pretty well,” she says happily. “For example, we’re working together with the Pushkin Museum – they’re hoping to acquire a piece. We’re also hoping to showcase artists in museums around the world. Our mission is to bring our Russian artists abroad.” She cites the work of established artists like Olga Chernysheva, Igor Makarevich, Vadim Kosmatschof, Oksana Mas and the artistic partnership of Olga and Oleg Tatarintsev, all of whom are seeing their profiles rise. The Kesaev family is well known to Heesen, having

This crossover between art and the ocean is becoming more

commissioned Sky and MySky over the past decade.

pronounced, with more and more owners requesting space

Art was an integral component of both boats from the

to show specific pieces on board, as well as art consultan-

outset – MySky’s interior was styled by Mercury Tower

cies providing advice on the best available works to help

architect Erick van Egeraat. “We did a beautiful event

with interior themes and approaches. “Contemporary art

at the yacht show at Monaco a few years ago,” Kesaeva

is one of the main things that attracts people to big luxury

recalls. “We installed some pieces aboard to show guests

yachts,” Kesaeva suggests. “I’m thinking of enhancing the

how art would look on a yacht. They have to be very

fleet, so to speak, by incorporating some of the art we

specific pieces, especially sculptures, for example.”

have on the walls of the gallery. MySky in particular has a very strong, distinctive interior design.” With a gallery at hand and a fleet at her disposal, Ilona Kesaeva is reaching new heights.  www.ilona-k.com


“It is so satisfying to know you got it right”


Heesen Journal - Spring 2021

Q&A: Rupert Connor, Luxury Yacht Group

Making dreams real The yachting entrepreneur behind the Luxury Yacht Group, and manager of the 55-metre charter yacht Solemates

B y Frances & Michael Howorth

How did you start in the superyacht industry? I was helping my family build a hotel in the BVIs and met the project manager for a 28-metre new build in Holland. He said that if I was ever in Europe and needed a job, I should look him up. It happened that I was due to crew on an Oyster 48 sailing back to Europe at the end of the season, so I took him up on the offer and joined a 28-metre sailboat, which in 1990 was a huge yacht. In my nine-year spell at sea I was sailing for five of them, and the last four were in motor yachts.

What made you come ashore? I joined Camper & Nicholsons and worked with some very talented individuals like Bill Sanderson and George Nicholson, who mentored me and showed me the ropes. Without their guidance, I would never have started the Luxury Yacht Group and made it a success. We’re a crew agency, but also do yacht management, charter and sales.

What do you most like about the industry? Its synergies. We call ourselves brokers, managers, boatbuilders and even journalists, but to the owners who are our customers, we are magicians who make dreams real. It’s symbiotic – each needs the other. Owners seek out those who share their passion, and we benefit from making them happy. 


“I listen, I watch, and I have a ridiculous eye for detail” What sets you apart? I listen, I watch, and I have a ridiculous eye for detail. I will angst over whether a dining salon table should be 2.6 metres in diameter or 2.7. It’s a small detail, but when you finally get to watch the stewardesses serving dinner, it is so satisfying to know you got it right.


Heesen Journal - Spring 2021

How did you approach this new project?

he didn’t want to wait years for a one-off new-build, and that he sought

What is the best lesson have you learned while running the Luxury Yacht Group?

a proven platform. I worried that Heesen might not deliver within our time

Use your ears and eyes first,

I have worked for this owner for over 20 years and knew how he had used his previous yachts, what worked for him and what he didn’t like. I knew

scale, but when I realised they were worried that we might delay their

and only open your mouth

production, it was clear that there was a meeting of minds.

when it’s something important.

What advice would you give to someone new? Remember that yacht owners can spend their money wherever they like

How did Solemates get her name?

and are involved with our industry only because they are having fun. If we

Rumours are rife on the internet

ever stop making it fun for them, they’ll find some other pastime to enjoy

that this wordplay might allude

and spend their money on.

to the owner’s investment in a certain footwear brand. But I

What would you like to change?

couldn’t possibly comment! 

We need more transparency and trust. Brokers and shipyards too often tell owners what they think they want to hear, rather than what they should hear. And owners should not fixate on size, but ask themselves what it is

CV – Rupert Connor

Do you think confidentiality in the industry helps or hinders business?




Oxford UK

Both. Certainly fewer millionaires would own yachts if they thought their

Nationality British (with American

they want from a yacht and then think about what size fits the bill.

details would be splashed around. But it’s equally true that yachting remains

Green Card)

one of the world’s best kept secrets, so a lot of potential owners have never

Job title


even considered it.

Company Luxury Yacht Group Locations Fort Lauderdale,

Antibes, Palma,


 Exterior and interior image M/Y Solemates



Heesen Journal - Spring 2021

B otanical artist Liesbeth Bulk 

By Jonathan Bell


Liesbeth Bulk was always destined to work with plants, but

the path to her current

company, Crush on Nature, was not a conventional one, and neither are the spectacular pieces she creates. The company describes its output as ‘interior objects made with nature’. Featuring meticulously dried, cut and arranged plants from a wide variety of sources, Bulk and her collaborators have mastered the art of modern floral arrangement. “I come from a long line of tree growers and nursery owners. It’s been in my family for generations,” Liesbeth says from her studio in Quarantaineweg,

Interview: Liesbeth Bulk, Crush on Nature

in Rotterdam’s docks – what was once a place to

Nature offered up as art

isolate sailors with tropical

An artist, designer and botanical technician who works miracles with plants and flowers

environment you were

diseases is now a creative community. “I went to Horticultural college but soon realised there was very little contact with the making,” she explains. “I’m more of a hands-on designer. The work was too abstract.” Eventually 


she found herself teaching on the planning course at Delft Technical University. “My role was teaching students about the human scale and impact of largescale development,” she says. “After that I did a Masters in 3D design at Amsterdam’s Rietveld Academy. But I really missed the ability to create a perfect product. It was always constrained by budget.” But eventually, her design work landed her a significant commission: “About 14 years ago I was asked to transform a gallery space, to really take over with no limits. I thought it was the right time to introduce plants into my work again.” The result was a calming, relaxing interior shaped by hundreds of hanging plants. “When you look at plants, it’s like yoga for the brain,” Liesbeth says emphatically. However, maintaining these first impressions was troublesome. ‘The plants needed a lot of technical support to stay alive, especially indoors,” she recalls, “so the question was how can I work with plant and keep them perfect? So I started

A rtwork at the Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands 

to dry the plants - and this opened up a whole new world.”


Heesen Journal - Spring 2021

She undertook an intensive process of experimentation to perfect her technique. “I spent two years testing, testing, testing,” she recalls, “keeping everything to myself. My plan was to make beautiful things.” Around this time, she met with Alfred van Zanten, the interiors manager at the Royal van Lent Shipyard. “He was the one who explained the superyacht market to me. He was a real mentor,” says Liesbeth. Her initial

“ The industry tried to turn me away, but I was stubborn” idea – to embed dried plants within two panes of glass – was deemed impossible by glass manufacturers. “The industry tried to turn me  ‘Anthriscus Silhouet’ coffee table

away, but I was stubborn,” she says, recalling 


a long journey to a factory

to be ‘surgically’ cut so

flowers,” she says. “I’ve

in Germany to oversee an

that they lie flat between

expanded on traditional

early test. “It came out

the two panes. Liesbeth

methods – this is some-


also embeds her dried

thing that we’ve done in

flowers and plants in resin

my family for generations.”

Today she works with a

to create more three-

Dutch glass manufacturer

dimensional objects,

Plants can become almost

and the technical challen­

sanding down layers so

transparent in a Crush on

ges have been overcome.

that there’s a cross-section

Nature panel, which is as

“To make the plants

view through the delicate

intricate as a delicate fila-

completely flat and dry

structure of the leaves,

ment of jewellery. “I make

is a real art,” she says,

petals and stems. “I try

something as beautiful as

explaining how thick

to show off the beauty of

I can using just ordinary

stems sometimes have

ordinary weeds, not cut

plants,” she says.


Heesen Journal - Spring 2021

“The difference between

rior scheme by Reymond

perfectionist tendencies

cut flowers and weeds

Langton Design. “Heesen

and the intricacies of her

is just a judgement we

invited me to put my works

natural materials. ‘I am

make – it’s all nature.

on board,” she explains.

always experimenting

Appreciation is the

“The yacht has a very beau-

with new materials and

start of conservation.”

tiful natural colour palette

techniques,” she says.

– a lot of wood and leather.

“Everything I do leads

It’s subtle, not shouty.”

to ten other ideas. It’s

Liesbeth’s invitation to contribute to Heesen’s new

more a lack of time than

Project Triton, a 50-metre

The superyacht offers

a lack of ideas.” Nature is

steel displacement yacht,

an environment where

given a new lease of life

has resulted in a series of

quality and detail can be

on the high seas. 

elegant floral vignettes,

scrutinised, making the

complementing the inte-

absolute most of her



 Project Triton's interior

Luca Dini Design & Architecture

The Italian touch As his talented Florence studio gets to work on three interior designs for Heesen, including the 55-metre Project Gemini and 50-metre Project Oslo24, we go behind the scenes with Luca Dini


Heesen Journal - Spring 2021

By Justin Ratcliffe

How did the relationship with Heesen start?

55-metre Steel Class, which is

minded in this respect and has

being built on spec in Oss.

collaborated with Cristiano Gatto,

I met Mark Cavendish and the

They liked our ideas and the

for example, on various projects.

rest is history, as they say.

I should add that it also works both

Heesen sales team a couple of

ways - there aren’t many Dutch

times at boat shows. It was all

or German designers working with

were followed up with a few phone

Why don’t we see more Italian designers working with north European shipyards?

calls before Heesen asked us to

It’s not been easy for us Italians to

each other better. Italians tend

pretty relaxed and we chatted over coffee, but there was a good vibe from the start. These meetings

Italian shipyards. I think partly it’s because until quite recently we’ve never really tried to get to know

present an interior proposal for

break through in northern Europe,

to be passionate and flexible

Project Gemini, the latest in the

although Heesen is more broad­­-

and the Dutch more reserved


“I like to put my foot on the pedal even when I’m going downhill”

and formulaic, but if managed

shipyard rather than the end

properly I think these cultural

user as the idea is to sell the yacht

differences make for a creative and

during construction. The second

productive working relationship.

difference is that the interior has

It has actually been a very enjoy-

to appeal to as wide a spectrum

able experience.

of potential buyers as possible, which is the opposite of tailoring

Project Gemini is your first on-spec project. How does that change your approach?

the design to the personal

We come from a bespoke back­-

process has been great fun –

preferences of an individual client. So we had to change our approach and mentality, but the whole

ground and most of our yacht

not just for us but I would say for

projects have been driven by

the shipyard as well. At least they

their owners. So the first difference

asked us to work with them again,

is that we’re working for the

on Project Oslo24!


Heesen Journal - Spring 2021

When designing an interior that has to please as many people as possible, the risk is that it can become bland. How do you avoid that happening? The challenge here was that as an Italian I like to put my foot on the pedal even when I’m going downhill, which made our Dutch colleagues a little nervous at the beginning! But seriously, it was a question of give and take and working together as a team to arrive at the best solu­tions. The idea is that it can be easily adapted to suit the personality of a future owner, but we also injected some bespoke details of our own, such as the custommade door handles. We always strive for a sense of balance and symmetry to create an ambience that is harmonious rather than mono­tonous, and refined but also friendly.

When are we likely to see a Heesen with an exterior design by Luca Dini?

“A touch of Italian style to the exterior would be great, no?”

I shouldn’t say anything to avoid jinxing myself! Suffice to say we continue to enjoy the collaboration with Heesen and it would be great to create the exterior lines as well, but let’s see what happens. A touch of Italian style to the exterior would be great, no? 

 Exterior render Project Gemini

 Sky lounge Project Gemini


Friso Visser, Heesen’s new CCO

Sails and marketing An accomplished manager with a long track record in shipbuilding, and salt water running through his veins


Heesen Journal - Spring 2021


By Alan Harper hey say sailors make good managers. It’s

Friso Visser, Heesen’s recently-appointed chief commercial

to do with the teamwork that you learn on

officer, is a keen sailor. It’s in his family’s blood. In our inter-

board a yacht, along with an understanding

view, which ought to have been in his office at the shipyard

of the heirarchy of roles. Humility, too – the

but which naturally took place on Zoom, he showed me a

skipper who imagines that the sea can be

small photo of his grandfather in the Far East, in the uniform

treated with anything other than the greatest respect

of an officer in the Dutch merchant marine. His parents

will quickly discover the reality of his situation.

inherited the nautical gene - in another picture his father 


“When I was in my early twenties I set up an après-ski bar with a friend at a resort in the French Alps” is building a plywood

was director of sales for

best year ever in 2020.

ten years older than us,

Mirror dinghy as a very

southern Africa. Heesen

It has very healthy order

who hap­pened to speak

young Friso passes him

promises to be a little

books. So I intend to spend

perfect English. He be­-

tools. Boyhood summers

different. “It’s very wel-

the first month listening

came a mentor to me.

were spent sailing aboard

coming and feels intimate,

in order to best understand

He advised and he gui­-

the family yawl in the

personal, unbureaucratic

'The Heesen way'. I try to

ded, but he also trus­ted

North Sea, among the

– there’s a flat structure,

listen more than I speak,

us, and allowed us to

Frisian islands and along

short lines of communi-

in any case.”

make our own mistakes,

the coasts of Denmark


so we learned properly He learned some of his

about how to run the

With particular respon­­­­-

most important lessons

business. It was a success-

Visser comes to Heesen

si­­bility for sales and

in management from a

ful under­taking – we were

after 18 years in senior

mar­ke­ting, Visser reports

surprising source. “When

selling more than 1,500

positions at the family-

to Heesen CEO Arthur

I was in my early twenties

litres of beer a week.

owned Damen shipyards

Brouwer. His first task at

I set up an après-ski bar at

I always remember what

group, a huge Dutch

the shipyard, he says, will

a resort in the French Alps,

he taught me. We’re still

combine with a global

be to learn. “I have only just

as a joint venture with a

in touch.”

presence, where he looked

arrived, so it’s too soon to

friend,” he explains. “Our

after the Security and

be announcing any grand

partner was a Frenchman

With the bar project up

Patrol vessel division and

plans. The shipyard had its

from Marseilles, about

and running, Visser

and Spain.


Heesen Journal - Spring 2021

launched a concurrent career in IT. It was the time of the ‘millenium bug’ scare and the rise of the internet, so companies were franti­cally hiring young people who understood computers. But he realised

“Someone once told me that if you can combine what you know with what you like, you’ll never work a day in your life”

after a few years that his heart was in something else. “Someone once told me that if you can combine

stay 18 years in a company

success, and of course

shifting sands. It sounds

what you know with what

if things aren’t going well,”

there is also a boat. “She’s

like a nightmare. He loves it.

you like, you’ll never work

he smiles. “It was an

very Dutch,” explains

“You sail to a sandbank on

a day in your life,” he recalls.

excellent time, and I’m

Visser. “She’s 11.5 metres

the ebb, let the tide drop,

Taking stock, he knew he

grateful for it.”

long, with lee boards,

and then for four or five

a draught of 80 cm, and

hours you’re high and dry,”

had a love of languages – his CV lists five – and the

His new role will mean less

a flat bottom, so she can

he explains, and shows me

ski bar had shown him that

time on long-haul flights,

take the ground.” They

one more photo. It’s of the

he also had pretty good

and more time with his

sail in that most challen­

family yacht sitting upright

commercial acumen. So he

wife and their two children,

ging of cruising areas,

on its flat bottom, silhou­

just had to find a job with

aged 11 and 15. The Covid

the Waddenzee off the

etted against the sky, and

a connection with the sea.

lockdown has meant that

Friesland coast, with its

surrounded by a pristine

He joined Damen in 2003,

they now have a dog, too,

islands and shallows,

sea of sand. “It’s heaven,”

who has been a great

streaming tides and

he says. 

and prospered. “You don’t


The celebrated Florentine perfumier reveals how it’s not just books that furnish a room smells do too

Interview: Dr. Paolo Vranjes

Uncommon scents By Fernanda Roggero

T 42

he very name

and aristocratic ‘lord of

of Dr. Vranjes

perfumes’, who esta­blished

Firenze offers

his Antica Officina del

up an air

Farmacista in 1983. From

of mystery,

his elegant Florence living

and might elicit images

room he explains with

of an austere Indian guru

dry eloquence what his

dispensing mantras and

“olfactory furnishings”

aromas inten­­ded to awa­

consist of, and how his

ken your chakras. In fact,

passion for essences and

Paolo Vranjes is a charming

aromas was born.

Heesen Journal - Spring 2021

“At the age of nine I was already experimenting with a chemistry set” What is ‘olfactory decoration’?

with a chemistry set.

identify the most suit­-

I even had an accident

What does your Antica Officina del Farmacista produce?

It is the ability to

laboratory. One day

able ol­factory note for

whilst attempting to

Candles, home fragran­-

an environment. In an

synthesize ammonia.

ces (over 30 different

office, essences that

In any case, my path

fragran­ces), personal

help concentration are

was set. I studied

care products. One of

How do you create the olfactory décor of a yacht?

useful, such as ginger,

chemistry and pharma-

the scents I love the

We work closely with

cinnamon, cardamom

cology at university

most is Acqua, be-

architects. Delicate

or cloves. In a relaxation

and initially worked in

cause I have a passion

and floral notes are

room it is better to use

cosmetics. At the time,

for the sea, and it has

privileged, such as

orange blossom or

the quality and choice

salty hints and citrus

peony, with some

laven­der. Jasmine has a

of fragrances for

notes, bergamot, basil,

sparkling effect

mood balancing effect.

cosmetics was rather

green musk. In the

given by citrus essences.

Without forgetting

poor. I contributed to

laboratory we were

Amber is king for the

that smells are very

the creation of the first

able to recreate the

sleeping area. 

he jealously kept in

large spas and in so

scent of saltiness. In our

his office. They were

doing I began to

olfactory repository we

strange aromas to me:

understand the link

have over 2,200 essences

jasmine, sandalwood,

between olfactory

and every year we create

all kinds of spices. I was

memory and well-

a new fragrance. The last

fascinated by them.

being - the ability

one is Italia, in which we

At the age of nine I was

to link a particular

wanted to recall the

already experimenting

moment to a smell.

colours of our flag -

I had a respectable

often linked to our memories of places or situations. A blend with ozone and saline notes immediately takes me back to a walk on the beach.

How did you start working with scent? I am Florentine by adoption. My family has Bolognese origins. My grandfather was involved in the import and export of fine fabrics, but he had an amazing collection of ampoules containing essential oils, which


herbaceous notes for the green, pure berga­mot for the white and spicy notes for the energy of the red.

The name of the game

Axis all areas new lease of life for a classic Heesen, with all the sybaritic A comforts – and an ideal draught for the sandy shallows of the Bahamas


By Julia Zaltzman

riginally launched in 1986 as Tropic C, and subsequently called Mylin II, Morgan Star, No Comment and Brio, this superb, Heesen-built 38-metre’s current name feels the most fitting. “The owners' company is called SixAxis, so Sea Axis worked as a play on words that fitted with the accessibility that the boat offers,” says her captain, Nick Veselica. “Our tender follows suit with the name Beach Axis.”

For while Sea Axis has much to recommend her, it’s her shallow draught of just 2.46 metres

that particularly appeals to her owners, who hail from South Carolina. It makes her a perfect yacht for exploring the balmy, shallow waters of the Bahamas and the Caribbean. “We’ve cruised the Abacos and the Exumas all the way down to Georgetown, as well as the east Nick Veselica Captain of Sea Axis

coast of the US. There are a few areas that are tide dependent,” explains Nick, “but otherwise we can get everywhere.”


Heesen Journal - Spring 2021

“ We’ve cruised the Abacos and the Exumas all the way down to Georgetown, as well as the east coast of the US”

Nick became captain of Sea Axis just over two years ago, and brought a lifetime of experience to the job. His yachting career began while he was still at college, after which he quickly obtained his captain’s licence. He spent three years running a yacht management company with a portfolio of 160 clients, before making the decision to “stick to just one boat” – this one. 

 Upgraded flybridge with hot tub and blue agate bar


“It still surprises me that she was built in 1986. The way she’s been designed and built, Heesen were way ahead of their time and worlds above other shipyards”

Power and Performance Sea Axis is a custom-built 38-metre tri-deck yacht built by Heesen in 1986 to ABS class specifications. She completed a two-year US$11 million refit at Rybovich in 2015, which saw her interior updated (under the supervision of the original designer Frank Mulder) by German yacht designer Joachim Kinder. The main deck aft and euro-transom were extended, as were the skylounge, bridge and sun deck with all exterior areas reconfigured. A state-of-the-art AV system was also installed during the refit, including Crestron and Kalaidescape movie and music servers. Sea Axis accommodates up to 12 guests in five staterooms, with a main deck master suite, and a VIP, king suite and two twin suites with Pullman berths on the lower deck. Performance-wise, Sea Axis packs a punch for a motor yacht built over 30 years ago. She is powered by two 1,484hp Deutz-MWM TBD616V16 diesel engines (new in 2002 and rebuilt in 2019), and has a range of 3,200 nautical miles at a cruising speed of 15 knots. Water toys include Seabobs, SeaDoos, wakeboards, waterskiis, dive and fishing gear and inflatables, while as tenders she has a Nautica RIB and an 11.5-metre Pursuit DC365, which can be towed behind Sea Axis at 12 knots.


Heesen Journal - Spring 2021

“Sea Axis is pretty special,” he says. “It still surprises me

the aft deck sofas, sat around the bonfire pit watching

that she was built in 1986. The way she’s been designed

a movie, it’s a real showstopper set-up,” enthuses Nick.

and built, Heesen were way ahead of their time and worlds above other shipyards. It’s the accessibility that

The popular Exuma Cays Land & Sea Park is a particular

she gives, and her stability and comfort at sea.”

favourite with the owners, as is the private island of Hog Cay. Typical itineraries will see the yacht cruising the

Her home port is Fort Lauderdale, but she spends most

mangrove-lined waters of Shroud Cay, snorkelling the

of her time in the Caribbean and the Bahamas, and after

reefs at Highbourne Cay, and dropping anchor at Staniel

various refits since here launch more than 30 years ago,

Cay, just south of Nassau. “We also like to head a little

she is well equipped and beautifully kitted out for both

further south to places like Cave Cay and hop around

private and charter use. Her current owners' decision in

more of those uninhabited islands, too” says Nick. “You

2017 to rework the flybridge, or “lido deck” as they like

tend to get a lot less people around those anchorages.”

to call it, has transformed the yacht’s charter positio­ning. “We have a hot tub and a huge, blue agate bar up there.

Carrying inflatables, scuba and fishing gear, and the latest

It provides a 360-degree view of just about everything

water toys, Sea Axis is a popular option in the charter

around,” says her seasoned captain. “We made the bar

market for guests looking for island-hopping adventures.

backlit, so it has this beautiful glow, too.”

The owners also have their bucket list. “We've done a lot of memory building with the owners and their children.

A fully updated AV system was added, which includes

Sea Axis is the family’s first yacht, and the whole goal

subwoofers, soundproofing inside the bar and B&W

was to show their children a life that they never had,” says

speakers throughout the yacht. “We have a 4K projector

Nick. “I'm sure we'll run through the Caribbean and then

that sits directly behind a massive 120-inch screen for

maybe down to Panama and Costa Rica. That would be a

short throw projection. When guests are lounging on

fantastic trip, and the boat would more than handle it.” 


In memory of Paul Andrews (January 14, 1943 - February 21, 2021)

Looking back Just a few short months ago, prior to his untimely passing, American businessman, Paul Andrews, chatted about the unbridled joy and relaxation he experienced aboard his 55-meter Heesen Abbracci. It is with sadness and respect that we report his earlier conversation with us…


Heesen Journal - Spring 2021

“ Being on the water is my therapy. I can spend time with my family and unwind”

By Jill Bobrow


et me close my eyes and imagine I am in the Bahamas aboard my boat, says Paul Andrews trying to switch gears. Andrews, the owner of the 55-meter Abbracci, is carving time out of his

hectic work day to chat with me on the phone from his office in Fort Worth, Texas. “Today has just been one of those days where if anything could go wrong…,” he doesn’t finish his sentence, but is gently letting me know he is busy. Despite his proclamation, he does not sound annoyed or stressed at all. He is affable and friendly. Andrews was the founder and CEO of TTI, a multibillion dollar global company that— among myriad enterprises— is one of the world’s largest specialty distributors of industrial, military, aerospace, and consumer electronics components. TTI employs approximately 7200 people in more than 133 


 TTI HQ Fort Worth Texas

locations globally. One could well imagine that

Worth Texas, but he says boating is truly his

a CEO of a large successful conglomerate might

passion. He got the bug when he purchased

indeed—every now and then— have a few fires

his first boat out of college, a 17-foot Century

to put out. I learn that Andrews started the

runabout. After discovering the joys of boating

company in 1971— his first warehouse was

as a young man, he continued to buy a series

literally his kitchen. TTI has come a long way

of small boats to occupy his leisure time.

since its homegrown days and is now celebrating its 50th anniversary. After a tenure of so many

He acquired his first sizeable yacht in 1991,

years, some people might consider retirement.

a Brouward, and thereafter kept trading up,

Not Andrews, not yet. TTI was acquired by

buying brands such as, Christensen and

Berkshire Hathaway in 2007 and while there

Lürssen. His last five yachts have all been

is a well-honed managerial hierarchy in place,

named Abbracci. It is always interesting to

it appears as if Andrews is not quite ready to

hear how a yacht’s moniker is chosen. At face

relinquish his command. However, there is one

value, the name Paul Andrews does not hint

thing that might encourage him to slow down

at any Italian heritage. Andrews laughs and

a tad—Abbracci, his 55-meter Heesen awaits.

says,” Well, I do have a bit of Italian in my DNA.” Ethnicity aside, he recounts how the

Abbracci has a permanent slip in Fort Lauderdale

name Abbracci came about. Many years back,

and is always at the ready for long weekend

after contracting to take delivery of his first

jaunts to the Bahamas. “Being on the water is

big boat, he and his wife were enjoying a

my true form of relaxation…it is my therapy.

lovely romantic dinner in Florida at a landmark

I get to spend time with my family and comple­

Coral Gables restaurant called Caffe Abbracci.

tely unwind,” says Andrews.

Probably after a glass or two of wine, they mutually determined, that Abbracci—meaning

Andrews is not sure how he became so attracted

hugs in Italian— would be a fortuitous and

to the water growing up in landlocked Fort

fitting name for their new yacht.

5 5-metre Heesen M/Y Abbracci 


Heesen Journal - Spring 2021

In 2016, Andrews was once again ready for

to make a few trips to the boat. And, on a positive

a new yacht. He went to the Palm Beach Boat

note, he has taken advantage of Covid-related

Show and fell in love with a 55-metre / 180 feet

restrictive downtime, to get the yacht’s ten-year

Heesen brokerage yacht. She ticked all the

survey and maintenance work done. The yacht

boxes— build, pedigree, space, and aesthetics.

is now in shipshape and ready to go anywhere.

In fact, he was so sure of the yacht, he bought

“I am hoping to take Abbracci to the Caribbean

it without his wife first seeing her! He admits he

over the summer,” says Andrews. “I am also hoping

could have been in the dog house big time, but

to spend more and more time on her. When I am

luckily, his wife approved. After so many years

at sea, on board Abbracci, all my worries seem to

of marriage, he knew his wife’s taste, so did not

wash away and, I feel 10 years younger!”

feel he was taking an overly big risk. His bet paid off, they both are enamored with the layout of

Well, if Abbracci is the fountain of youth, then

Abbracci and the interior appointments which

Andrews need never retire, but perhaps the ‘work

are light and bright.

from home’ mandate that has been ongoing during the pandemic might morph into a ‘work from on

Abbracci, Andrews’ first full displacement yacht,

board’ directive… and then… maybe Andrews

has indeed proved to be the perfect yacht for

will put an ‘away message’ on his email, turn off

enjoying family trips. The Andrews have three

his mobile phone, take a deep dive into the clear

adult children and eight grand­children who

translucent waters of the tropics, and emerge only

range in age from four to 18 years old. Everyone

to sit on the aft deck with a drink in his hand and

enjoys being on board and being together.

a smile on his face. 

While the family has spent time aboard in Bermuda, for the most part, the Andrews cruise to and around the Bahamas. Andrews explains that Florida is just a short plane ride from Fort Worth, facilitating spontaneous trips to the boat. Andrew’s captain, Joe Tress, has been with him since 1992! Andrews credits Captain Tress with


keeping Abbracci in tip top shape. “He and first

The 55-metre (180 feet) Abbracci (formerly

mate Lia always ensure our trips are comfortable

Serenity) was Heesen’s largest yacht at the time

and enjoyable,” says Andrews.

of her launch in 2011, a full-displacement steel-hulled yacht with a top speed of 15 knots

“We have often gone to Paradise Island as our

and a comfortable cruising range of 6,000 nm

grandchildren always have fun at the Atlantis

at ten knots. Designed inside and out by Omega

resort, says Andrews, “but for the most part

Architects, she has ample accom­modation for

we prefer to anchor in remote locations to relax

12 guests in six staterooms, including a

and enjoy nature, to swim, and to play around

well-appointed owner’s suite forward on the

on the Seadoo’s.” Andrews also is fond of the

main deck and a full-beam VIP cabin. Special

Abacos. Lamenting the devastation of Marsh

amenities include a spa with steam, sauna,

Harbour due to the 2019 Hurricane Dorian,

and massage rooms, a gym, and an outdoor

he will be among the first to return when the

Jacuzzi, while her opulent interior features

area recovers and is rebuilt. Other favorite

more than ten different kinds of marble.

stops in the Bahamas are Norman’s Cay and

Mechanically and aesthetically, Abbracci has

Staniel Cay in the Exumas.

been continuously maintained to a very high standard. Her high-gloss, polished maple

While the pandemic has certainly made family

veneers are as fresh and bright today as they

cruising more challenging, Andrews has managed

were when she was launched.


The great Cosmos LEGO® competition

Block party When you pit one team of LEGO® Masters against another with a brief to recreate Heesen’s most daring superyacht, the results are as surprising as Cosmos herself


Heesen Journal - Spring 2021

By Michelle Johnson


he world’s greatest LEGO® builders share some surprising skills with the world’s greatest yacht builders. Both require a mastery of engineering, The two teams – Björn Ramant and Corneel Clarys,

creative flair, attention to detail and

the ability to bring the most challenging designs

and Martijn Brinkman and Jos van Uum – were

to life. So when two finalist teams from TV’s LEGO®

tasked with recreating the sleek lines and dynamic

Masters were commissioned to reproduce Heesen’s

beauty of the all-aluminium Cosmos to a 1:42 scale,

phenomenal 80-metre megayacht Project Cosmos in

with the completed models measuring an impres-

LEGO®, it would become the shipyard’s most inspired

sive two metres in length. Both teams incorporated

competition yet.

‘Minifigs’ – LEGO® figures of guests and crew – to add flavour to the scale and splendour of the finished yacht.


“We’ve never had a project on this scale, not even during LEGO® Masters”

The two models were designed using Cosmos design schematics, 3D renderings and images provided by Heesen and their design collaborators, Winch Design and Sinot Yacht Architecture & Design. With such accurate information to work from, it’s no surprise that the models look nearly identical at first glance – but take a closer look and delightful, subtle differences are revealed. “From afar, the models look almost identical but, if you look closely, you can see that there are also a lot of differences in building style, details and functions of the LEGO® models,” says Brinkman, recalling when the models were revealed together at Heesen’s Oss shipyard in October 2020.

N ext page: Cosmos according to Ramant and Clarys  Brinkman and van Ulm’s creation 


Heesen Journal - Spring 2021

These details showcase the skill of both teams as well as the remarkable features of the custom-built Project Cosmos. Brinkman and van Uum wanted to create a sculpture that hinted at the yacht’s functionality: their model includes tender doors that open, working sun awnings and a pop-up cinema screen. Lighting threaded through the build allows views of the interior details, which were based on renderings. “We’ve never had a project on this scale, not even during LEGO® Masters,” says van Uum. Their model is made of over 12,000 bricks and weighs 23kg. “The sheer size of the model was challenging, especially in recreating the movement of the real Cosmos – for example, the garage doors extend outwards and rotate upwards to unload the tender, crew boat and jet skis. It turned out great.” Like their competitors, Ramant and Clarys designed their build digitally using the LEGO® software BrickLink. It took approximately 150 hours for the pair to finish the digital design stage and a further 


A modern Colossus The largest yacht yet by Heesen, the allaluminium 80-metre Project Cosmos is already making waves thanks to its unique construction. Heesen’s patented ‘Backbone’ reinforces the hull to ensure safety and structural integrity at speed. Cosmos will pack more than 19,000hp and reach speeds up to 30 knots when delivered in April 2022. The full-custom yacht includes extraordinary features by Winch Design, such as the full-size helipad on the bow that transforms into a sun deck and outdoor cinema, the seven-metre glass-bottom swimming pool, the beach club with a sunken bar, and a waterfall plunging from one deck to another.

Six guest cabins, including a master stateroom and VIP suite, and elegant dining and lounge spaces, are decked out by interiors specialists Sinot Exclusive Yacht Design. Bespoke furniture, statement materials and soft backlighting set a luxurious mood on board, inspired by the ever-changing beauty of the ocean.

We really wanted it to be a showpiece. We wanted smooth, clean lines and not to see any LEGO® studs”

Heesen Journal - Spring 2021

60 hours to build the model. Ramant and Clarys

Clarys adds that it was an opportunity to create

employed a striking horizontal stacking technique,

a whole new way to build. “We started building

which allowed the pair to perfect the difficult curves

from the back of the yacht, including tiny details

of the ship’s bow, as well as delicate interior details

such as the fold-out sun deck and tenders, and

such as the spiral staircase and bespoke furniture.

moved forwards to finish with the bow. We built the deck and helipad using a technique that makes

“We really wanted it to be a showpiece. We wanted

it look like Cosmos’ actual deck flooring,” he says.

smooth, clean lines and not to see any LEGO® studs,”

“The view from the back of the model is really cool

says Ramant. “Our biggest challenge was creating

as well: you can see the complete interior of Cosmos

the curves and rounded shapes of the bow just using

from top to bottom.”

brick. We had the exact measurements from Heesen, The competition’s grand reveal at the Heesen

but ultimately it took a lot of trial and error t perfect.”

shipyard was a chance for both teams to see the genuine superyacht under construction before fans could vote online for their favourite – but how did seeing the original model compare to the LEGO® Masters’ intricate finished works? “It was amazing to tour Cosmos afterwards and see the details we had worked so hard to get right,” says Ramant. “It’s really funny to think: ‘I know this place. I know that curve and that corner. Hey, I built that.’” 

 Teams triumphant: Ramant and Clarys (left), with Brinkman and van Ulm


Our fast deliveries

Fast and furious



Length 50 metres Hull FDHF •Aluminium Speed 19.5 knots Delivery April 2021

Length 50 metres Hull Displacement • Steel Speed 15.0 knots Delivery February 2022

Altea, a 50-metre FDHF all aluminium motor yacht

Blending practicality with luxurious detail, this 50-metre

below 500GT, is the second yacht built on the design

steelhulled yacht has been optimised to deliver the

and engineering platform of Nova Plus. Fast and

largest possible volume while still remaining under

efficient cruising is granted by way of her FDHF

the 500 GT threshold. Wrapped in a refined yet striking

aluminium hull, designed in partnership with naval

exterior, Aura makes a splash for all the right reasons.

architects Van Oossanen. A top speed of 19.5 knots

A true bluewater motor yacht ideal for cruising, Aura

is matched with a range of 3,750 nautical miles at a

features a displacement hull designed by Heesen’s

cruising speed of 12 knots. Efficiency is at the core

in-house team of naval architects and engineers.

of Altea.

Two MTU 8V4000 M63 engines provide a top speed of 15 knots to travel and explore new horizons. A bulbous

A tranquil and spacious interior by Italian designer

bow allows her to glide through the water with ease.

Cristiano Gatto invites guests to relax and unwind

At 50 metres, this cutting-edge design boasts a range

at the end of an active day at sea. Textured leathers,

of 3,800 nautical miles at a cruising speed of 13 knots.

custom carpets and bespoke veneered walls and flooring translate into a tactile onboard experience.

The interior, penned by British studio Reymond Langton

A selection of silks and velvets complement the choice

Design, is defined by clean lines and surfaces. Billowy

of finishes and lighting and fine cabinetry under­taken

clouds of white and taupe give an ethereal elegance,

in-house by Heesen Yachts Interiors.

peppered with sharp accents of sea greens and deep blues. Textured materials evoke a sense of calm, refined

A shallow 2.15-metre draft means Altea will no doubt

by the chicness of Scandinavian simplicity. Light, airy

make for an arresting sight in the Bahamas once

and spacious areas are ideal for entertaining. Natural light

snapped up by her new owner.

and well-placed ambience LEDs are twinned with views of the great outdoors. True to her name, Aura is a glowing hub of comfort on water.


Heesen Journal - Spring 2021



Length 50 metres Hull Semi-displacement • Aluminium Speed 23.0 knots Delivery June 2022

Length 55 metres Hull FDHF • Steel Speed 15.5 knots Delivery October 2022

At 50 metres and below 500 GT, Sapphire’s all-aluminium,

Combining advanced naval architecture from Van Oossanen

fast-cruising credentials leave other yachts in its wake.

with exterior design by Omega Architects, Gemini offers

Omega Architects’ curvy yet sporty exterior design

a spacious volume of 760 GT. The 55m Steel platform

complements Sapphire’s performance and prowess.

encompasses proven efficiency with sophisticated style

Equipped with green ocean engines and IMO tier

and the renowned FDHF hull form to ensure performance

III-compliant, she delivers unrestricted cruising

and power.

ventures. Innovative use of glass throughout provides an abunHeesen’s optimised, low-drag hull design with a reduced

dance of natural light and panoramic vistas. At the heart

transom depth allows for a shallower shaft angle.

of the design is the 82-square-metre owner’s stateroom.

Comfortable and stable in the rough North Sea, but

Ten guests are accommodated across five staterooms -

with a 2.15 metre draft capable of cruising the shallow

all with en-suite facilities.

shoals of The Bahamas. Sapphire’s ultra-efficient hull shape delivers on engineering, aesthetics and adventure

The full-beam sky lounge and main saloon are the hub

making her ideal for both island hopping and longer

of the yacht where the guests gather. A unique dedicated


wellness area is accessible via the beach club, while the sun deck incorporates plenty of room for soaking up

Teaming asymmetric design with geometric shapes,

the best of life on board. Refined materials have been

Sapphire’s interior by Italian designer Cristiano Gatto

championed in this paired back and sophisticated interior

gives architectural elements from the past a fresh and

by Italian designer Luca Dini.

contemporary twist.