Heesen is delighted to announce that the construction of YN 20457, Project Akira, began at the Oss shipyard on February 9, formally witnessed by the American Bureau of Shipping surveyor.
Akira is the first in a new class of high-speed aluminium yachts by Heesen. At 57 metres, with an enclosed volume of approximately 780 GT, she sports a lightweight ultra-efficientient FDHF hull that will give her a top speed of 22 knots with two IMO III-compliant MTU 16V 4000 M65L engines.
The all-aluminium hull is the latest refinement of the patented Fast Displacement Hull Form, devised by Dutch hydrodynamicists Van Oossanen and further engineered by Heesen’s naval architects. Thanks to her low-drag underwater body, Akira is fast yet highly economical, needing less power and using up to half the fuel of a conventional steel displacement yacht of the same size. Thanks to her shallow draft of just 2.3 metres, she is also a go-anywhere yacht, perfect for the crystal clear waters of the Bahamas or shallow inshore anchorages in the Mediterranean.
For this new breed of yacht, Heesen appointed long-term partner Frank Laupman of Omega Architects for the exterior design. Her lines are characterised by a shapely profile, a gently raked bow, and bold fashion plates. A standout feature is the distinctive scalloped transom to increase the size of the large fixed swim platform, which will make her instantly identifiable in any marina.
"We see great potential for this new model," says Arthur Brouwer, Heesen's CEO. "Akira is the only 57-metre, all-aluminium fast motor yacht with a Northern European pedigree available for delivery in Spring 2024. This design presents a perfect counterpoint to our successful 55m Steel Class, and is ideal for those clients who seek that elusive combination of speed, efficiency and volume."
When it came to Akira’s 400 sqm of luxury interior space, Heesen's engineering department worked with Harrison Eidsgaard from the very beginning to develop the general arrangement – a decision that led to a step-change in the way the design was approached. "Introducing us to the project so early meant that the mechanical parts of the ship were considered in tandem with the interior," says Ben Harrison. "So key areas have been given the space they need, enhancing the flow of the yacht. The modern onboard lifestyle is all about making the most of the scenery outside."
The interior décor allows Akira’s owners to express their taste and customise the yacht to fit their lifestyle. "It’s a relatively simple aesthetic," explains Ewa Eidsgaard. "It invites personalisation but showcases loose artisanal furniture, such as the handcrafted console in the main salon. This only features three materials – pewter, leather inlays and wood veneer – but its detailing and subtle tonal variations give it a decorative richness. The types of materials used throughout the interior reflect light around the rooms and create a sociable, tactile ambience that frames far-reaching views out to sea,” she adds. “Stainless steel finishes, dark pewter accents and metallised materials bring a sense of warmth to the room without detracting from the beauty of the outdoors."
Twelve guests are accommodated in six suites. The 63 sqm owner’s stateroom occupies the main deck forward and comprises a study, the bedroom with his-and-hers closets, and a full-beam bathroom with bathtub and shower stall. Four double suites are found on the lower deck, while the VIP cabin is up on the bridge deck. All decks are served by the glass elevator.
Outdoor spaces are carefully conceived to offer the ultimate experience of life at sea. Large windows create connectivity between indoors and out. From dining al fresco on the upper aft terrace, to the vast sundeck with its jacuzzi, and from the forward seating area on the bridge deck down to the beach club, owners and guests will always find the perfect place to relax.
Project Akira is scheduled for delivery in Spring 2024.