Project Nova: hull and superstructure joined together


Heesen Yachts announced the hull and superstructure of YN 17850 Project Nova were joined together. Project Nova is the world’s first Fast Displacement Hull Form (FDHF) equipped with hybrid propulsion.

Heesen has been the first shipyard to apply the FDHF to superyachts, starting with the revolutionary 65m Galactica Star, and continued with 42m Alive, 55m Azamanta, and 50m Sibelle. Project Nova, unlike Galactica Star, is not designed for exceptionally high speeds. Instead, the ultra-efficient hull form provides the lower speeds typically associated with traditional displacement hulls, but with vastly lower fuel consumption. The result is unique: a high-performance, supremely comfortable displacement yacht with reduced environmental impact.

At 12 knots Project Nova will have a fuel consumption of 98 litres per hour (excluding generators) and at 10 knots this will be reduced to a 57.5 litres per hour – a staggering figure for a 50m yacht displacing 315 tons and with a gross tonnage of 499. Her cruising range of 3,750nm at 12 knots will be achieved with a fuel capacity of just 45,000 litres. heesennova2

Project Nova’s top speed of 16.3 knots will be achieved thanks to two MTU 12V 2000 M61 diesel engines of 600 kW each, which are smaller than those typically installed on a yacht of this size. This proves the outstanding efficiency of the Fast Displacement Hull Form devised by Van Oossanen Naval Architects and achieved thanks to Heesen’s minute attention to weight control.

Project Nova is not just an ultra-efficient, low fuel-burning yacht. She also adds a new dimension to luxury: silence. Project Nova perfectly combines fuel efficiency with quiet cruising thanks to her hybrid propulsion system.  With her two water cooled DC electric shaft motors of 127 kW each, Project Nova can cruise at speeds up to 9 knots using the generators alone. At this speed the consumption is predicted to be a remarkable 45 litres per hour.

Moreover, the hybrid set-up provides significant noise reduction, as one can appreciate from the comparison table below.

Area                                         w/ main engines                  w/ hybrid propulsion at 9 knots
Owner’s stateroom                         50 dB (A)                                       46 dB (A)
Main saloon                                   62 dB (A)                                       50 dB (A)
Dining area                                    60 dB (A)                                      48 dB (A)
Upper saloon                                 58 dB (A)                                       46 dB (A)
Guest cabins                                 58 dB (A)                                       46 dB (A)

The hybrid propulsion system offers some additional advantages:
on longer passages and across a wide range of speeds up to 15.7 knots, the shaft motors can be used as generators to provide the hotel loads, meaning the generators can be switched off with a consequent saving in fuel.  In boost mode (main engines plus the shaft motors), Project Nova will gain an additional 0.6 knots, bringing the maximum speed to 16.3 knots. heesennova3

This stunning piece of technology is wrapped in an elegant design package with exterior lines by Omega Architects and interior styling by Sinot Yacht Design. Project Nova’s exterior lines break with Heesen yachts of the past, but still retain the sense of seaworthiness and performance that has become our trademark. Her vertical bow, for example, is not just a styling exercise: it also serves to reduce the vertical acceleration that causes discomfort for guests on board. Twelve guests will be accommodated in six staterooms and will have plenty of outdoor space for enjoying life at sea.

Project Nova is available for purchase and is scheduled to be delivered in Spring 2017 after intensive sea trials in the North Sea.