Heesen announces the sale of Project Akira, YN 20457, with Wes Sanford of Northrop & Johnson and James Corts of MarineMax introducing the client. Commenting on the sale, Wes and James said: “We couldn’t be happier to have matched this family with such an excellent Dutch shipyard. Everyone involved understands and shares the value of pedigree, quality and detail, which is a great place on which to build a long relationship and a fantastic yacht. In Project Akira, Heesen, Harrison Eidsgaard, and Omega Architects have developed an incredible yacht for cruising the world and, even more specifically, exploring The Bahamas. We look forward to completing this stunning yacht for the summer shakedown voyage in the Med. She’ll turn heads in every anchorage!”
Mark Cavendish, Heesen CCO: “It is a very exciting time for our shipyard as YN 20457 Project Akira is the first in a new class of yachts, which we have carefully studied and engineered to deliver optimum luxury on water. We look forward to working with the Owners and their family to build a yacht that will provide many days of happy sailing and create long-lasting memories.”
Project Akira is the first in Heesen’s new 57-metre all-aluminium series of fast yachts, with an enclosed volume of approximately 780 GT and a lightweight, ultra-efficient Fast Displacement Hull Form. Heesen is one of the few shipyards in the world with the in-house capability to weld such high-performance structures to the required tolerances.
The shipyard presented the 57-metre series design at the Monaco Yacht Show in 2019, and construction of YN 20457 began in February 2022 as a speculative venture. The official keel-laying was witnessed by the American Bureau of Shipping surveyor. To mark the occasion, four Heesen employees celebrating their 25th work anniversary carried out the first welds. One of Heesen’s great strengths is the long-lasting commitment of its highly professional workforce. Incredibly, 17 of the shipyard’s original 40 employees still work at the yard, with the next generation coming through strongly.
Another milestone was marked on November 18, 2022, when Akira’s two IMO Tier III-compliant MTU 16V 4000 M65L engines were installed. This propulsion package, in concert with the super-efficient hull design, will give the yacht a maximum speed of 22 knots – quite remarkable for a superyacht displacing approximately 490 tonnes at half load and with no shortage of luxury.
The joining of the hull and superstructure, another landmark occasion in her construction, took place in December 2022. The project remains on schedule and will be delivered to her new owners in time to enjoy the 2024 summer season.
Frank Laupman of Omega Architects penned a distinctive profile that, as well as making Akira stand out at sea with her assertive attitude, sweeping lines and a near-vertical bow, will also turn heads in harbour, thanks to a unique scooped stern that gives her a compelling quayside presence.
Harrison Eidsgaard worked closely with Frank Laupman and Heesen’s in-house engineers to create an efficient and purposeful layout. The owners and their team are working with Harrison Eidsgaard and Heesen’s interior engineer to personalise the yacht and meet their tastes and lifestyle. Akira will offer plenty of outdoor space to enjoy life at sea and generous indoor areas in which to socialise and relax.
Twelve guests are accommodated in six staterooms, with the 63 sqm owner’s apartment located forward on the main deck. There is a VIP suite on the bridge deck above, while the remaining guest cabins are on the lower deck. A glass and stainless-steel elevator serves all three decks. Heesen Yachts Interiors, Heesen’s fine cabinetry workshop in Winterswijk, is responsible for handcrafting the refined bespoke furniture for Project Akira.
The Owners have entrusted renowned marine surveyor Peter Wilson of MCM Newport as their representative. Peter Wilson comments: “We are very pleased to be representing our client throughout the construction of Heesen project 20457 – a magnificent fast all-aluminium motor yacht. We look forward to completing this stunning yacht in time for an early summer 2024 maiden voyage.”
Arthur Brouwer, Heesen CEO, marked the occasion by saying: “We are honoured to have the opportunity to build a yacht for this lovely family. The Heesen sales team and our ingenious engineers worked tirelessly to realise this contract. I congratulate everyone at Heesen for their commitment and hard work. I am confident that Akira will be the first of a successful new breed of Heesen yachts ideal for those clients who like to cruise the seven seas, hop from island to island in comfort and style, and drop anchor in the crystal clear, shallow waters of The Bahamas!”