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Standing ovation for Frank Mulder, recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2024 Boat International Design & Innovation Awards.

Frank Mulder, the celebrated naval architect behind the iconic Octopussy, was honored with the esteemed Lifetime Achievement Award during the 2024 Boat International Design & Innovation Awards. The prestigious event unfolded in Kitzbuhel on Sunday, January 28, 2023. If you’re interested in delving deeper into the remarkable journey of Frank Mulder and the creation of Octopussy, you can explore the documentary capturing this momentous occasion.

BOAT International recognises a member of the superyacht design community every year with this honour. Previous recipients of this award include Tim Heywood, Martin Francis, Frits De Voogt, and other notable names in the industry.

Mulder has over 1,000 designs that have come to life, with many fast Heesen yachts from the 80s being part of his portfolio. He had already designed six yachts for our shipyard, including Tropic C (now Sea Axis), when John Staluppi, an American entrepreneur, approached him to design the fastest motor yacht in the world, which he wanted built around three MTU engines he had purchased.

Other notable Heesen yachts that sport Mulder’s signature include Wheels, Mirage, Bonita and Teeth, Lady Christine, Obsessions, and Blouzy.

Cecile Gauert, co-chair of the Design and Innovation Awards, praised Mulder as “a great naval architect, a true Dutchman, who was very much addicted to speed for many years. He is the right person to go to if you want to be sure your boat goes extra fast.”

Steward Campbell, editor-in-chief of BOAT International, commented: “Mulder is associated with John Staluppi’s need for speed. It takes a hell of naval architecture knowledge to deliver the numbers he was able to deliver over the years.”

It’s truly inspiring to see the yachting industry recognise and celebrate the exceptional talent of designers like Frank. At Heesen, we’re fortunate to have Frank among the great designers who have contributed to the success of our shipyard.

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