YachtTalk episode 9: Project Cosmos launch special
For the first time since the show started, Heesen’s YachtTalk was broadcast from the Dutch shipyard in Oss to cover the launch of the world’s largest and fastest full-aluminium superyacht: Project Cosmos. When christened she will be named Galactica.
Host Charlotte Kan caught up with Heesen’s Project Coordinator, Arjan Veldman, who is responsible for liaising between the owner and the shipyard on Project Cosmos, James Russell of Winch Design, and build captain, Chris Guy, who has co-developed and sailed some of the finest superyachts ever built.
A landmark project
Speaking with the bold silhouette of Cosmos in the background, Arjan Veldman shed light on the milestone yacht’s launch. Not to be confused with a yacht’s delivery, the technical launch is about preparing the yacht ready for outfitting. That includes filling the dry dock with water to get the boat afloat, checking all the systems and ensuring that everything is watertight on what has been a hugely complex project.
“The project was already a challenge in itself, considering all the onboard features, the size of the yacht and how she needs to perform,” says Veldman. “On top of that, we had to work around Covid, so I’m very happy that we’ve made this milestone. I’m very proud of the entire build and it’s an honour to be involved.”
At 80m, Cosmos is the largest Heesen yacht built to date, powered by an impressive 19,000Hp. Following the technical launch, the last phases of outfitting will be completed, the commissioning of all the systems will take place, and then the yacht will be readied for her departure to Rotterdam.
The opening of the valves is a memorable moment in the construction process that signifies the yacht is nearing completion. “Today is the launch of our flagship, Cosmos,” says Heesen CEO Arthur Brouwer. “It’s quite a feat to build this ship; at 80m, she is the largest aluminium yacht you can find on the seven seas, but also the fastest in her class. If you look at the technology and innovation that we put in, it has been an extraordinary journey. We developed the backbone technology with our engineers, and we have patented this technology, which means we can use it again in the future. When Cosmos enters operation, you’ll be able to see the Heesen DNA of speed, innovation and our curiosity to challenge ourselves with what is possible in the superyacht industry.”
Design of the times
James Russell, an associate at Winch Design, is a member of the team responsible for the striking yacht exterior, including the exterior styling, outdoor living spaces and the development of the layout or general arrangement.
“Cosmos is like a jewellery box – everywhere you look there’s an amazing feature,” says Russell. “We have some amazing artworks on every deck, which ties the decks together, the swimming pool on the aft deck, and a helipad with cinema on the bow.”
The transformable helipad, fully certified to accommodate an Airbus H145, can convert into a cinema area with 5.5m-wide screen and pop-up seating and sound system. “It’s a pretty individual feature, and not something that I’ve seen done before,” says Russell. “It allows you to have the flexibility of a helipad and entertainment space.
Another key feature is the swimming pool on the aft deck, which has been styled to be in keeping with the outdoor furniture and paired with plants for a verdant ambience. Lined with mosaics, the interior of the pool ties in the with decorative mosaic features on the ceiling of the boat, while the glass bottom floods the lower deck beach club with natural light.
“Right from day one, the biggest challenge with Cosmos was building a yacht of this size out of full aluminium,” says Russell. “It’s pretty unusual, especially to go at speeds of 29 knots, so, together with the engineers at Heesen, the technical aspect of working in aluminium has been a real learning curve for us. Learning about the unique lifestyle of the owner and the layout requirements has also been a fun aspect that we’ll take away with us.”
From the helm
Drawing on all the in-house resources at Heesen, from expert aluminium welding to artisanal joinery, Cosmos is a beacon of craftsmanship and world-class yacht building. Build captain, Chris Guy, shed light on the mixed emotions felt by all of those involved on the project at the launch.
“Part of me is very excited, and the other part is quite sad,” he says. “The launch symbolises another step closer to our goal of delivery, which is fantastic. But we’ve formed quite a bond as a build team, and I’ll be sad to see that come to an end.”
Captain Guy has co-developed and sailed some of the finest superyachts ever built, including former Heesen flagship yacht, Galactica Super Nova. He believes that “building bigger” is a sign of Heesen’s progression, along with the advanced technology incorporated on its projects today.
“Heesen builds to the highest standard, and I can see it improve with every new build. The main difference between Galactica Super Nova and Cosmos is that we’ve added an extra engine, we have a booster jet and have introduced a CPP propeller system,” he says. “But for me, the biggest thing is the construction of the boat. When you build in aluminium, the stiffness of the hull is really important, and the patented backbone design is a phenomenal part of Cosmos’ construction.”
Working together as a cohesive team with common goals is, says Captain Guy, one of the most rewarding aspects of modern shipbuilding. “That for me in the build process is the most exciting bit. I’m looking forward to finding out what emotions Cosmos will bring out of me as captain.
Tune in for the next episode of YachtTalk, which focuses on the latest and greatest in new superyacht destinations.