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Luxury's 25 Most Innovative Brands: Heesen Yachts

Bailey S. Barnard

In recent years, the world’s top shipyards have launched larger-than-ever megayachts with eye-catching designs and over-the-top amenities. Heesen Yachts, meanwhile, has focused much of its attention underwater.

Founded in 1978, the yard was the first Dutch megayacht builder to employ aluminum for its hulls. Its 213-foot yacht Galactica Star, which was delivered this June, became the world’s first all-aluminum vessel with a fast-displacement hull. This hull design, conceived by the experts at Van Oossanen Naval Architects, combines a rounded bilge, a small immersed transom, and a bulbous bow to reduce water resistance and improve fuel efficiency by as much as 30 percent, even at the yacht’s top speed of 28 knots.

Heesen is also working with Van Oossanen on a 138-foot vessel (rendering shown) that will be the world’s first yacht equipped with the architecture firm’s Hull Vane concept, which places "wings" made of high-tensile steel on the underside of the hull. As the yacht cruises through the water, the wings generate enough natural forward thrust to reduce fuel consumption by an additional 25 percent.

Of course, Heesen’s yachts are not without jaw-dropping amenities. Galactica Star, for example, has a two-level belowdecks area at the stern, where a 237-square-foot swim platform folds down to reveal a beach club with a sauna, a hammam, and a full bar. Just overhead, on the main deck, a large glass-bottomed swimming pool swathes the beach club in shimmering natural light. +31.412.66.55.44, www.heesenyachts.nl

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