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BEST of the BEST 2014 | Wings & Water | Megayachts: Heesen Galactica Star

Bailey S. Barnard

A shining example of innovative design...

The unusual naval architecture of the 213-foot Galactica Star, the largest build from the 36-year-old Dutch shipyard Heesen, sets the yacht apart from other recent launches both in appearance and performance. Designed by Heesen in collaboration with Van Oossanen Naval Architects and Omega Archi­tects, Galactica Star is the world’s first all-aluminum fast-displacement vessel. The yacht’s hull has a rounded bilge, a bulbous bow, and a small, immersed transom. These features reduce water resistance and improve fuel efficiency by as much as 30 percent, even when the yacht is traveling at its top speed of 28 knots. The design also helps Galactica Star achieve its impressive range of 4,200 nautical miles (when cruising at 14 knots).

Toward the stern, where dual stairways lead from the main deck to the lower deck, the yacht has an unusual curved profile. The hull shape creates a substantial amount of space for the lower-deck beach club, which features drop-down swim platforms portside and astern. The stern platform measures 237 square feet and includes an outdoor shower. Above, on the main deck, a nearly 2,000-gallon glass-bottom pool casts shimmering light onto the beach club, giving it the feel of a grotto—one that is equipped with a 60-inch flat-screen TV, a wet bar, and a beer tap.

The yacht’s interior, by London’s Bannenberg and Rowell Design, is as distinct as its architecture. It includes numerous tasteful but playful elements, such as a 2-inch-wide chrome strip that winds continuously along many of the floors, walls, and ceilings. The walls are made from brushed spruce, the hardwood floors are stained dark oak and brushed walnut, and the carpeting looks and feels like windswept sand. Bannenberg and Rowell sourced all of the art for the yacht’s extensive collection, which includes works by Andy Warhol and other prominent artists.

The circular central stairwell, made of Macassar ebony, leads from the main deck to the upper deck to the 400-square-foot sundeck, which features a hot tub aft, a 12-seat outdoor dining table amidships, and a seating area forward. On the main deck forward of the seating area is a large teak lounge deck that can serve as a touch-and-go helipad. Below the lounge deck is the tender garage, which is equipped with mechanical cranes that launch the tenders through fold-up gullwing doors on both sides of the hull.

The full-beam master suite is located behind the tender garage on the main deck and measures nearly 1,000 square feet. The VIP suite is on the bridge deck, and the crew quarters and four guest cabins are located on the lower deck. The yacht sleeps 12 passengers and 13 crew. 

Heesen, +31.412.66.55.44, www.heesenyachts.nl

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