Not even a global pandemic has knocked the wind out of Heesen’s sails. The Dutch shipyard’s brand new 180-foot superyacht, known as Project Castor, just hit the water at Heesen’s Oss facility and is right on track for its August delivery.
The vessel was snapped up back in May 2019 by a buyer Heesen credits as one of the most experienced American superyacht owners, who was impressed with the vessel’s sheer size. To recap, Project Castor boasts a lofty 760 GT capacity and is by far the most voluminous 180-footer currently offered by Heesen. It can accommodate 12 guests across six sizeable staterooms and is the first in its class to offer the yard’s new layout configuration. This sees the master suite located forward on the main deck, four spacious guest cabins (two double and two twin) on the lower deck, and one VIP suite on the bridge deck.
Engineered to perfection, she sports a progressive fast displacement steel hull that was devised by Van Oossanen Naval Architects and promises exceptional seakeeping qualities, as well as thrifty fuel consumption. Power-wise, the vessel packs two MTU 8V 4000 M63 diesel main engines that allow her to cut through the seas at a top speed of 15.5 knots. And she is capable of covering some 4,500 nautical miles when traveling at her cruising speed of 13 knots.
So, how exactly did Heesen manage to deliver such a hulking vessel amid the Covid-19 pandemic? It’s all thanks to the measures which the yard implemented early on in the crisis. Following the Dutch governmental guidelines, Heesen introduced strict social distancing rules and halved the number of employees working at any one time by scheduling them in two separate shifts.
“We have been beyond impressed with how the Heesen team adapted to the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Luxury Yacht Group’s Rupert Connor, who represents the new owner, in a statement. “They have adjusted their working hours to increase social distancing yet retain optimal man-hours on our project and preserve an on-time, high-quality delivery which is no small feat in these challenging times.”
Project Castor will be officially delivered to her owner in August 2020 after rigorous sea trials in the North Sea.