What should the ultimate explorer yacht look like? Helicopter pad and ice-class hull? An onboard submarine for deep-ocean exploits? Large volume in a relatively modest hull length, and an interior with so much glass that you can see everything outdoors? Heesen’s Winch-designed Xventure concept might just have it all.
A post-Covid desire for remote cruising is also high on owners’ wish list, says Jim Dixon, director of yachts and aviation at Winch Design. “I think there are many owners out there that are looking to get themselves into a place of safety with their families and enjoy their time to the max,” he told Robb Report, “and there’s a huge amount packed onto the 187-foot Xventure to facilitate that.”
Heesen unveiled initial renderings of its first-ever explorer yacht in November of last year. Now, Robb Report has exclusive first access to the roomy interior, and all eyes are on the glass boxed upper salon located on the sun deck. Three sides out of five are floor-to-ceiling glass. Both port and starboard feature the largest doors possible that can be configured to slide in that space. A vast skylight above means panoramic views feel almost within touching distance. The forward bulkhead, also nearly completely glazed, looks out onto the sun deck pool.
“Connecting to the landscape is what it’s all about,” says Dixon. “Giving owners a comfortable place from which to explore the wilderness. The interior is designed around that idea. The upper salon is as much of an outdoor space as can be achieved with all the indoor benefits of air conditioning and heating. Owners can settle down for a beautiful candlelit dinner, and then relax while cruising through icebergs.”
Sketched without an owner in mind, all interior concepts are designed to give an impression of what could be achieved. The master suite has a centrally positioned bed to maximize the expansive views. Direct access to a private terrace is ideal for morning coffee. Owners can drink in views from the en suite, too. The main saloon offers lounge seating and dining for 12 guests, but again it’s the backdrop that takes the lead.
For Dixon, it’s being comfortable in a remote setting with the latest onboard facilities that make a yacht an expedition vessel. Xventure has a large Intrepid sportfisherman in the tender garage, ideal for keen anglers and exploration away from the mothership. “It’s unique to have one of those on any superyacht, let alone one of this size,” says Dixon. The concept yacht also carries a second beachlander tender for getting ashore in difficult conditions. And space for a submarine if required. “All of these things add up to something which can go pretty much anywhere you like,” he says.
A fuel- and cost-efficient design is also a priority for many owners, says Dixon, and something that Xventure offers. The ice-class concept is designed to have hybrid propulsion and a Fast Displacement Hull Form designed by Van Oossanen, making it as efficient as a slippery fish. A 5000-mile range (with longer range as an optional extra) means owners can enjoy autonomous cruising for longer periods.
“We’re also working on a version with a shallower draft,” says Dixon, “because we think that will be a key interest for American clients wanting to visit the Bahamas, or those keen on cruising down the East coast from the Northeast to Miami.”
Here are three first-look drawings, a Robb Report exclusive, of the Winch Design interior.