Royal Huisman’s newest featherlight fleet member just spread its wings.
The highly anticipated sailing yacht, christened Nilaya, left the Dutch yard’s Vollenhove facility earlier this week to have her towering rig fitted in Amsterdam before she finally hits the seas.
The aluminum 154-footer, previously known as Project 405, will be the first to use Royal Huisman’s revolutionary new “Featherlight” production method. According to the yard, this approach is rooted in spacecraft technology and aims to reduce a vessel’s weight without comprising strength or quality. The team says it has succeeded, too; the newcomer is 11 percent lighter than the average aluminum cruising yacht. She could even set a new record.
“Nilaya will be the world’s lightest aluminum sailing superyacht for her length: She rewrites the script for high-performance superyachts,” Royal Huisman CEO Jan Timmerman said in a statement.
Nilaya’s interior and exterior were executed by Nauta Design, while her naval architecture comes courtesy of Reichel-Pugh Yacht Design. This duo actually designed the owner’s maxi-racer of the same name. It’s not surprising, then, that the new sloop echoes her predecessor with a racy, low profile, a straight bow, a wide transom and twin rudders.
Royal Huisman conducted a careful weight analysis inside and out to ensure each part of Nilaya was crafted from the right lightweight material. The yard also utilized the carbon-fiber expertise of sister company Rondal. The curvaceous coachroof and guest cockpit, for instance, were made from carbon composite. Nilaya’s mast, boom and standing rigging are also carbon to keep the yacht’s weight as low and as centered as possible for optimal balance.
On top of that, Royal Huisman says Nilaya is the first yacht of this size to be fitted with a structured luff sail pioneered by Doyle Sails. This allowed the entire Rondal rig to be lighter, according to the yard. Nilaya is also equipped with hybrid (carbon and aluminum) captive winches and hatches instead of the regular titanium hardware. The team predicts the yacht is capable of exceeding windspeed when reaching upwind with main and jib alone, even in a 10-knot breeze.
Onboard, the 154-footer can sleep between eight and 10 seafarers, along with eight crew. The interiors combine “a modern look with classic elegance” and are said to be light yet warm and welcoming.
Nilaya will reportedly be delivered to her owners in the coming months.