Heesen Yachts has built a reputation over 30 years for fast, all-aluminium superyachts. That tradition continues with the first launch of the company’s new 50-metre semi-displacement series, Satori
Heesen Yachts got its start when Dutchman Frans Heesen began building high speed aluminium yachts for the burgeoning megarich of Europe and the Middle East. Today, the company that bears his name continues in the fine tradition of fast yachts, though now they also build in steel and do full displacement hulls. There is a 65-metre fast displacement hull that’s in the works.
But Satori fills another spot in the Heesen selection of semi-custom yachts. For this 50-metre yacht, the first in Heesen’s new series, has a displacement less than most Perini Navi sailing yachts of similar length, but has also been fitted with plenty of power. Satori has also benefitted from a weight savings plan that allows it to achieve its top speed – or any speed – with less power required, thus saving on fuel requirements.
Carrying less fuel adds to weight savings. Heesen also used other means of making Satori both more efficient and therefore lighter. The glass on Satori is hermetically-sealed and heat resistant, allowing for less power needed from aircon units (and thus less fuel for generators) as well as a more futuristic exterior. The glazing was added over parts of the aluminium superstructure forward to create the appearance of a giant window on the main deck forward, enhancing the masculine look.
Given the name Satori by the owner (Satori refers to the state of enlightenment required before reaching Nirvana according to Japanese Zen Buddhism), the yacht features a hard-chine hull and lightweight construction. In addition to Heesen’s own in-house naval architects, exterior designer and frequent Heesen collaborator Frank Laupman of Omega Architects was brought in.
Powered on twin MTU 2.720kW engines, Satori has an impressive top speed of 24 knots, which Heesen claims is the fastest speed for a yacht this size. At 12 knots in displacement mode, Satori has a range of 3200 nautical miles.
So while most yachts in this size range proceed at a “stately” pace of 12 or 13 knots at best, Satori will be seen hustling along at much greater pace. For an owner, this opens up greater range of places to visit while spending time on board. But Satori is true to its Japanese Buddhist namesake in more than just being “light”. The interior is a subtle but intriguing example of minimalism, intensified by the work of French designer Remi Tessier, famed for his use of light and shadow in superyacht interiors.
Forward, the main saloon covers over 30 square metres, achieves the look of contrast without being glaring. Mixing bleached wenge and spruce with white leather feature, hand-woven suede carpets, Mongolian horsehair and stainless steel curtains and panels of high gloss Okavango wood, the saloon resembles the ying and yang of Eastern symbolism.
According to Tessier: “The selected materials are to emphasise the contrast between the natural feels and the highly sophisticated ones; for example the bleached brushed spruce seems like beach wood, and the hand chiseled silver glass reflecting sparkles of soft light, or the overheads light matt sycamore with the Palladium-leaf dome surface. The light color scheme of leather furniture, woven leather floors, Sycamore overheads, Palladium leaf surfaces, Brushed spruce panels has been carefully chosen with the contrasting Okavango surfaces giving an accent to the interior architecture. The bleached Wenge floors throughout the interior from the lower deck guest area to the Bridge deck lounge accentuate the warm feel as one walks through the interior.”
Moving forward on the starboard side is the main atrium, and here one sees how the simple, reflective surfaces of the interior can be enhanced with modern lighting solutions. Onyx panels in the stairwell are backlit with LED lighting that play a pre-programmed spectrum for a burst of colour in the middle of the serene environment throughout.
Finally, the main deck opens up onto the full-beam master cabin, with a full beam bathroom forward. Again, low furniture and contrasting materials are used to create the impression of space. One of the tricks was to use reflective trims – stainless steel, palladium and mirrors – to reflect sunlight in three dimensions. The entire main suite is open plan, though if more privacy is needed, passages to the study, walk-in wardrobe and ensuite can all be closed off. A 46-inch TV rises up to separate the main bath from the master cabin. Heesen used specially-made composite stone slabs to create a luxurious feel while maintaining a strict weight control programme.
On the lower deck, the guest cabins include the unusual combination of two twin cabins set between two full-beam double suites. Like the master suite, these cabins use low furnishings paneled in white leather, mirror and palladium leaf to reflect light and enhance the sense of space. Integrated lighting is included throughout, while the entertainment system is completely integrated: mirror televisions spring to life at the touch of a button and iPod docks are built into the side tables.
The real fun on most superyachts takes place on the upper decks. The entire upper deck has been designed as one giant area that flows from a dining terrace with in-built sofas through to the sky lounge. The circular sky lounge is the centerpiece of this deck. Almost completely surrounded by glass and curved reflective surfaces, the room focuses on the round table and then radiates out in concentric circles. The ceiling again incorporates the palladium leaf with inset lighting, designed to enhance the perception of height. The floor to ceiling side windows on either side can open or blocked by sliding wood panel screens.
Perhaps anticipating that the upper deck would be a popular socializing area, the area forward of the lounge is the Onyx bar, which is backlit by colour-changing LEDs and a magic mirror television. In addition to the wet bar service, this area backs on to the crew access back down to the galley, letting this be a full-evening place to gather after a day on the water.
Moving forward on the bridge deck, couples or those wishing to read a book can retreat to the forward area deck, where a bimini can be put in place to enjoy the views. This is complimented by the vast open aft deck, which features seating for all Satori’s guests.
The owner appointed Tessier to create an atmosphere that matches his own design ethic: “the art of providing detail without ostentation and in exulting the essential”. As a result, the interior may seem simple at first, but on closer inspection, details emerge that catapult this yacht to the extraordinary. According to Tessier, the owner’s wish was to create an “elegant, contemporary environment with a cozy and comfortable feel. Satori is a playful, living thing, allowing changes from an open space to an intimate cocoon.”
On the main deck, owner and designer opted to reverse the usual layout, with the main dining area aft of the main lounge. The dining area became a more flexible space, with a glazed table that can be raised for dining or lowered for casual drinks served from the Onyx bar that leads on to the aft deck. This relatively small chamber is enclosed in circular paneling, with a palladium-inlay ceiling whose bright and reflective qualities, combined with the low furniture, enhances the ceiling height.
Finally, guests will be drawn to the expansive flybridge. Measuring at 70 square metres, this is the place to be. Forward is a huge plunge pool. From here, one can sit, relax, have a cocktail, and enjoy sweeping views of the anchorage. A set of sun loungers delineate the space, semi-protected by the radar arch. Aft is a large wet bar/service area and plenty of seating, followed by a set of double-depth sunpads that nearly takes the entire beam and are a supremely comfortable place to relax. Heesen has included plenty of storage space on the flybridge, so that guests could easily spend a whole day up top and not miss a beat.
For all the immense design work that has gone into Satori, she remains, at heart, a high performance superyacht capable of delivering the best for her guests. On her twin MTU 16V 4000 M90 engines, paired with the lightweight construction techniques and all-aluminium construction, she benefits from both high speed capability and long-range. She is also certified for charter with LY2 and MCA classification under her belt.
Satori is capable of accommodating ten guests between a master suite on the main deck and four luxurious guest cabins on the lower deck. Her surprisingly shallow draught of just 2.65 metres means she can manage most marinas and even approach relatively close to reefs and lagoons. A hefty set of stabilisers work at both anchor and underway for added comfort in all sea states. Satori is available for charter.
Representing Heesen in Asia: www.penmarine.com
Technical Specifications – Satori
Beam (Max): 9m
Displacement (light ship) 300 tonnes (half load)
Gross Tonnage: 499GT
Engines: 2 x MTU16V 4000 M90
Speed (Max/Cruise): 24kts/21kts
Range at 12 kts: 3200nm
Generators: 2 x 99kW at 50Hz
Fuel capacity: 68,000 lts
Freshwater capacity: 16,200lts
Crew: 9/10Owner and guests: 10
Hull and superstructure: Aluminium 5083-H321/H116
Naval architect: Heesen Yachts / Van Oossanen & Associates
Exterior styling: Omega Architects
Interior design:Rémi Tessier
Classification: ABS, @ A1 Commercial Yachting Service, @ AMS. MCA / LY2