Heesen – Lady Petra
Lady Petra is the second yacht built by Heesen for a Heesen, and it provides an interesting look at what a man whose career was building superyachts would like to do for himself
Heesen Yachts began life over 35 years ago when Frans Heesen started building high-powered, high-performance superyachts in aluminium for Saudi royalty. Over 150 superyachts later, Heesen has become a well-known name in the industry, with a range of semi-custom yachts from 37 to 65 metres in size, and from full displacement hulls to semi-displacement superyachts that easily manage speeds over 20 knots. Much of the early expertise in lightweight construction that characterised the first Heesen builds has now been invested into its growing range of superyachts.
But it’s always a matter of interest for buyer and onlookers alike: what would a superyacht builder build for himself? This was answered in part when Frans Heesen launched his first yacht, Lady Petra, named for his wife. Now, a second Lady Petra is afloat and was first shown at the 2012 Monaco Yacht Show. She was launched in May of 2012, and at the same time, Heesen chose that moment to finally retire from his eponymous company, possibly to act as roving brand ambassador for his beloved shipyard.
For his own yacht, Heesen chose the 47-metre steel-hulled displacement series, a step up in size from the first Lady Petra. This yacht provides a comfy cruising speed of 12 knots, a top speed of 15 knots, and a generous range of 4000 nautical miles at cruise. At the same time, this superyacht has been designed to have the largest possible internal volume, while remaining under the 500 GT threshold.
But Frans Heesen is a family man who’s made his way with a combination of nerve and hard work, and it comes through in the yacht’s design. For those interested in a superyacht, this is a good place to look and see what a truly experienced superyacht owner prefers.
Lady Petra was designed as a family yacht, according to the yard. But it is also obvious as you look about the features and the layouts. Designed by Omega Architects, frequent collaborators with Heesen Yachts, the interior aimed at something they called “Dutch Industrial Design”. As tidy as they can be, I have never seen a Dutch manufacturing facility that looked like the insides of Lady Petra, but when you’re the owner, you call it as you like it. The interiors were fitted with stainless steel plates, curved wood panels in wenge, brushed spruce and strips of leather to create a unique look.
Overall, this is a yacht about enjoying spaces onboard, and the scenery outside. The aft decks feature carbon pillars that support a set of sails that can be furled or unfurled as needed to shade the decks as needed. Those carbon pillars are thin enough that the surrounding view doesn’t feel interrupted as you survey the scenery from your luxurious perch. On the sundeck, glass screens have been added around the bulwarks for additional privacy. It’s touches like these that mark out Lady Petra as the yacht of an experienced owner.
The large sundeck offers plenty of space for relaxation while making good use of the space at hand. Featuring a standard arrangement, with a Jacuzzi upfront, with a well-lit entrance for safe entry and exit, plus a small settee just forward. Under a large hard top, which protects the middle area of the sundeck, there is a large serving station on the starboard side, with a dining table for ten to port. A day head is also on hand. At the aft end of the sundeck, there is something a little more unusual – a large coffee table enclosed by fixed settees, centrally aligned and running in line with the yacht’s access, gives guests fantastic views to either side of the yacht when at anchor. The whole of the sundeck can be quickly covered with sails to create a resort-like atmosphere.
Heading down a level on the wide, accessible staircase (there’s only one on the starboard side), you notice the wheelchair ramp that’s been installed, with the guide rail mechanism along the side. Those with disabilities will surely be able to appreciate getting up and down with minimal difficulty. Those stairs, and the wheelchair lift, continue all the way down to the main deck, where the none-too-mobile can embark and disembark with little difficulty.
The bridge deck features an interesting arrangement, with the master cabin taking a position adjoining the aft deck. The rear-facing bed looks straight out the curved glass doors towards the aft deck, in effect creating a private terrace for the owner when some privacy is required. Overall, the owner’s area is very large, taking up two-thirds of the interior space on the bridgedeck, with only space for the wheelhouse and the spacious captain’s quarters set aside. The bed itself measures 2.2 by 2.1 metres – plenty of space to roll around in as the situation demands. In the master bathroom, backlit bamboo stalks are set behind frosted glass panels, creating an interesting pseudo-Asian effect.
An interesting addition is a small breakfast nook/coffee table just forward and to starboard of the master cabin. Here, a semi-circular settee is served by an angled, custom-built black-lacqured table that pivots 180-degrees. The stylish, circular styling is lit up by the large windows, making this a fine place to have a morning espresso. The master cabin has a huge bath and shower space with all the refinements you could ask for
The owner can use the aft deck as an exclusive terrace, or it can be a secondary dining space. A large dining table can be used for intimate gatherings, and just aft of that, are two settees facing each other over a low coffee table.
Descending further to the main deck, one finds a few more of the innovative additions that defy normal superyacht layout format. A single twin cabin has been placed near the front on starboard side. At the forward most point on the deck, a massive cinema/media room has been created. A 65-inch TV screen, with access to a library of movies and other entertainment is on the forward position facing aft, while huge settees built of silver-oak face forward. These settees are enormous and angled in such a way as to allow perfect viewing no matter where you are positioned. A private anteroom just behind the media centre hosts the treadmill. Surely, if you want to keep moving on a treadmill, you might as well have your favourite tunes playing. And with the twin cabin conveniently located next to the cinema room, sleeping kids can be quickly put to bed with minimal fuss.
The galley is located on the main deck, and this is both large and professional standard. The chef has been well catered to here, with a giant work area and plenty of food storage set aside. Large windows illuminate this work space, leaving a contented chef and surely, contented guests once they get their meals! As you’d expect, the crew separation is excellent, leaving guests completely undisturbed and allowing the crew to do their work.
The galley directly serves the main dining table, and unlike many dining areas on superyachts, you look at this and actually expect it to be used. For while most superyacht aim for extreme fabulousness in their main dining/saloon areas, the so-called Dutch Industrial Chic seems to be more about coziness and comfort. The wide side decks necessarily shrink the interior space to some extent, but this works within the context of intimate and relaxed rather than showy.
The main saloon enjoys the benefit of large windows and comfortable furnishings. One of the most complex features is the main saloon ceiling with light diffusion panels split over three levels. Beige leather with tan strips decorate channels either side. There is an aft pantry to quickly serve drinks and snacks to guests gathered in the saloon lounge area. Slight indentations in the whole area help to create a sense of discrete spaces without interrupting lines of sight or the light from windows streaming into the area. Out a set of slightly curved glass doors, there is a fine aft deck sitting area.
The central lobby houses the main staircase, with the strips of tan leather again appearing here. Heading down to the lower deck, one finds the remainder of the accommodation, with two twins and two double cabins, catering to the needs of grandparents, parents and a lot of children. Following a standard protocol, the double cabins have their ensuite baths situated between the sleeping space and the engine room, which has been positioned seemingly quite far forward. All the cabins have been outfitted with a mix of woods, marbles and fine upholstery, with plenty of amenities.
One of the governing ethics of Lady Petra seems to be, don’t over use space. While some buyers may feel the need to maximize the living areas, Lady Petra has left plenty of space aside for crew to do their work, and that’s something that will be appreciated by both crew, and in the long term, guests and owners. The main tender and jet ski are stowed in a spacious aft garage area, where plenty of space is allowed for storage and movement. A rescue tender has been positioned up front on the bow area, just aft of a quiet relaxation area with settees, sunpads and coffee table.
The crew spaces in the lower deck bow area have been kept large, with all cabins having private toilets and showers, plus a large crew mess space. With room for up to 12 guests at a time, and space for eight crew plus captain, this is a yacht that will serve an experienced owner well, and possibly serve as a good insight into what works on a family yacht.
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Technical Specifications – 47M Displacement Lady Petra
Beam (max): 8.83m
Displacement (at 50% load): 410t
Engines: 2 x MTU 8V 4000 M70S
Speed (Max): 15.5 kts
Speed (Cruise): 12 kts
Range at 12kts: 4000 nm
Fuel capacity: 60,000 lts
Fresh water: 20,000 lts
Construction: Steel hull, aluminium superstructure
Classification: Lloyds 100A1 SSC Yacht LMC
Naval Architect: Heesen Yachts
Exterior Styling: Omega Architects
Interior Design: Bannenberg & Rowell Design