Published: Wednesday, 05 June 2013
Mike Fulton

The first all-aluminium fast-displacement 65-metre motor yacht was launched at Heesen’s facility in Oss on March 25 and christened Galactica Star, before heading out to the North Sea for her sea trials. 

Heesen Launches Revolutionary Galactica Star

The original concept was presented in September 2010 at the Monaco Yacht Club and the construction contract was signed just one month later. The build began in February 2011 at Heesen’s Oss facility with an official ceremony for the laying of her keel. 

The sophisticated hydrodynamic design was by Van Oossanen Naval Architects, which resulted in a vessel some 30 percent more efficient than a normal round-bilge motor yacht. This advanced design combines a special hybrid hull form that results in a very low wave profile over the yacht’s entire speed range, while also improving its sea keeping and manoeuvrability. This considerably reduces the running costs for the yacht as well as lowering the environmental footprint due to its reduced engine emissions. 

Heesen Launches Revolutionary Galactica Star 1

Incorporating Heesen’s weight reduction expertise and a pair of MTU 20V4000M93L engines (each developing 4.300kW at 2.100 rpm) Galactica Star boasts an excellent top speed of 27 knots as well as a very economical fuel burn and a particularly long range of 4,200 nautical miles at 14 knots. 

The owner appointed designer Frank Laupman of Omega Architects for this special project to create the streamlined and elegant exterior lines, while Bannenberg and Rowell Design handled the sophisticated interior to perfectly complement the dynamic and sleek exterior design. She has a duplex beach club located on the aft of the main and lower decks, with a 10-square metre side balcony on the port side and an impressive 22-square metre swimming platform. On the lower deck of the beach club are a sauna, a hammam, shower room, fully equipped bar and a day head. The swimming pool on the main deck has a glass bottom allowing natural light to penetrate through to the bar below. The sunbathing area on the fore-deck can be quickly transformed into a touch-and-go helicopter deck.

Galactica Star  exceeded the contracted top speed demand of 27 knots, reaching 28.8 knots at half load. She made the 150 kilometre trip along the Maas river passing under no fewer than nine bridges along the way, some offering as little as 40 centimetres clearance as she passed by. Her mast was installed together with all the navigation equipment just before she headed out into the North Sea. Typical North Sea conditions prevailed during her two-day test run with wind forces of between 4 and 5 Beaufort, one-metre waves and 11 degrees Celsius temperatures. She proved particularly manoeuvrable as she cut smoothly through the water in comparison with other traditional semi-displacement hulls. She also exhibited a much smaller stern wave and therefore remarkably low resistance just as her designers hoped she would.