Heesen unveils hybrid superyacht Project Nova at Monaco Yacht Show

This morning, at the opening of the Monaco Yacht Show, Mark Cavendish, sales and marketing director at Heesen Yachts, held a press conference to unveil more performance details about Heesen’s revolutionary hybrid superyacht project: Project Nova.

Now currently under construction with Heesen, 50m Nova has a Fast Displacement Hull Form (FDHF) that was developed in partnership with Van Oossanen Naval Architects; a concept first developed by Heesen at the launch of the 65m Galactica Star in 2013 to allow for more efficient fuel use over the entire speed range of the yacht.

Cavendish revealed that, Project Nova, unlike Galatica Star, is not designed for exceptional high speeds, instead using her ultra-efficient and easily-driven hull form at the lower speeds that are typically associated with traditional displacement hulls, but with vastly lower fuel consumption. 

He said, “To give you an idea, Nova at 12 knots has a fuel consumption of 98 litres per hour [excluding generators]. At 10 knots, this reduces to a staggering 57.5 litres per hour – this, for a superyacht at 50m long, displacing 315 tonnes, and with a gross tonnage of 499.

“Coupled with this is a maximum speed of 16.3 knots, which is no slouch for a displacement yacht and demonstrates that we haven’t achieved this performance by installing a pair of outrageously small engines.” 

Nova’s efficient performance is achieved with a pair of MTU 12V 2000 M61 engines, at 600 kW each. According to Cavendish, Heesen agree that these are smaller than those typically fitted on a yacht of Nova’s size, yet this illustrates the remarkable efficiency of the Fast Displacement Hull Form.

She has a cruising range of 3,750 miles at 12 knots, which is achieved with a fuel capacity of 45,000 litres. Cavendish put this in perspective by sharing that the average 50m steel full displacement motor yacht of less than 500GT would have nearly twice the power with two 1,100 kW engines. According to the shipyard, this would help the hull to achieve a maximum speed of around 16.5 knots with a fuel consumption of around 30% more at 130 litres per hour at 12 knots, requiring approximately 33% fuel (60,000L) to achieve the same range as Nova.

Furthermore, Project Nova has an innovative hybrid propulsion system made up of two water-cooled DC electric shaft motors of 127 kW that allow her to reach speeds of up to nine knots using her generators alone. At this point, the engines can be switched off, meaning that she is predicted to use a consumption of just 45 litres per hour.

Her hybrid propulsion system also allows for significantly reduced noise aboard, and for further fuel savings on longer journeys where the generators can be turned on for the shaft motors to be used to provide the hotel load of board.

Aesthetically, Project Nova has a noticeable plumb bow and spray rails, drawn by Frank Laupman at Omega Architects. She has a fixed swimming platform aft and an array of glass to make her design closer to that of a beach villa for “a more intimate connection with the sea and nature around you.”

She has a gym with separate hammam that is accessible from the guest corridor and the main deck. Guests are accommodated across six staterooms, including a full beam VIP stateroom on the lower deck, as well as the owner’s stateroom alongside the main saloon on the main deck, with the upper saloon above.

Designed by Sinot, the interior design also echoes the beach-style theme of the exterior with clean, modern contemporary lines. She uses natural fabrics and materials to emphasise the vast amount of natural light flooding in through her panoramic windows.

For more information, visit Heesen Yachts.

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