This past Saturday marked two significant events at Heesen Yachts: the launch of Lady Petra for the shipyard’s founder, Frans Heesen, and his wife Petra, and the retirement of Heesen himself.
The 153-foot (46.7-meter) Lady Petra is the successor to a same-named yacht. That Lady Petra measured 144 feet (44 meters) and was delivered in 2009. Shortly after the Heesens took delivery of her, they began thinking about building a larger megayacht. And why not? Many of Heesen Yachts’ clients have done so. Plus, a larger megayacht would afford the couple more room to relax with their family, which includes a good number of grandchildren.
Speaking of the grandchildren, they’ll surely put good use to the media and games room forward on the main deck. Since this occupies the traditional location for the master suite, the Heesens requested their stateroom be placed on the upper deck. The rest of their family and friends can stay below decks, affording the kids their own space to laugh and carry on and the Heesens their privacy.
Omega Architects, the longtime Heesen collaborator, handled the general arrangement and naval architecture. Bannenberg & Rowell created an interior atmosphere featuring a diverse mix of tones and textures. One technique: optical geometrics, where light affects transparent or opaque objects and even affects other light beams. There’s also 20th-century industrial Dutch design, where ergonomics and aesthetics are enhanced. To get a better idea of what all of this looks like, see our story from when Frans Heesen signed the new My Petra.
Frans and Petra Heesen will hopefully put My Petra to a lot of use now that he is retiring from day-to-day business. Frans Heesen founded Heesen Yachts in 1978. Given the popularity of aluminum hulls today, it’s interesting to note that Heesen Yachts was the first Dutch-based yacht builder to utilize them. Another notable achievement: Frans Heesen was named Business Person of the Year by the International Superyacht Society in 2009. He sold the shipyard several years ago, though he has remained involved with clients and at boat shows.
Even though he’s retiring, he’s not withdrawing completely. “I am going to be the brand ambassador of this wonderful company that I founded some 35 years ago,” he says, in a statement released by Heesen Yachts. “I will always be there to support the brand and to promote it until the end of my days!”