INTERIOR PHOTOS: David Churchill
Due to their luxury amenities, megayachts often seem like floating vacation homes. For some owners, that is indeed the sole purpose. For others, though, there’s also a deeper appreciation of technology. In fact, some are particularly concerned with consuming less fuel. They therefore research options like diesel-electric propulsion. However, some shipyards are striving to influence buyers—and teach them more along the way. Heesen succeeded with Project Nova, which a client purchased and christened Home. Home doesn’t just make miserly fuel burn appealing, she also promises near-silent operations.
Home is the first delivery in Heesen’s 50M Fast Displacement series, measuring 163 feet. Featuring the proven fast-displacement hull design from Van Oossanen Naval Architects, she also has hybrid propulsion. There’s traditional diesel mechanical, in which the 805-hp MTUs run. Those powerplants are smaller than the norm for her LOA, due to the hull and system efficiency. In fact, she still hit a reported 16-knot top end during sea trials. Then there’s the diesel-electric ability, using electric shaft motors. Those reportedly allow upwards of 9 knots on their own. Furthermore, Heesen says, Home is as quiet at that speed as she is at anchor.
The impressive statistics don’t end there. Excluding her gensets, when she’s cruising at 12 knots with just her engines, she consumes 26 gph (98 lph). At 10 knots while using the diesel and electric motors, the burn drops to 12 gph (45 lph). She can operate solely on electric, too. In fact, she did so on her transatlantic crossing for five days of the eight-day voyage. At the just-mentioned 12 knots, Home additionally achieves a 4,250-nautical-mile range. Heesen says that’s 500 additional miles than specified.
The more compact engines and smaller fuel capacity (11,888 gallons, or 45,000 liters) allow Home to have more relaxation space than similar-size and -volume, traditionally engineered megayachts. The owner selected a mostly white color palette with interior designer Cristiano Gatto. Sparing use of pale, brushed spruce and grey Koto woods keeps things light. The tones also emphasize the open nature of the main deck. It featurs three zones from the decidedly modern entry to the TV area amidships and onward to the dining area.
Full-height windows characterize Home, too, particularly noteworthy here in the dining area. It makes quite the impact in combination with the 29’9” (9.1-meter) beam. In conjunction with the cutouts that Omega Architects placed in the megayacht’s bulwarks, there’s a strong sense of being surrounded by the sea. As Frank Laupman of the design studio says, “If a boat is all about the environment, you better show the environment.”
The contemporary nature of Home continues throughout, including here in the main-deck master. Guests get two doubles and two twins, as well as a VIP, below decks. Further below decks is a gym, with a watertight door leading from the guest foyer and one out to the swim platform. Interestingly, the owner didn’t want a beach club. Regardless, it’s a nice change of pace. Guests can work out, then cool off in Mother Nature’s own salt-water pool.
Pops of burgundy here on the sundeck, as elsewhere aboard Home, lend a little extra personality. Note the curved section of the bar. It cleverly conceals a dumbwaiter. The bar, by the way, isn’t the only one onboard. The upper saloon has a welcoming bar, and arguably mimics the ambiance of the sundeck. It’s due to faux teak being underfoot.
From the sundeck hot tub to the extended swim platform-cum-waterside lounge, Home has little luxuries in spades. Speaking of luxuries, in originally promoting her as Project Nova for sale, Heesen stated, “In a world full of noise, we believe silence is the ultimate luxury.” Fast forward to now, and the shipyard believes additional clients besides the owner of Home agree. It will start another 50M Fast Displacement with hybrid power on contract.