Project Phi, a Study in Balance From Royal Huisman

Megayachts never materialize overnight. Project Phi, for example, has been in the works for some time. Specifically, her owner and Cor D. Rover Design have had numerous conversations over several years. She’s coming to reality thanks to bringing in Van Oossanen Naval Architects, well versed in balancing low-volume restrictions with high performance. Furthermore, in Royal Huisman, Project Phi finds a builder well versed in the same.

Project Phi is relatively secret in looks. Just this hint of a profile is available for now. No peeks are possible at the accommodations for an owner’s party of 12, either, designed by Lawson Robb

As strange as it may seem, neither the styling nor interior looks are all that important to see immediately. In fact, of more importance is the yacht’s guiding principle, Phi. Also known as the Golden Ratio, it relates to mathematics, but also design. It often signifies a sense of aesthetic appeal in balance and harmony of design. Therefore, everything about her dimensions, her space planning, her decor, and her performance flow from Phi.  

Her dimensions are particularly noteworthy. Though not specifying the exact LOA, Royal Huisman says Project Phi is more than 180 feet (55 meters). Related to this, her volume is less than 500 gross tons. The combination is unusual, when you study currently afloat yachts in her size range. However, you can indeed have a large yacht with a relatively low volume, without sacrificing creature comforts or performance.

Project Phi does it with Van Oossanen’s Fast Displacement XL hull form. The design has lower hydrodynamic resistance than traditional hulls. Therefore, it’s more efficient through the full speed range. In addition, it pushes the limits of LOA within the customary sub-500-gross-ton thresholds. (Those thresholds are preferable due to less-complicated regulations, smaller crew requirements, and lower costs of operation.) Further benefits include 10 percent more interior space and 30 to 40 percent more alfresco space.

As for Royal Huisman, Project Phi may seem unusual for a shipyard renowned as a sailing-yacht builder. But, that very experience gives it the advantage. Indeed, it’s why the owner’s team sought the yard. After all, sailing yachts’ long, low-volume hulls present space-management challenges for machinery. Simultaneously, they need to maintain high performance.

Certainly, Project Phi is meant for that. Van Oossanen and Royal Huisman pledge she will hit a 22-knot top speed. However, we’ll have to wait for 2021 to see the all-aluminum yacht, built to ABS classification, do that in person.

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