With a name meaning “blissful home” in Sanskrit, the nearly complete sailing superyacht Nilaya has exited Royal Huisman’s build shed. This soon-to-be high-performance cruiser will take her owners on global voyages, plus should top podiums during superyacht regattas.
Previously going by the code name Royal Huisman Project 405, Nilaya belongs to owners who previously had a same-named maxi-racer. That racer won nearly every event she entered, too. Reichel/Pugh and Nauta Design contributed to the engineering and looks of both projects, not surprisingly. Still, though, the new 154-foot (47-meter) pushed them, and Royal Huisman, to create a lightweight, responsive competitor that simultaneously was a robust and more comfortable world cruiser. Mario Pedol, Nauta Design’s co-founder, notes that carbon fiber typically produces a lighter and faster yacht. However, aluminum is more comfortable and simpler to repair globally. “We asked ourselves a very simple question,” he says. “Could we design an aluminum yacht that was much closer in terms of displacement to an equivalent carbon boat?”
The answer turned out to be yes, of course. The design and build teams looked into a variety of ways to ensure the possibility. Significantly, Royal Huisman employed a multi-disciplinary approach to weight reduction that it calls Featherlight. It leverages construction technology from the aerospace industry, for instance. It also considers lighting, insulation, interior design, and more for weight analysis. The shipyard developed its own software tool to evaluate structural designs for weight, stiffness, and strength, too. Some areas add stiffness with carbon fiber bonded to aluminum, for example. With a weight target established by all parties, the sailing superyacht Nilaya has 11 percent less weight than Royal Huisman’s typical aluminum projects. Nigel Ingram of MCM Newport, the owners’ project manager, says, “Royal Huisman was not afraid to invest in research to explore and develop all manner of innovative weight-saving possibilities. They really chased the details.”
Notably, the Featherlight approach allows for less horsepower for maneuvering, too. This opened up more space for interior relaxation and entertainment space. Plus, it led to Royal Huisman developing a special propulsion system to address the owners’ request for get-home power. The shipyard nicknames it “tribrid” propulsion, since it provides three ways to power the main prop without a third engine or gearbox. It includes a battery pack, which Nilaya can rely upon to cruise in no- or low-emissions regions.
Pure design highlights of Nilaya include a 57-foot (17.5-meter), curved coachroof. Additionally, she has a recessed foredeck tender bay that transforms into a guest seating area while cruising or a flush deck for racing. Inside, meanwhile, Nauta Design worked with the owners to create a light, warm, welcoming ambience. It has both contemporary and classic appeal as well.
Royal Huisman CEO Jan Timmerman praises the owners “for pushing everyone to achieve just a little bit more and for encouraging innovation at every step.” He’s confident that Nilaya “rewrites the script for high-performance superyachts.”
MCM Newport mcmnewport.com
Nauta Design nautadesign.com
Reichel/Pugh Yacht Design reichel-pugh.com
Royal Huisman royalhuisman.com
More About the Sailing Superyacht Nilaya
LOA: 153’5” (46.8 meters)
Beam: 32’8” (10 meters)
Draft: 14’8” to 22’6” (4.5 to 6.9 meters)
Guests: 8-10 in 4 staterooms
Rig and handling: Rondal carbon Panamax rig and Integrated Sailing System
Builder: Royal Huisman
Stylist: Nauta Design
Naval Architect: Reichel/Pugh
Interior Designer: Nauta Design