Mon, Feb 16, 2015

Sibelle tests the waters

Heesen Yachts is all set to deliver Sibelle, a fully customised 50-m yacht that showcases “simplicity as the ultimate form of luxury”, to its proud owners.

Launched and christened at Heesen’s yard in Oss in December, Sibelle is currently undergoing trial runs in the North Sea and will be delivered to its owners by the end of the month, according to the Dutch builder.

Sibelle is a 50-m fully custom motor yacht, below 500 gross tonnes with an aluminum hull and superstructure, large enough to offer her owner and his guests everything they need without compromise, whilst being small enough to allow plenty of freedom to anchor in bays with crystal clear water.

The experienced owner, and the captain and his team, were deeply involved in the conception of this unique vessel. Thanks to their personal collaboration with the experts at Heesen shipyards, the results exceeded expectations, the builder says. 

While attracted by the benefits of the fast displacement hull form (FHDF), the owner requested a plumb bow. This radical and dramatic design feature was a styling tour de force, and needed a dedicated study to ensure the best possible course-keeping – especially in high wave conditions – and allow greater comfort on board. 

Tank testing at the Wolfson Unit for Marine Technology and Industrial Aerodynamics - with a free running self-propelled model in extreme wave conditions - proved the exceptional ability of the hull design, both in comfort and course-keeping, and confirmed the extraordinary high-performance figures that are inherent to the FDHF.

Sibelle will be able to reach a maximum speed of 18.5 knots with only two 1,000 kW MTUs installed. Hence an ocean-crossing range is achieved with minimal fuel capacity; only 45,000 litres are required to comfortably transit the Atlantic, leaving plenty in reserve.

Perry van Oossanen, the naval architect, comments: “The modest propeller tunnel design allows for 1.5-m diameter propellers. The hull is fitted with Quantum XT zero-speed fins, and bilge keels, offering a maximum reduction in roll angle at anchor. The design of the hull, the appendages and the propulsion arrangement have been focused on obtaining the best fuel efficiency possible without sacrificing performance and comfort when running in waves.” 

The owner appointed Frank Laupman from Omega architects and Mikhail Labazov and Andrei Savin from Architectural Bureau A-B Studio to create the exterior design, the general arrangement and the interior décor of the yacht. 

The clean and elegant exterior lines are emphasised by contrasting bands of wraparound glass.

To describe the design of Sibelle the team of architects chose the oxymoron “complex simplicity”: the lines look like they are running parallel, but in reality they are not! It is all about small adjustments that give an impression of parallelism to the eye. 

Simplicity as the ultimate form of luxury is the design philosophy behind the cosy and inviting interior décor where the design of bleached teak wood panels creates continuous horizontal lines. 

Ten guests can be accommodated in five cabins. Covering an area of 61 sq m, the master suite is located forward on the main deck and boasts two separate dressing rooms, each with a private en-suite bathroom. The four guest cabins (two VIP, one twin and one double) all have en-suite bathrooms and are positioned on the lower deck. 

Different light settings will reveal the genius loci of every cabin.

Beyond their cabins, guests can enjoy 237 sq m of outdoor living space. 

The main and rescue tenders are placed on the fore deck under way. When they are in the water, this vast area with opening bulwarks, transforms into a perfect party space adjacent to the sea. 

This configuration allows the aft lower deck to be used as a large 21.5-sq-m beach club/wellness area equipped with sauna - accessible directly from the main saloon aft through an internal staircase.

The design of Sibelle proves that high speed cruising can be achieved without sacrificing either luxury or efficiency, says Heesen.

Founded by Frans Heesen in 1978 in Oss, Heesen Yachts was the first Dutch shipyard to employ aluminium for the yacht hulls. Since then it has become a world leader in design, engineering and construction of high-performance motor-yachts. In 1992 it expanded its business to include the construction of traditional displacement yachts, and today it delivers superyachts within the 34-75 m size range, and beyond. In 35 years it has delivered nearly 170 yachts.

Eleven yachts are currently in construction and their deliveries span through to 2017.

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