Heesen Yachts- Project Nova at Monaco Yacht Show

Heesen Yachts- Project Nova
Heesen Yachts- Project Nova

 Mark Cavendish (Sales and Marketing Director of Heesen) at Monte Carlo said:

“I am here to introduce you to Heesen’s latest technology, the new hybrid 50m motor yacht – Project NOVA.

First of all NOVA is a Fast Displacement Hull,  a concept we were the first shipyard to develop with the launch of GALACTICA STAR in 2013.  Since then we have gone on to build the 42m ALIVE in steel; the 50m SIBELLE in aluminium; and recently the 55m steel AZAMANTA,  all with Fast Displacement Hulls.

Project NOVA, unlike GALACTICA STAR is not designed for exceptional high speeds but instead uses the ultra efficient and easily driven hull form at the lower speeds typically associated with traditional displacement hulls but, with vastly lower fuel consumption.

I repeat that – vastly lower fuel consumption.

To give you an idea, NOVA at 12 knots has a fuel consumption of 98 litres per hour (excluding generators) and at 10 knots this reduces to a staggering 57.5 litres per hour – this for a yacht 50m long, displacing 315 tons and with a Gross Tonnage of 499. Coupled with this is a maximum speed of 16.3 knots, which is no slouch for a displacement yacht and demonstrates that we haven’t achieved this performance by installing a pair of outrageously small engines!

All this is achieved with a pair of MTU 12V 2000 M61 engines, 600 kW each which I agree are smaller than typically fitted on a yacht of this size but this just illustrates the remarkable efficiency of the Fast Displacement Hull form. I will leave you with 2 more statistics before I move on to the other remarkable feature of NOVA:

she has a cruising range (at 12 knots) of 3,750 miles and  this is achieved with a fuel capacity of just 45,000 litres.


By way of comparison  your average 50m steel full displacement motor yacht of less than 500 GRT  would typically have two 1,100 kW main engines – nearly twice the power,  would have a maximum speed of maybe 16.5 knots,  a fuel consumption of more like 130 litres per hour at 12 knots – 30% more  and would require 60,000 litres of fuel for the same range – 33% more fuel!

Turning to another outstanding feature of Project NOVA

Her innovative hybrid propulsion system.  Not just satisfied with producing an ultra efficient, low fuel burning yacht,  we wanted to go one step further and add a new dimension of fuel efficiency and super quiet cruising –  the hybrid propulsion system.

By adding two water cooled DC electric shaft motors  of 127 kW each  NOVA can cruise at speeds up to 9 knots using the generators alone.  The main engines can be switched off and do not need to be used.  At this speed the consumption is predicted to be a staggering 45 litres per hour! But, fuel consumption isn’t everything, noise, as we shall come on to later is of great importance too.

By way of illustration: In the Owner’s stateroom the decibel level whilst underway with the main engines,  in other words ‘normal cruising’ is predicted to be 50 dB(A) whereas at 9 knots with the hybrid propulsion system this will drop to 46 dB(A).  In the Main Salon this will drop from 62 dB(A) to 50 dB(A);

In the dining area from 60 to 48,

in the upper saloon from 58 to 46

and in the guest cabins also from 58 to 46.

In other words the owners and guests will enjoy (to quote from earlier) a vastly quieter environment.  Imagine for a moment leaving harbour early in the morning without waking the guests  with the main engines switched off, or cruising at night, almost as quietly as if you were at anchor.

This is surely the dawning of a whole new age in yachting…

There are other advantages of the hybrid system too.  For instance on longer passages the shaft motors can be used as generators  to provide the hotel load on board,  meaning the generators can be switched off  with a consequent saving in fuel, this is feasible across a wide range of speeds up to 15.7 knots max – main engines only – no generators.


Then there is the option of boost mode  where the main engines plus the shaft motors powered by the generators  can all be brought into service.  This will give an additional 0.6 knot bringing the maximum speed to 16.3 knots,  at this speed the consumption will be around 310 litres per hour –  still not bad I think you will agree considering the size of the yacht and the speed achieved

So far I have only talked about technical features: fuel consumption and noise levels.  It would be remiss of me not to mention her more aesthetic features.  From the illustrations her most striking feature is of course her plumb bow and spray rails  and her fixed swimming platform aft with wide sweeping stairs leading to the main deck.

Drawn by Frank Laupman at Omega Architects the brief to Frank was to create a modern, innovative yacht with striking lines  and most importantly, lots of glass.

We wanted to build a yacht closer to a beach villa in style with a more intimate connection with the sea and the nature around you.

I think you will agree we have achieved this with her fantastic panoramic glass walls on the main deck and upper deck.

Next the accommodation layout.

We wanted to optimise this to include features often asked for by today’s owners,  we included a dedicated gym with separate hammam  accessible from the guest corridor and the main deck.  We included 6 staterooms including a full beam VIP stateroom on the lower deck, as well as the traditional owner’s stateroom and main saloon/dining on the main deck  and the upper saloon above.Heesen NOVA _ Yachting Pleasure

The interior design by Sinot design echoes the beach style theme of the exterior,  with clean, modern contemporary lines  with much use of natural fabrics and materials and emphasising the vast amount of natural light flooding into the interior.We believe NOVA with her innovative technology, striking lines and dramatic interior design projects Heesen into a new era.”

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