CANNES – Oceanco makes vast, gorgeous football field-length motor yachts. And Royal Huisman, towering performance sailing yachts. Right? Well, no. In the hands of these 2 Dutch builders, that chalk-and-cheese difference between makers of motor and sailing superyachts is fading fast.
Both are leaving their comfort zones and step ever deeper into each other’s fields of expertise. And they are not alone in the Netherlands. KM Yachtbuilders, maker of go-anywhere, performance sailing yachts of up to 30.5m (100 ft.) just developed a 16m (53ft.) motor yacht. It expects to build several a year. And Vitters Shipyard – like Royal Huisman, a builder of extreme sailing yachts – launched a 23m chase boat this year. It was its first motor yacht collaboration with partner Claasen Shipyards which builds classic sailing yachts.
In 2016, Oceanco delivered Aquijo, at 85m (279ft.) one of the world’s largest high-performance sailing yachts with twin 90m. (295ft.) masts and a Vitters-designed steering system. It followed that up in 2018 with the 106.7m (350ft.) Black Pearl, powered by a 3-masted, computer-steered DynaRig — a Dykstra Naval Architects design — of 2,900 sq. m. (31,215 sq. ft.) of sail.
Royal Huisman – founded in 1884 – is wading deeper into motor yacht territory. “We are now building a motor yacht of +55m (180.4ft.),” Royal Huisman’s head of marketing, tells DutchYachtBuilding.com. “We’ll launch the aluminum yacht in 2021.”
At the 2019 Monaco Yacht Show, Royal Huisman showed a curious concept: a twin-masted, DynaRigged super sailing yacht of 88m (289ft.) “and its +70m (230ft.) companion motor yacht,” says Van ‘t Verlaat. “A single project of 2 yachts with similar styling.”
At Monaco, it also showed Sangi (‘change’ in Esperanto), a 55m (180.4ft) motor yacht concept developed with designer Cor D. Rover and Van Oossanen Naval Architects. The latter drew a patented Fast-Displacement XL hull that delivers enhanced hydrodynamics and stability. Van ‘t Verlaat says Huisman is “making available its expertise, quality and innovation for the creation of exceptional motor yachts.” The yard pioneered the use of full aluminum for yacht building. Sangi has range of 3800 Nm at 12 knots and can accommodate 10 guests.
In recent years, Royal Huisman has launched several such projects, including one with France’s Berret-Racoupeau Design, for a custom-built multihull power and sail catamarans.
“We’ll always build large, monohulled superyachts,” says Van’t Verlaat. “But we are seeing see demand in motor yachts. It’s, of course, a bigger market and motor yachts are easier to build. In sailboats you deal with heeling angles and forces on the rig and keel. For us building tight spaces is no challenge. We don’t build ‘wedding cake’ yachts.”
Sudden rivals Oceanco and Royal Huisman share a passion for high tech.
Last November, Oceanco launched 109m (357ft.) Bravo Eugenia. It has an optimized hybrid propulsion system, new heat and energy-recovery systems and integrated battery systems. Meeting all existing ECO notation requirements, the yacht can operate in all emission control areas. It is a slim, energy-frugal yacht that draws hybrid power from a single tier engine room, a rarity in in large yachts.
Oceanco’s LIFE-design – for Lengthened waterline, Innovative layout, Fuel-efficient and Ecologically conscious – renders fuel savings of up to 30%. It was developed with Britain’s Lateral Naval Architects, Oceanco’s joint venture with Southampton-based BMT.
Royal Huisman is now refitting 44m. (43ft) Juliet. The ketch has done 250,000 ocean miles. The refit will give it zero emissions, peak-shaving, shaft-generated power under sail and reduced fuel consumption, together with enhanced operational flexibility and redundancy.