Royal Huisman-built PHI, designed by Cor D. Rover
Royal Huisman-built PHI, designed by Cor D. Rover

VOLLENHOVE – Of the Netherlands’ dozen or so builders of one-off superyachts, Royal Huisman might be the most intriguing, and ambitious shipyard globally. It has never shied from orders for exceptional – and exceptionally large – performance sailing yachts. But what makes the 138-year-old boat builder stand out is the scope of its ambitions.

Last year, it served notice it will reposition itself in the market by also taking on motor-powered superyachts. It boasts a portfolio of 30+ custom-built sailing superyachts of up to 90m (300ft). And “going 50-50 sail/motor,” as Royal Huisman CEO Jan Timmerman puts it, “will take roughly five years.”

52m sport fisher
52m sport fisher

The start of the repositioning was impressive. In December 2021, Royal Huisman delivered PHI, a 58.5m (191ft) motor yacht – the world’s longest under 500GT – and said it was working on a 52m (171ft) sportfishing motor yacht that will be delivered in 2023.

Forcing Royal Huisman’s hand is a thin market for sailing yachts. Only a quarter of a century ago, the percentage of the world’s sailing superyachts was much higher than it is today. It has since slipped to under 10%.

CEO Jan Timmerman
CEO Jan Timmerman

Still, the future doesn’t look bleak, and Royal Huisman even sees a turnaround. One reason is the growing demand for sustainable yachting. Another: it used to take a lot of time and muscle to prepare a yacht for sailing. Electric winches and furlers and advanced steering and rigging gear, and other innovations have simplified sailing.

Royal Huisman is telling the market it is not abandoning sailing yachts. It is now working on Project 410, an 85m (280ft) sloop for “a very experienced owner.” It will be a highly efficient and sustainable craft. The technology that goes into the yacht meets Lloyd’s Register’s ‘Hybrid Power’ certificate, which mandates strict design, construction, and lifetime maintenance standards for the hybrid craft. “A huge 2MW battery bank facilitates silent and fumeless propulsion and ensures ultimate comfort with maximum redundancy and sustainability,” says Royal Huisman.

The shipyard has been highly active in hybrid technology, starting with the launch in 2008 of Ethereal, the world’s first hybrid sailing superyacht.

The 85m sailing yacht’s carbon mast, boom and integrated sailing system will be designed and produced by Royal Huisman’s sister company, Rondal. It will be one of 3 sailing yachts in the 80-90m range. Project 410 is so well equipped that it will be ready to sail in minutes and capable of sailing extremely fast, in comfort, to make the most of its long waterline. An eco-friendly project, it incorporates structural recyclability, green energy, quiet operation, and silent-mode sailing.

Says Royal Huisman Chief Commercial Officer Peter Naeyé: “It is an extraordinary honor to be entrusted with a project of such scale, ambition, and technical sophistication. This unique Project 410 perfectly reflects ‘who we are and what we do.’ A true performance superyacht with supersized dimensions, and full of technical innovations.”

www.royalhuisman.com