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A New Star Is Born: Project Orion Underway

Heesen lays the keel of the 50m YN 20750 at the Oss shipyard. 

Heesen Yachts has announced that the keel of the YN 20750 has been laid on September 14 at the Oss shipyard, under the eye of the ABS surveyor.

"Laying the keel of a new yacht is always an exciting moment, and even more so when it is built as a speculative venture", comments Heesen Yachts CCO, Friso Visser.

"At Heesen, we are pioneers in the construction of superyachts in small series, on proven hull designs, propulsion systems and engineering, with individual interiors. The idea of advancing the build by a year or two before the customer signs up reduces delivery time, along with the costs saved in design and development. It has proved to be a winning formula."

Also known as Project Orion, this 50-metre all-aluminium vessel will be revered for her shallow draft of only 2.15-metres, and more notably, for housing a hybrid propulsion system that delivers the ultimate luxury in yachting - silent cruising. And just like the constellation whose name she bears, the majestic and distinctive opus will undoubtedly turn heads wherever she graces.

The Dutch shipyard's new build is not just ultra-quiet, she is also extremely fuel efficient. At a moderate speed of 12 knots, the Orion will consume 98 litres of fuel per hour (excluding hotel load). And at a cruising speed of 10 knots in hybrid mode, fuel consumption drops to a mere 45 litres per hour.

For a 50m yacht weighing in at 295 GT, this is a beyond impressive feat by the Dutch shipbuilders. 

Project Orion will house two MTU 12V 2000 M61 (IMO III) engines running at 600kW each. The engines are relatively more compact than those typically fitted in a vessel of this size, demonstrating the remarkable efficiency of the Fast Displacement Hull Form devised by Van Oossanen Naval Architects, engineered by the shipyard's in-house specialist, and perfectly executed by Heesen's talented welders.

The interior design will be implemented by Italian designer Cristiano Gatto, with aspirations to leverage on the vessel's large floor-to-ceiling windows to create a refined internal space basked in natural light, all while seamlessly integrating sweeping views of the surrounding seascape thanks to open bulwarks.

With the construction of Project Orion underway, she is already available for sale with delivery set in the first quarter of 2025.