Video: 51m Heesen superyacht Irisha on sea trials
by Marilyn Mower
Heesen’s first full custom yacht since Galactica Super Nova was christened Irisha by her owners on Thursday (May 3) in Hellevoetsluis, the Netherlands, after completing sea trials that exceeded expectations.
Stuart King of Technical Marine UK, who served as the owner’s project manager during the build, noted that the owners put the custom Harrison Eidsgaard design through a thorough bidding process, but based on their paramount requests of high speed and Northern European build quality, Heesen emerged as the most logical choice.
A pair of 4,613hp MTU 16V4000 M93s with conventional shaft drive provide the propulsion, while Heesen developed a hull design partially based on the 50 metre Satori hull platform that combined the Harrison Eidsgaard bow design with a serious need for speed. “The owner happily traded three metres of interior guest space to make sure the engine room and air plenums were optimised for the large power plant,” explained King.
Although Irisha has four well-appointed guest staterooms on the lower deck, including a pair that can be configured as a full-beam VIP, the yacht was originally envisioned as a day boat platform for a Sardinia-based cruising lifestyle. The owner has a villa on Sardinia but developed a style of using his previous yacht for waterborne lunches, swimming and entertaining. Still, with its marvellously appointed main-deck master suite, complete with an office and a French balcony, the thought of overnight cruises will be tempting.
To extend the yacht’s season into spring and fall, Harrison Eidsgaard broke the mould on main deck layouts with a cockpit that is both an outdoor living room and a winter garden. The space is both heated and cooled with a separate, dedicated HVAC system. Large sliding glass doors open to meld the large dining room to the aft lounge; a hidden grate and drain system allowed the transition from indoor to outdoor space to be seamless and without a sill — essential to expanding the dining table to seat 22 guests.
The same focus on entertaining is obvious on the superyacht sundeck, with a pair of large bars under the hardtop. The spacious and extremely well-equipped galley and service pantry were conceived to support gracious entertaining and a true gourmet experience by the owner’s private chef.
Irisha’s sleek look is courtesy of wrapping a design scheme that places the bridge on a half deck between the main and sundecks in a glass-wrapped superstructure. The helm sits behind and underneath the largest pieces of chemically hardened compound curve glass that could be made in Europe.
The windscreen glass extends aft as a canopy, creating a skylight effect over a cozy guest seating area. A large sliding glass door and a drop-down window link the bridge to the sundeck aft and when open it almost seems like the bridge of a pure sport boat.
Back aft, a fold-out stern door facilitates both launching of the Compass tender and swimming. With the tender out of the garage, the area becomes a superyacht beach club with a sauna and massage area tucked into the space. White curtains create a Nikki Beach-style atmosphere screening the beach club space and hiding watersports toys stored therein.
Irisha is the first project for interior and exterior design under the Harrison Eidsgaard brand. The contemporary interior uses a pallet of neutral greyed beiges brought to life by layers of contrasting textures applied to walls and some door panels by DKT. Sleek bands of stainless steel highlight the straight grain joinery and quarter-sawn design panels that appear in just two simple tones.
While the winter garden and dining room will undoubtedly see the most use, the signature space is the main deck foyer and the open oval staircase extending through three decks. Along with the exterior glass, it was also the most challenging construction feature for Heesen, whose in-house interior joiner firm also built the interior.
The superyacht staircase is an undulating pathway, its unique hidden aluminium structure covered in a polished hand-plaster technique by DKT and topped by tempered glass structural balustrades and a leather handrail.
According to the owner’s broker and representative Jim Evans of SuperYachtsMonaco, Irisha will be available for select charter for up to ten guests.
The exterior, besides full-length panels of tinted glass is comprised of three colours created by Ales Seal. The top is oyster white, the main deck is noble blue and the hull is a custom blue grey metallic shade that shifts tone from teal to blue to grey depending on the light.