Legendary superyacht designer Tim Heywood began his career in the seventies alongside fellow British designers Andrew Winch and Terence Disdale who learnt their trade under Jon Bannenburg. Having worked with the celebrated designer for 20 years, Heywood eventually left to set up his own studio in 1996. Over the years his instantly recognisable curved lines have defined countless superyacht exteriors, recently earning him a Lifetime Achievement award at BOAT's Design and Innovation Awards in July 2021...
The 147 metre Lürssen superyacht A+, previously known as Topaz, was delivered in 2012 and listed among the largest superyachts in the world. Featuring a helicopter landing pad at its bow, this behemoth yacht boasts a star-studded resume, having been previously chartered by Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio and Middle Eastern royal and politician Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, owner of Manchester City football club. A+’s vast 5,306GT interiors were designed by Terence Disdale and can host up to 62 guests in 26 luxury cabins. Powered by four MTU diesel engines, A+ has a top speed of 22.5 knots with a cruising speed of 19.5 knots.
Launched in 2008 by Peterswerft-Kusch, the 133 metre Al Mirqab was built for Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani, the former Prime Minister and Minister of Qatar. At the time of its delivery, the yacht’s size was formidable, and to this day, Al Mirqab is among the top five per cent of the largest yachts in the world. Key on board amenities include an enclosed pool and balcony terraces that fold down over the sea, as well as the largest spa that Winch Design – who oversaw the interior’s design - has ever completed. Al Mirqab’s exteriors also feature a number of firsts, including the impressive light display on the bulbous bow. “I mounted lights on the upper surface [of the bow] to illuminate the above water bow at night, a feature adopted by many designers since,” said Heywood.
Currently listed for sale, 97.2m Carinthia VII was built by Lürssen for Heidi Horten, the widow of department store owner Helmut Horten. The German yard had originally constructed Carinthia VI (The One) for her late husband and Heywood’s design is loosely based on its predecessor. This time around, Heywood used some ingenious visual tricks to achieve Carinthia VII’s striking profile. For example, the main deck looks like it has no windows and appears as a continuous hull side, when in fact the windows have darkened glass and black frames – only looming into vision when close up.
Lürssen’s 90.1m Ice was delivered in 2005 and sold to Russian industrialist Suleiman Kerimov. Previously known as Air, the yacht was renamed by its owner who wanted the name Ice to “reflect the purity of its concept”. With emission reductions as one of Heywood’s top priorities, Ice was the first yacht built to have Azipod drive units in place of conventional shafted diesels, which keep noise and vibration pollution to a minimum. The diesel/electric engines power Ice to a top speed of 18.5 knots, while a range of 6,000 nautical miles is possible when cruising at 15 knots. Constructed in steel and aluminium, the yacht boasts an interior of 3,268GT while its beam of 15 metres accommodates 14 guests.
Here Comes The Sun
Delivered in 2016, 89 metre Here Comes The Sun was constructed by Amels in close cooperation with Heywood himself. When launched, the yacht – named after the Beatles track of the same name - became the Dutch yard’s flagship. Built with a steel hull and aluminium superstructure, the yacht’s most recent refit was completed at Amels’ Vlissengen facilities in August 2021, when an extra six metres were added to the overall length. Speaking in 2017 about Here Comes The Sun’s sea trials, Heywood said: “When we were on the water it felt like being on a railway track. The yacht was going 15 knots and it didn’t feel like we were moving at all. I really love it.”
Heywood’s curving exterior lines are again on display on 74 metre Plvs Vltra, which was launched in 2016 as Dutch builder Amels’ Limited Edition 242 yacht. At the time of its delivery, Heywood said of Plvs Vltra: “[It’s signature look] is strong and functional, complementing the flowing lines very well which I would describe as athletically feminine. I must admit, these curves are not necessarily the easiest forms to build, but Amels rose to the challenge.” Jet black paint between Matterhorn white decks gives the exterior a healthy dose of individuality. “I added those curving black jet highlights to echo the curve of the wing station and then reversed it in the superstructure,” Heywood continued. Twin diesel engines give the yacht a top speed of 16.5 knots and an impressive range of 5,000 nautical miles. Plvs Vltra is currently listed for sale with Moran Yacht & Ship.
Built by Italian yard Admiral Yachts in 2018, the 73.2 metre Planet Nine is ice classified 1D and referred to as a “super explorer”. The Admiral flagship features thick hull plates, strong frames and bulkheads alongside protection for its seawater intakes, to protect them from ice and cold weather encountered in high latitudes. Notably, Planet Nine recently appeared in Christopher Nolan’s 2020 Tenet – starring as the lair of Russian baddie Andrei Sator. Operated by a crew of 26, the yacht’s top speed is 16 knots together with a range of 6,000 nautical miles with power coming from two Caterpillar diesel engines. A total of 16 guests find accommodation in eight lavish staterooms.