6 ways Project Neptune raises the bar at Heesen Yachts
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A new design partnership

Dutch yard Heesen Yachts is renowned for its in-house craftsmanship and flexible approach to design, and with its latest 56 metre motor yacht project, Heesen has raised the bar once again.

Project Neptune, as it is currently known, sees the yard team up with London-based studio H2 Yacht Design for the first time. Founder Jonny Horsfield told Boat International: “The challenge really was to break some boundaries. The yard had already proposed some options from their standard range, but the client wanted something a little bit sleeker, a little bit sportier, a little bit more customised to his taste, so we took as basic platform hull and a GA and we quite heavily modified it.”

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Hidden tenders on the foredeck

Small changes can led to a big difference — and that was certainly the case for the foredeck garage of Project Neptune. The H2 team was given the brief to maximise the space in the owner’s cabin without compromising the sleek lines of the bow. Horsfield explains that a 300mm rise in the floor of the tender locker was enough to add an extra 5 metres of space to the master suite below.

Project Neptune will carry a pair of super-sleek Pascoe tenders and her superyacht wheelhouse has been subtly raised to ensure a clear view. All of these tweaks are concealed within a seamless exterior profile. “The big arch flowing from the wheelhouse down to the transom is very much an H2 thing,” Horsfield adds. “It’s a sweet looking boat.”

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Concealed televisions

Once H2 had created the exterior lines and the GA, the project’s focus shifted to the interior décor, which was entrusted to Reymond Langton Design. Co-founder Andrew Langton explains that the skylounge was one of the most important areas to get right as this is where the owners plan to spend most of their time.

“Upstairs is a little bit smaller than the downstairs saloon, but it’s a very nice space — it’s essentially a room of glass with a 100-inch television. We wanted to hide away this when it wasn’t being used, so we’ve got a system of artwork panels that drop down to conceal the TV. We’ve done this on quite a few projects — hiding 100-inch TVs is becoming a specialty of ours.”

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Beach club balance

One of the key features required for Project Neptune was a fully-fledged superyacht beach club. As such, Langton knew that it would have to fulfil both social and practical functions:

“It’s not only a hangout space, but it’s also where the crew will keep all the water toys, surfboards and Sea Doos and all that stuff. Of course you don’t want to see all that, so we designed blue blacklit panels on both sides of the beach club — one will hide the technical room and the other will slide away to reveal the toy store,” he explains. “They look symmetrical, but one area you can’t use at all and one area you can.”

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Master suite magic

The all-important master suite was another key priority for obvious reasons and the brief called for many features to be integrated into this private area.

“The owners wanted to have a little bit of a gym, a steam room and a massage room all within this suite,” Langton continues. “So we designed a multipurpose room where the wall panels open up and blinds come down to create a massage room. You can open up sliding doors to reveal a basin to wash your hands and there’s a steam room within that room as well. For a boat of this size it’s quite a lot to pack in. The owners' bedroom is huge really.”

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An artful interior

Summarising the overall décor, Langton adds: “They wanted a detailed, luxurious interior with subtle Art Deco twists — light, airy and sophisticated. We’re working with companies like DKT, Helen Amy Murray, Based Upon and Jallu Ebenistes to integrate artworks into the wallpanels and create decorative focal points in the design.”

All of these ideas will come together under the cloak of secrecy at the Dutch yard’s Oss headquarters before Project Neptune is ready to be unveiled to the world in 2019.

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