Erica, known formerly as Project Boreas, was already in construction when the Owner became involved. Having held talks with three different shipyards before selecting Heesen, it was the ability to deliver a quality bespoke yacht in a much shorter timeframe that appealed to the Owner. A Heesen statement credited Project Boreas as a “brilliant illustration of how a discerning client can personalise the pre-engineered design platform of a hull already in construction, considerably shortening the delivery time while benefitting from the highest levels of Dutch quality in build and finish”.
Last week saw Erica make her maiden voyage from the Heesen shipyard in Oss to Hellevoetsluis, where she underwent her sea trials. She now returns having surpassed all expectations. In calm conditions of light winds and waves of up to 0.5m, Erica proved to be a perfect example of a yacht that can blend speed, efficiency and comfort. Not only was the 50-metre yacht extremely quiet, but by reaching a top speed of 20 knots she exceeded her contractual speed, hitting a range higher than predicted in her specifications.
This is owed to the innovative engineering behind her construction, for which Heesen’s in-house naval architects collaborated with Van Oossanen hydrodynamicists. Erica boasts an ultra-efficient Fast Displacement Hull Form, or FDHF, powered by two MTU 12V 2000M72 engines which come together to deliver high speeds without any sacrifice in comfort.
The yacht’s contemporary profile on the exterior is a product of the ingenuity of Frank Laupman at Omega Architects, ensuring that Erica is a yacht that will not age. Her powerful forward profile is well balanced by elegant curves, while a sense of lightness is created through the lack of fashion plates.
Inside this superyacht, the Owner was still able to implement his vision as he worked closely with designer Mark Whiteley on the styling. The contemporary aura of Erica continues inside, with some unique features including the imposing main staircase that is sure to wow guests who step on board. Elsewhere, a nickel mesh wall covering by French artist Sophie Mallebranche adds extra luxury for guests to admire as they move through the yacht.
Project Boreas becomes Heesen’s third delivery in the last 2 months, following the 56m custom yacht Galvas in July and 50m Masa in June. Looking to the future, significant progress has been made on the construction of the fully-aluminium Project Aquamarine, which is due for delivery in 2021.