Unique Vision of Royal Huisman's Project 405

By George Bains

The 46m high-performance cruiser sloop “Reichel Pugh Nauta 151” is currently under construction at prestigious Dutch shipyard Royal Huisman, and a look behind the scenes shows the intriguing and stimulating brief given to both designer and builder.

Project 405, designed by Reichel Pugh and Nauta Design with a Carbon Panamax rig by Rondal, is due to be delivered by Royal Huisman in 2022.

The experienced Owners of this exciting new project challenged the designers to create a superyacht which combines comfort and safety to explore the world’s cruising grounds, while providing an extremely lightweight structure to compete in regattas.

A full-scale mock-up of the aft half of Project 405’s main deck has already brought the superyacht to life, allowing the owners to remain closely involved as the vision unfolds. The mock-up. which has been accommodated in the pain hall on the 30,000sqm shipyard premises, provides the opportunity to explore, develop and optimise the conceptual ideas of the design team before construction begins, ensuring the Owners’ lifestyle objectives are totally integrated with the engineering, systems, construction and operational requirements.

The mock-up was a centrepiece of team meetings where all relevant parties could collaborate and look in detail at the project to identify opportunities and resolve potential issues relating to the use of space. The shipyard’s craftsmen subsequently enhanced the temporary structure based on the concerted input from the Owners and their design and build team, consisting of Owners’ Representative Nigel Ingram of MCM Newport, Nauta Design, Reichel / Pugh, Bouwe Bekking and Royal Huisman.

“Building the 1:1 scale mock-up has proven to be a fundamental part of the design process, enabling the Owners and their team of architects, designers and builders to fine tune the deck layout to the smallest details with the greatest confidence,” says Nigel Ingram.

Dutch professional race captain Bouwe Bekking, who is an eight-time Volvo Ocean Race competitor and represents the Owners’ race team, commented: “No competitive yachtsman would enter a race without the utmost level of preparation. This full-scale mock-up provides us with the opportunity to review how the design would work in regatta conditions.

“It delivers exceptional and very practical value as a design tool, and has given the project’s design process the ultimate edge for regatta success. But without sacrificing her cruising side: we found the perfect match!”

Royal Huisman’s full-scale mock-ups support the design and decision-making process from vision to concept. More than a fun exercise for the Owner and team, this is a very constructive and practical tool to review and experience the design during the superyacht creation process.

The hull construction of Project 405 was underway in December 2020, and her structure is based on a new, innovative method developed by the shipyard to make her extremely lightweight due to the optimal use of the material that the Royal Huisman team know so well, complemented with extensive Finite Element Analyses to ensure the very best blend of “proven” and “cutting-edge”.

“In spite of Civod-19 restrictions, work on all aspects of Project 405 continues as planes,” says Royal Huisman CEO Jan Timmerman. “The full project team, designers, architects, our engineers are on schedule – mostly working remotely from home – so the development of the design and systems continues while our in-house craftsmen have made a start with the production.

“The team meets regularly in online meetings and we are all pleased with progress so far. At this moment we are looking forward to the next milestone: the hull turning at Royal Huisman’s headquarters in Vollenhove.”

"Building the 1:1 scale mock-up has proven to be a fundamental part of the design process"

Nigel Ingram, MCM Newport

"Building the 1:1 scale mock-up has proven to be a fundamental part of the design process"

Nigel Ingram, MCM Newport
By George Bains
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