Heesen opener

Ahead of the 2023 Monaco Yacht Show, Heesen held its annual media conference at the Hotel Hermitage.

28 September 2023


To open proceedings, Arthur Brouwer, CEO of Heesen Yachts, addressed guests and spoke of the current situation and plans for the venerable Dutch brand. “As many of you might know, since July 2022, we have been a 100-percent Dutch foundation,” he opened.

“To celebrate our rapid return to business as usual, we have placed the Proud Mary figurine on your table, representing all the quality of Royal Delft. Together with the Heesen tulips, the percolated coffee and our wooden shoes, they are clear proof of our Dutchness.

“Thank you for showing up so early for this press call, which has become the traditional kick-off to the Monaco Yacht Show. We appreciate your commitment and believe you like our Dutch coffee almost as much as you enjoy hearing the latest news from our shipyard.

“Joking aside, we are very grateful for your genuine interest in our company and the yachts we build. This includes the recently announced Project Sparta, which won the Most Achieved Yacht at the Cannes Yachting Festival.


“Now, on to serious matters. I want to start by offering a little insight into the state of the global economy. Due to the complex geopolitical and economic situation – I will be quoting several sources. I usually begin by quoting the Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report. This year, this valuable source of information is called the UBS Global Wealth Report, as Credit Suisse was taken over by its long-term rival in June when the Swiss government worried that Credit Suisse would default and trigger a global crisis.

“This is just one of the events that have shaken our world so far in 2023. Another one was a mid-tier US bank filed for bankruptcy, causing repercussions in worldwide financial services. Geopolitical crises continue into a second year; inflation remains high, central banks are vague about interest rate reductions, and corporate earnings have stayed flat.

“The 2023 Cap Gemini World Wealth Report predicts that global economic growth will remain uncertain due to ongoing macroeconomic instability. On a positive note, the supply chains have largely recovered. Shipping costs and suppliers’ delivery times are back to pre-pandemic levels.

“But forces that stalled growth in 2022 persist. Inflation remains high and continues to erode household purchasing power. The IMF World Economic Outlook update from June shows that despite these headwinds, global economic activity was resilient in the first quarter of 2023, with that resilience driven mainly by the services sector.

“In 2022, if we look at the regional breakdown of the Ultra-High Net Worth group, North America dominated with 53 percent, followed by Europe and mainland China.

“2022 was the first year of lowest wealth growth since 2008. It does not come close to repeating the negative growth experienced in 2008 once exchange rate changes are discounted.

“But according to UBS projections, global wealth will rise by 38 percent over the next five years, reaching 629 trillion US dollars by 2027. Growth by middle-income countries will be the primary driver.

“UBS estimates that the average worldwide wealth per adult will reach 110,000 dollars in 2027, and the number of ultra-high-net-worth individuals will likely rise to 372,000.

“It’s often said that things will get worse before they get better, which seems to be partially true. There are multiple perspectives on the situation. According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Economy Outlook, geopolitical factors will ensure that things remain volatile in the coming year.

“But there may also be positive changes, such as a decrease in inflation and a slowdown in interest rate increases. However, most chief economists surveyed for the report agree that the global economy will weaken in 2024.

“Uncertainty is a key factor. Fears of a global recession may be receding, but there are new concerns about China’s economy dipping into deflation. Geopolitical and domestic political issues will continue to unsettle the markets.

“The effects of all this uncertainty are reflected in the superyacht market. In 2023, charter, brokerage and new constructions are all lower than in 2022. In the 30- to 80-metre segment, as of September this year, 109 new sales were completed, which is much lower than the 244 completed in 2022 and the record 312 in 2021. The picture is just as challenging in the 40- to 80-metre segment, with a projected 55 to 60 new sales by the end of 2023, down from 77 in 2022.

“At Heesen, we contributed to this count with the sale of Project Akira, the first in our new 57-metre aluminium class, with exterior styling by Omega and interior design by Harrison Eidsgaard. We are one of less than a handful of shipyards that sold a new construction in 2023. We are sold out for this year and almost sold out for 2024. So, I can say we are in a relatively comfortable position.

“Italy and Turkey account for the largest percentage of the new-build superyacht market. The difference in price between North and South makes things more challenging for the Northern European builders. In the Netherlands, our labour costs rose 6.6 percent last year, according to the Dutch Central Statistics Office.

“However, as the Superyacht Builders Association report shows, our industry is still strong. This year could very well be the first to exceed 100 launches. There have been 78 launches in 2023 so far, making it a highly successful year already. The number of planned deliveries this year is off the charts at 165 in total. Sybass’ best estimate is that 2023 will see 119 launches.

“The outlook for next year also seems exceptionally healthy, with 96 superyachts expected to launch in 2024.

“Talking of launches and deliveries, we have been very busy this summer with the delivery of our largest yacht to date, the mighty 80-metre Project Cosmos, now named Genesis. We are all very excited that she can finally sail. We would have loved to showcase her here in Monaco, but the new owners have decided otherwise. C’est la vie!

“We recently delivered Project Gemini, now named Reliance, the first in our popular 55-metre class, with an interior by Luca Dini Design and Architecture. You can admire her shark grey livery later when you are on the Terrasse Midi. She is sitting at anchor here in Monaco Bay.

“The sea trials of two custom yachts, Ultra G and Sparta, are also keeping us busy. While we are enjoying the best of the yachting life here in Monaco, our colleagues are working hard in the North Sea to complete the sea trials of these two unique projects.

“With a yearly turnover of approximately 200 million Euros and 15 yachts under construction whose deliveries extend through 2027, Heesen is in a comfortable position. However, we never rest on our laurels. We continually invest in R&D to improve the performance of our yachts, as we announced with our BlueNautech program. We are also investing in lowering our shipyard’s impact on the environment.

“We recently completed a 1.2 million Euro investment to cover 80 percent of our roofs with solar panels, for a yield of 1.3 megawatt-hours. Our solar farm produces 60 percent of the power we need.

“Supporting the Water Revolution Foundation is another way we take our environmental responsibilities seriously. In this regard, we are delighted that the Sustainability Hub has reappeared at the Monaco show, which aims to be carbon neutral by 2050.”

Following Arthur was Mark Cavendish, Director Sales & Marketing at Heesen Yachts, who covered the latest new model launches for the company.

GENESIS, recently delivered to her new owners, is the largest and fastest all-aluminium motor yacht ever built,” he said. “The design, engineering, technology and craftsmanship in this extraordinary yacht represents a milestone not just for Heesen, but for the yachting industry in general.

“To build this yacht we had to do things that have never been done before,” said Cavendish. “She is 80 metres long, with an enclosed volume of 1,700 gross tons.

“Winch Design styled her stunning exterior. She is built entirely out of aluminium and has a top speed of nearly 30 knots – with a traditional propulsion system – no gas turbines for us. This incredible performance was achieved not through brute power but by intelligent engineering, and our mastery of lightweight aluminium construction.

“To give her the necessary longitudinal strength, we designed and patented a complex, full-length structural reinforcement system that we call The Backbone. GENESIS is not just a technological masterpiece, she is also ultra-luxurious. Sinot Design has pushed our craftsmen and women to the next level of quality to create our most intricate and precious interiors so far.

“She is a beautiful example of what Heesen can do when tasked with a one-off project. She is quite simply superb, and it is a great pity we cannot show her off to you this week … maybe at another time in the future.

“Not to be outdone by GENESIS, there’s ULTRA G; she is smaller at 60 metres, but with 22,000 horsepower, she has a top speed of a whopping 37 knots. ULTRA G is the most powerful Heesen yet. She’s a high-performance sports fisherman in superyacht clothing.

“Every single detail is made to measure and includes so many special features like the full beam video wall, the seriously state-of-the-art disco system on the sundeck and the complex and comprehensively equipped fish cockpit, to name a few.

“This yacht is another testament to Heesen’s ability to build advanced, unique projects that challenge our engineers and craftspeople, proving once again that at Heesen, there is no such thing as “mission impossible” – If you can dream it, we can build it. I really could go on and on about these yachts. They are so extraordinary. But we only have four days, sorry we only have four minutes!

“There are other ways to build a custom yacht at Heesen. For clients who might not want to start from scratch with a blank sheet of paper to map out their dreams, we have special pre-engineered yachts that can be adapted to meet the owners’ lifestyles and tastes.

“SPARTA is the most recent example. At 67 metres, she grew out of our Project AVANTI, a design concept we launched here with Winch Design a few years ago. The client liked it immediately and made very few changes.

“The 60-metre LUSINE was inspired by our Project CERES, designed by Frank Laupman, a 60-metre canvas for clients to tailor to their wishes. The owner of LUSINE had a clear vision of how he wanted his yacht, and when he asked for a touch-and-go helipad, we simply moved the superstructure forward to make space.

“For clients in search of experiential travel to far-flung destinations, we have the XV67 developed with Winch Design and announced last year in this very room. This exceptionally capable and beautiful bluewater voyager is engineered to venture off the beaten track in total safety but five-star comfort, more Range Rover than Land Rover.

“She combines luxury lifestyle with a powerful sense of adventure and, of course, Heesen’s hybrid propulsion system is available. We also offer what we call a smart custom program. This offers clients the best of both worlds. They can choose one of our proven, already designed and engineered hulls and adapt the superstructure in almost any way they like and hey-presto, you have a full custom yacht. We have done this with the 51-metre IRISHA and the 56-metre GALVAS among others.

“The third branch in our family tree is the Series yachts, which we build as speculative ventures.  I’m sure all of you here are familiar with the long history of Heesen series yachts starting with the very successful and iconic Heesen 37-metre series of which AURELIA, here in the show is the 10th in that series. Others include the popular 50-metre aluminium semi-displacement series of which there are two here in the show: VAN TOM and MY LOYALTY

“Today we have some 15 yachts in build including our new 50-metre aluminium series JADE, the first 50-metre with Tier III engines, which will be ready for delivery early next year and available for sale for those of you looking to upgrade to something a bit faster and more contemporary.

“The ever-popular 55-metre steel displacement – where we are now up to hull number nine in the series – has been upgraded and redesigned by the very talented Luca Dini design team and our signature 50-metre aluminium displacement hybrid motor yacht Project ORION, with her near-silent propulsion and staggering (for a 50-metre 500 gt motor yacht) 45 litres per hour consumption at 10 knots, of which AMARE II, which we delivered in 2020, can be seen here in the show which brings the total to some 200 metres of Heesen yachts to be seen here in Monaco – something to tempt everyone!

“All of which leads me seamlessly onto the scoop that you have all been waiting for – a new 50-metre steel displacement motor yacht completing the Holy Trinity of Heesen 50-metre yachts, Project Grace.

“With exterior and interior by Harrison Eidsgaard, Project Grace is part of the new 50-metre Steel series, boasting an ultra-performing FDHF steel hull and enclosed volume of 499 gt. Construction is scheduled to commence in Summer 2024.



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