Inside the Builder

A Dutch shipyard dedicated to pushing the boundaries in design, engineering and construction, Heesen, located in the southern Netherlands town of Oss, is a company that continues to evolve. Since the time its founding father Frans Heesen acquired the business in 1978, the company has been building superyachts in aluminium and steel that offer speed, style and fuel-efficient cruising at once. Its award-winning vessels continue to match owners’ exacting demands, and its unrelenting focus on quality, craftsmanship and innovation has created one of the world’s most impressive shipbuilding legacies.

Heesen has built more than 175 yachts since the shipyard’s inception, with a team of approximately 1000 dedicated professionals and artisans involved in the shipbuilding process each day. In this high-tech era of robots and fully automated production, a Heesen yacht is still largely crafted by hand. Many skilled hands, in fact, driven by a passion for perfection. The backbone of each Heesen yacht is a hull welded with precision and care. Heesen uses aluminium — which requires highly experienced welders — and steel to construct its yachts. It also remains one of the few yards in the world to build its yacht interiors entirely in-house at Heesen Yachts Interiors.

The year 2016 proved to be a turning point in Heesen’s history. It was the year the Dutch shipyard, renowned for its precision engineering, delivered its largest yacht to date – 70m GALACTICA SUPER NOVA. It was also the year that Heesen completed a vast expansion of its facilities in Oss, the Netherlands; a new 85m drydock, equipped with advanced features to create the best working environment possible.

2019 represented another milestone in the history of the company when the keel of the mighty 80m full aluminium Project COSMOS was laid. COSMOS will be one of the largest and fastest all aluminium yachts ever built with a top speed of almost 30 kts when delivered in April 2022. She is a highly complex and challenging project born from an owner’s request for high-performance efficiency, and one that has resulted in new patented engineering techniques.

“This year we will deliver no fewer than 4 superyachts and in our order book we have 12 currently under construction, with deliveries taking us through 2024.” Says CEO, Arthur Brouwer. “These include custom and semi-custom yachts from 50-80m in length. Our current order book includes both ‘fast deliveries’ in the 50-55m size range – our core business – as well as full-custom one-off projects that reflect the personality and specific lifestyle of their owners. The bold and daring Project COSMOS is just one such example of the courageous ingenuity that takes place in Oss. She will be launched in November 2021.”

Heesen’s 8 sheds, 6 drydocks and interior workshops span 22,000 m², with the total shipyard area covering 11 acres. Heesen continues to grow today, acquiring additional sites and further investing in its interior furniture workshop, thereby increasing its capacity by 30%. Heesen’s ability to quickly respond to market needs has been unequivocally proven over the years, but never more so than with the yard’s award-winning semi-custom platforms. The reduction in both production time and manufacturing costs has seen Heesen rise to the top of the 55-60m and 60-80m custom markets.

A continued investment in research, the application of smart technology and collaboration with leading designers and developers all contribute to keeping the brand one step ahead. The shipyard is always exploring renewable and alternative energy sources for use in future yachts and its facilities in Oss, including harnessing solar power. Patented Sun Tracker technology has already been installed on the roof of its drydock in Oss. The system can automatically dim the interior LED lighting to avoid wasting energy on days where natural sunlight is sufficient, therefore reducing the shed’s lighting requirements by 25%.

Although no longer a family business, Heesen has retained a family feel — something of a calling card for the 40-year-old Dutch yard — and is today one of the most advanced yacht building facilities in the world.
AB110516 0145 web
Arthur Brouwer - CEO
HY250214 0031
Cosmos V5 0001 web
Jeff Brown 6090 web

Contact the team