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Review: Heesen "Yalla"

Discussion in 'Heesen Yacht' started by YachtForums, Jul 21, 2005.

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  1. Heesen's "Yalla"!

    by Capt. Chuck Gnaegy​

    The North Sea and English Channel can be a challenge for any yacht,
    but Heesen’s 154’ Yalla, in her perfect splendor, shrugged them off
    during her maiden voyage to a festive soiree outside Paris.​

    A long-time advisory for setting sail on any size yacht is: “Weather Permitting.” When Yalla’s skipper, Captain James Hurley checked, the low pressure area – a storm condition on the other side of the English Channel – was supposed to stay there. But we boaters all know, down deep, at some time or another Ol’ Man Weather is just yanking our anchor chains, ready to pounce.

    Hurley caught the drift a little late. About an hour out, he picked up a radio distress call from a vessel floundering in heavy seas, way down the pike. Just as he was charting its position, visibility suddenly dropped to less than half a mile; 45-knot gusts slammed his just-launched charge on her pretty nose. Ol’ Man Weather had swaggered in, with a big yacht-eating grin on his face. Seas quickly escalated to 20’ and before Yalla realized it... the party was on and her 154-feet were surfing blooming crests. (Yahoo! Maybe...)
  2. So how did she make out? How did she handle the severe conditions the sea threw at her? We’ll get to that, but first, let’s try to understand why this battle was so important. Let’s take a look at what this beautiful, breathtaking megayacht brought to the table. We’ll see what she was made of...! Yalla was designed as an ocean-going ship, a world cruiser if the owner entertains that fancy. Built to DNV A1-LC-Yacht-RO standards and MCA compliance, she underwent extensive tank testing on the Isle of Wight. Her structural components include a bulbous bow, which helps her plunge into and shake off seas that many a yacht would find insurmountable.
  3. Her overall design utilizes the combination of a hard chine, semi-displacement steel hull with a round bilge, and aluminum superstructure. The progeny of Naval Architects Frank Laupman and Omega, and refined by Heesen’s Naval Architect Bram Jongepier, she comes in under the MCA-compliant yacht 500 gross tonnage limit. Naval Architect Ed Fry completed the window and bulwark heights, also working with Holland’s Van Oossanen & Associates on propulsion calculations. All pronounced her excellent, and sea-worthy.
  4. If Yalla's lines look familiar, they should. The interior design was by Omega Architects and Artline Designers; Marilyn Bos-de Vaal and Frank Pierterse. The Artline team also created the imaginative interiors on famed Octopussy, Dillinger, and Moonraker. You might say, she's in good company. Actually... She's in fast company!
  5. Heesen Yachts, formerly known as Diaship, is located in Oss, Netherlands. Heesen Shipyards has the distinction of being the first Dutch builder to construct aluminum hulls for yachts. Adding to firsts, Heesen built the first megayacht to surpass 50 knots. They also have the distinction of building several of the fastest megayachts to date. Rangin from 115 feet to 213 feet in length, Heesen builds displacement, semi-displacement, and performance style yachts that combine unique lines with high tech and traditional craftsmanship.

    Heesen was founded in 1978, when Frans Heesen bought the shipyard in Oss, Netherlands. Originally purchased to accommodate his plastics company, he was persuaded to let boat-building operations continue around the shipyard. Soon thereafter, the yard was commissioned to build 4 aluminum yachts, which marked the start of an unprecedented growth period for Heesen. Since then, the yard has produced more than 100 yachts, with many of them being among the most notable yachts afloat, including “Octopussy”, which was a break through for Heesen and the yachting community when this megayacht surpassed 50 knots.
  6. Built in accordance with the latest in state-of-the-art control, navigation and communications technology and furnished with every conceivable luxury and comfort, each of their yachts gives a new meaning to the concept of 'custom-built'. No two yachts from Heesen are alike. The Director of Sales worldwide is Thomas Conboy, who brings with him over 25 years of yachting and boat building experience. In conjunction with Heesen's commercial director, Jan Gremman, they form a dynamic-duo that has made Heesen a recognized name in worldwide markets.
  7. Dimensional decks and wave-like curves blend together in a symphony of steel and alloy, further sculpted by accents of black inlays between windows for a racy, yet mysterious effect. As if the terms megayacht, superyacht and gigayacht weren't enough... along comes Heesen with their performance yachts.
  8. Up on the foredeck, the Sunday boardroom is recessed on Yalla's foredeck. This wind guarded, sky-open, sun bathing circle with padded lounges provides security from prying eyes and is the perfect place to be alone or get a Rio-tan.
  9. Leaving a path of white water in her wake, Yalla's tri-deck layout offers a balcony view to each level below. With the transom door deployed, she becomes a quad level aft deck!
  10. What might be best described as an outdoor stateroom, Yalla bathes her guests four at a time on spanning sun pads. Guests can choose to lay in the sun on the aft lounges, find protected seating just forward under Yalla's enormous hardtop, or, rest against the aft railing... a handy place to watch the water sports that are sure to be a feature.
  11. Yalla's full transom hatch folds out from the stern and doubles as an extended swim platform, complete with a privacy drape displaying her name. Behind this curtain are a 15’9” x 5’3” tender garage with two tracks. They are home to 22’ and 16’ tenders, plus a brace of PWCs, jet-skis, and numerous water toys.
  12. The flybridge sports a hardtop that provides more shade than a Redwood Oak tree! This top extends the full of run of the flybridge deck, leaving just enough sun for worshippers on the aft lounges.
  13. Long, sturdy teak decks – on all her outdoor decks – invite guest to move about and explore. A fine dining experience awaits on the covered aft deck, with plenty of wicker chairs and padded sun couches for relaxation as well. This deck, located on the skylounge level has exterior stairs to the flybridge and main decks that provide quick access for guests and crew alike.
  14. Big yacht... little wheel! Yalla’s nerve center, the helm, spans the full beam of her wheelhouse deck, with a state of the art panoply of plotting and charting equipment. Radar and navigation screens are spread before the helm, plus alarms for all systems on the yacht. Furuno radar and navtex, plus Transas and Brooks-Gatehouse wind indicators and Plath Gyros supplement the radio and weatherfax displays. There are chart tables and planning desks, as well as an onlookers’ settee for the passengers who want a part in all this. All plans and nav decisions are made here. Also on the wheelhouse deck are the captain’s cabin, owner’s suite, and a day head.
  15. The view from the top – high up in the skylounge – offers not only spectacular views and natural light, but recreation and relaxation as well. Deep cushioned easy chairs and couches encourage conversation and board games, while a flat panel television screen keeps guests entertained and informed. Notice the sculpted columns that give rise to the headliner above. "Art" is literally presented as function by the craftsmen of Holland.
  16. Situated amidships to serve all decks, the open stairway winds top to bottom. Notice especially the elegant pattern of the banisters, shaped and leveled for adults and children as well. Stainless piping traces the outline of banisters and ledges in a fanciful design motif.
  17. Modern, curve-backed upholstered chairs plus flat-backed facing chairs surround the elegant maple dining table. Maple cabinetry in soft matte finish guards the copious sets of china and tableware for both casual and formal dining. The fully stocked galley and pantry are close at hand, convenient to dining areas and traffic patterns.
  18. Looking forward over the salon... Yalla’s entertainment gatherings occur in the main deck’s spacious salon, just inside the ship’s central entrance and lobby atrium. Decorated with ultimate care and taste, its numerous couches and easy chairs feature the soft beige theme with bright orange accents, as well as full carpeting. Roman blinds cover the large windows. A TV room provides for screened entertainment.
  19. Nestled along a hallway, this cubbyhole couch is not only an attractive design element, but a comfortable getaway or daybed. Very cool!
  20. A sumptuous layout for the owner’s suite includes a king-size walk-around berth done in soft beige and earthy brown tones. Modern design, almost minimalist in form, features smooth rounded corners against the juxtaposition of soft and crisp areas. The flower-shaped bed lamp adds a quizzical flair. A table with chairs is handy for business conferences or board games.
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