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Superyacht Builds on the Rise

DATE POSTED:June 25, 2019
Delivery is scheduled this summer for the first Amels 220, <em>Aurora Borealis</em>, previously known as Project Waka.
Delivery is scheduled this summer for the first Amels 220, Aurora Borealis, previously known as Project Waka. (Tom Van Oossanen/)

Just about every announcement from top yachtbuilders in Europe these days is heralding ­something that’s never been done or built or tried.

At Amels in the Netherlands, Aurora Borealis, the yard's first 220, has completed a technical launch and is on track for delivery this summer. The Tim Heywood design evolved from the Amels 212, with a swim platform and beach club that, at more than 7,000 combined square feet, aim to leave all ­others on the superyacht scene appearing to be, somehow, small.

Meanwhile, also in the Netherlands, Heesen Yachts is on schedule for a January 2021 delivery of the first newly designed hull in its 5000 aluminum class. Project Aquamarine promises an efficiency gain of 12 percent with MTU's 16V 4000 M65L "green" engines, which Heesen says will make this yacht the first fast-cruising design below 500 gross tons to be IMO Tier III compliant.

Also making news is Benetti Yachts in Italy, which just delivered the 226-foot Spectre with a slew of tech-forward features. According to the shipyard, Spectre's Hi Speed Cruising Hull by Dutch firm Mulder Design delivers a top speed just over 21 knots, 30 percent greater than similar-size yachts with traditional displacement hulls.

And even larger than Spectre is Project Zoza, a 344-footer that recently launched at Benetti after being built to comply with the Passenger Yacht Code. The diesel-electric propulsion system, according to Burgess Technical Services, which handled the project, has enough "spare electricity" to charge 35 tons of batteries that can silently operate the yacht for 12 hours without an engine running.

What will they think of next?