Follow our flagship on our maiden voyage from Oss to Harlingen
At Heesen, there is no ‘try’, only ‘do’.
After four years of construction, Heesen’s 80-metre all-aluminium Project Cosmos, now known as MY Galactica, left her shed in Oss last Friday and began her maiden voyage through the Dutch canals and rivers in perfect weather conditions. No Heesen has ever been so celebrated when leaving our shipyard.
Passing through the tight lock in Macharen on Saturday, with only 15 cm of clearance on each side, we had to wait for a calm day with no wind. Locks are not the only gateways we have to go through. We must also pass under many bridges, where clearance is particularly tight. Beforehand, we perform physical measurements. These are paramount, especially now that the river waters are higher than usual.
We did this at the Hedelse Spoorbrug near ‘s-Hertogenbosch and in Heusden at the Heusdensebrug. To perform these precise measurements, we gently pull the boat under the bridge to the exact point we must measure. We install a measuring device at the front of the sundeck, with the same height or dimensions of the highest point of the yacht. Afterwards, we determine our real time tolerances with a laser beam to the bridge, to ensure we pass underneath in the right amount of time. We are used to taking our boats to the North Sea via canals and rivers – we’ve been doing so for the past 40+ years. This is standard procedure with luxury yachts of this size when dealing with inland cruising. Waiting for the tide to fall is just ‘business as usual’. Galactica passed Heusden with 12 cm clearance.
We have been touched by the number of people who gathered on the riverbanks and on the bridges applauding when she passed by, and the crowd that gathered to welcome her in Harlingen.
The voyage from Oss to the North Sea is business as usual for us, but what we realised when we saw so many who had gathered to watch is that the transport of Galactica is, in fact, something extraordinary. It is truly spectacular to see an 80m superyacht glide through the country, pulled and pushed by expert tugboats, passing through narrow locks and under six bridges with tiny clearances.
A voyage like this takes 3-4 months of preparation, with many permits and certificates required. We worked closely with Koninklijke van der Wees Transport and Van Woerkom, Nobels & Ten Veen Marine Surveyors. In addition to Galactica’s crew, two Heesen project coordinators, our entire naval architecture department, a captain and crew for every pull or tugboat, and a project leader and traffic controller from Van der Wees are crucial for it all to work. Our shipbuilding production and mechanical production departments created custom-fit tools, such as upholstered cradles to protect the hull in the narrow passages of the locks. Several colleagues across all departments volunteered to assist us during these passages as a “fender team”. We are grateful to every single person who made this possible.
Holland is known as the “Yacht Valley” – we build to the highest standard in the world and have access here to an incredible network of professionals in the marine business.
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And check out our website https://www.heesenyachts.com/
A Dutch shipyard dedicated to pushing the boundaries in design, engineering and construction, Heesen is a company that continues to evolve. Since the time its founding father Frans Heesen acquired the business in 1978, it has been building superyachts in aluminium and steel that offer speed, style and fuel-efficient cruising. Its award-winning vessels continue to match the owner’s exacting demands, and its unrelenting focus on quality, craftsmanship and innovation has created one of the world’s most impressive shipbuilding legacies.
We look for talented people to join our team. Would you like to work with us? Check out the vacancies at https://werkenbij.heesenyachts.com/
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