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Since their founding in 1978, Heesen Yachts have become synonymous with high-performance, luxury seafaring. Specializing in custom-built all-metal superyachts, the Netherlands shipyard has to date launched over 170 vessels, many of them winning awards for design or setting records for performance. Their latest offering, the Project Maia, looks set to uphold their deserved reputation for comfortable excellence.

Maia is a 164ft steel-hulled, full-displacement motor yacht coming in at under the 500GT threshold, and offering a measured mix of technical prowess and extreme comfort. Although the maximum rated speed of 15 knots is quite some way off previous records set by Heesen, such as the 53 knot Octopussy in 1988, the range of the vessel more than makes up for this. At a respectable cruising speed of 12 knots, the dual MTU 1,000kW engines will carry the yacht for an impressive 3,800nm, taking Maia into serious cruiser territory rather than a mere island-hopping day tripper.

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The fuel consumption is slated to be 95 L/h at 10 knots, and a rather thirstier 390 L/h at the full half-load speed. The impressive range of the vessel is delivered thanks to a fuel capacity of 15,850 US gallons, while there is also a fresh water store of 5,300 US gallons to make lengthy voyages a genuine possibility.

However, it’s in the all-aluminium superstructure design that Project Maia really impresses. The exterior was created by noted yacht designer Clifford Denn of southern France, and is clearly inspired by modern automotive aerodynamics with a hefty influence of classic car aesthetics.

The traditional Heesen pelican bow flows backwards in a series of curves which incorporate auto-like elements, such as grilles on the aft plates and overhanging ‘spoilers’ at the rear of the upper two decks. The end result is a beautifully curvaceous profile which incorporates an ample 2,700sq-ft of deck space across three levels, offering a striking design while retaining much of the instantly recognizable hallmarks of the Heeson pedigree.

Notably, much of the open deck is toward the fore of the yacht, the main feature of which is a spacious 730sq-ft sun deck spanning a length of more than 50 feet. The easily deployed tenders offer facilities for a sauna, bar, and state-of-the-art sound system to create the ultimate in luxury mobile beach clubs for the enjoyment of up to ten travelling guests.

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As for the interior, passengers can be accommodated across five staterooms, a main-deck master suite, four guest suites, three doubles and one twin room. The crew complement of ten are comfortably accommodated in five separate private cabins.

Interior furnishing was contracted to the respected Reymond Langton Design of London, previous collaborators with Heeson on the award-winning Ann G superyacht, in many ways the template that Project Maia has built on. The result is a winning combination of classic and contemporary design, providing plenty of homely luxuries for permanent elegant residence, as well as comfortable utility for charter use if desired.

Project Maia entered into outfitting at the Oss boatyard in March 2017. It will undergo months of rigorous testing in the demanding environment of the North Sea before being delivered in 2018. The price is as yet unknown (as is the final client), but as with all ground-breaking superyachts, it’s safe to say Maia is strictly aimed at those for whom money is secondary to luxury and style.