February 10th 2014. By Diane Byrne.

Heesen Yacht Megayacht Galactica Star: Speed Matters

This 200-plus-foot Heesen yacht hits nearly 30 knots, and does so while burning 20 percent less fuel than comparable yachts.

Heesen Yachts has staked its reputation on building fast, lightweight yachts for clients worldwide. Typically, higher speeds go hand in hand with far higher fuel burn. But Heesen’s most recent delivery, Galactica Star, proves that the concepts of speed and efficiency can actually co-exist. The 213-footer, Heesen’s largest delivery so far, is the first yacht anywhere to employ what’s called a Fast Displacement Hull Form (FDHF). It has better seakeeping abilities and fuel burn than the more traditional hull designs of most other megayachts. And, it’s packaged with a profile and interior design that are meant to get your attention.

Heesen Yacht

The naval-architecture firm Van Oossanen & Associates created the FDHF. It blends the best attributes of a traditional displacement hull with those of a semi-displacement hull: low resistance and higher performance. It’s also efficient throughout the full speed range. Galactica Star has a reported top end exceeding 28 knots, burning 20 percent less fuel than comparable yachts.

galactica star

The FDHF can be adapted for a variety of sizes and styles, fitted with a bulbous bow here on Galactica Star. And, the emphasis on good fuel efficiency still applies to the more leisurely speeds that megayachts use for long range. At 14 knots, Galactica Star can enjoy a reported 4,200-mile range.

Heesen megayacht

As much as the FDHF impressed the buyer of Galactica Star (the project started on spec), so, too, did the yacht’s amenities. The owner has her host a variety of toys, including this retro-style J Class speedboat. Aptly named Meteore, she’s used as the primary guest tender.


yacht heesen

Among the most appealing amenities aboard the yacht: the aft-deck pool and transformative beach club. The beach club is a permanent area, with fold-down bulwarks to each side and a fold-down transom that maximize usable space.

galactic star megayacht

Here’s a look inside the beach club aboard Galactica Star. The bar and furnishings inside the air-conditioned room are always at the ready. (Many beach clubs are formed when tenders are offloaded and the crew then set up settees and the like.) Note the blue-tone skylight, too. It’s actually the bottom of the pool on the main deck.

galley in galactic star

The owner enjoys entertaining as much as being entertained, especially when it comes to food. That’s why the galley is anything but a crew-only workspace. It’s designed much like a showcase chef’s kitchen in a high-end restaurant. The owner’s guests as well as charter guests enjoy sitting down and chatting with the chef.

artwork in heesen

Artwork is as important to the atmosphere aboard the yacht as the woods and stones used for walls and floors. The vibe here in the skylounge is fun and relaxed. It’s enhanced by the fact that the doors out to the aft deck space can be left open. That makes the skylounge a 754-square-foot indoor-outdoor area.

heesen yachts

Places like the central stairway and foyer aboard Galactica Star really showcase Bannenberg & Rowell’s mix of Macassar ebony, spruce, metal, leather, and marble. As much as guests tend to spend most of their time outside aboard yachts, visual feasts like this make the hours spent indoors more pleasurable.

cabin in heesen yachts

In keeping with common practice these days, the master stateroom on this 213-footer is fully forward on the main deck. What is surprising, however, is that there are no fold-down or even fixed balconies to either side. Those have become practically as important as engines. But, Galactica Star does have a good deal of alfresco space already, so it didn’t seem to concern her owner.

galactica star

A Very Important Person is treated to the VIP suite on the upper deck of the yacht. It boasts a bit more room than the four additional guest staterooms that are below decks. The intimate lounge area is ideal for enjoying morning coffee, or the view out the windows.

The all-aluminum Galactica Star is as much a bridge to Heesen Yachts’ recent past as it is to its future. The yacht is decidedly performance-oriented, achieving speeds that few others in her size range can hit. She’s also a reflection of her owner’s tastes and lifestyle. By employing the Full Displacement Hull Form, though, Galactica Star paves a new path for Heesen. It can now offer clients a design that saves them fuel (and money), and makes their floating pastime all the more enjoyable. Already, it’s paying off. Heesen signed a contract for a 230-footer to employ the FDHF, and other clients are considering it, too.

LOA: 213’3″ * Beam: 37’4″ * Draft: 10’0″ * Displacement: 550 Tons * Fuel Capacity: 23,778 gallons

For more information, visit Heesen Yachts.

Diane Byrne

Diane M. Byrne is the founder and editor of the daily updated website Megayacht News. A longtime yachting writer, she also contributes to Yachts International, Boat Exclusive, and other magazines. She is additionally a member of the International Superyacht Society Board of Directors and Vice Chair of the U.S. Superyacht Association.