The lightweight construction of the 47m performance cruiser, Royal Huisman’s project 405 aka Reichel / Pugh – Nauta 154, employs the shipyard’s new “Featherlight” method which combines the best of both worlds: performance and comfort.
The turning of the modern performance hull at Royal Huisman’s newbuild facilities is an important milestone in the build process. It marks the start of the outfitting, during which various carefully selected and especially developed components will be fitted to ensure that this vessel will be both extremely lightweight and – compared to existing carbon composite superyachts – very competitive in regattas.
At the same time, this radical new concept will offer all the benefits associated with existing Royal Huisman yachts: comfort, low noise levels, and optimal world cruising characteristics. All good news to the owners, who are looking forward to exploring the world in their new yacht and also anticipate participating in various regattas.
The modern and powerful hull shape, with its straight bow, wide transom, and twin rudders, capably embodies the naval architecture and hydrodynamic design by Reichel / Pugh Yacht Design, who have an impressive reputation for creating high-performance designs.
The hull of RP-Nauta 154 is a high-grade mix of aluminum and carbon composite, utilizing a semi-automated parametric structural optimization process. During sixteen iterations that are part of the shipyard’s new “Featherlight” method, the structural weight is reduced with an admirable 11% compared to conventional methods, whilst maintaining stiffness of the hull and ensuring structural integrity.
“I started thinking that an aluminium hull weighs 60-70% more than a carbon boat, but the weight of the hull and deck is only about 15% of the total weight of a sailing yacht,” says Mario Pedol, co-founder of Nauta Design in Milan, Italy. “Our early intuition was that an aluminium construction sailing yacht could be much lighter than the existing aluminium fleet. Royal Huisman supported this vision with enthusiasm and accepted the challenging target of building a light displacement yacht. Extensive research work and calculations, confirmed our initial thought.”
The trunk for the retractable keel, the deckhouse, guest cockpit and hardtop will all be carbon composite, and are currently being manufactured “next door”, at Rondal. The shipyard’s sister company is skillfully bringing to life, the intriguing shapes envisaged by Nauta Design, who are responsible for the yacht’s general concept, exterior and – delightful – interior design.
In addition, Rondal and its partners are working on optimizing the yacht’s performance by applying various innovations to the yacht’s integrated sail handling system, such as carbon electric captive winches, and the state-of-the-art Panamax carbon rig. The latter was developed with structured luff sails in mind from the outset: reducing the load on the hardware means that the rig can be significantly lighter, as well. This will be the first large newbuild yacht to launch with a configuration based on this method of rig design and engineering. The jib’s sail area will be maximized, introducing newly designed, curved spreaders, which will have a significantly slimmer profile design: aesthetically pleasing and decreased windage.
Owners’ representative Nigel Ingram of MCM Newport says: “We are very happy with the good progress and excellent build quality. For me, personally, and MCM, it is great to be back for a new build at the shipyard in Vollenhove. I’m impressed by the creativity, attention to detail and innovative solutions that the shipyard and Rondal have applied in all areas of the yacht, particularly in many of the onboard and sailing systems. Lightweight aluminum construction has rarely been so carefully and successfully pursued in a large performance cruiser.”
RP-Nauta 154 will be delivered to her owners in 2022. More updates can be expected in the next months.