The sleek exterior of Heesen’s 65m Fast Displacement (FDHF) superyacht concept, although beautifully designed, appears at first sight to be nothing remarkable. With traditional naval architecture and a familiar deck structure, it seems to be a case of good taste rather than radical styling. Only when anchored does the Heesen morph into something more pioneering. At the touch of a button its stern unfolds to create a horizontal 22 square meter deck flush with the interior. Added to this, a vast panel in the wall of one side of the hull also descends to form a 10 square meter balcony. Together, this transforms the interior at the stern into a duplex “beach club” that is home to a sauna, hammam, shower room and bar, all just steps from the sea. With a glass bottomed swimming pool hovering above on the main deck, light refracts through the water and into the unique space that is a hybrid of inside-outside.

While the Heesen is a concept that does not yet exist (it awaits a commission from a wealthy owner), the trend for fold-down balconies and beach clubs is revolutionizing the next generation of yachts. On vessels from 100 feet long and up, folding walls are almost standard in both living areas and master staterooms. Big Fish by McMullen & Wing is typical of the new breed of superyacht. Launched in 2010, it features not only folding balconies off the main deck but also “wings” at its stern which pivot to create a wrap round deck along the stern of the vessel.

And there are more folds to come. In the Paradigm 180 concept yacht by Pama Architetti Design, almost the entire length of the wall on the main deck folds along both port and starboard, removing any obstruction to the view. Like on the extraordinary WHY yacht from Wally, it becomes an unusually long terrace that integrates the indoor and outdoor. Less of a boat and more of a floating house (and garden), it is typical of the future of yacht design.

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Big Fish is available to charter.

Pama Architetti Design

Heesen Yachts