Is this the most chartered superyacht in the world?


As preparations for the winter superyacht charter season are in full swing, the big question for owners is: which yacht to choose? With an exceptional selection of rental vessels on display at the Monaco Yacht Show 2021, one of them particularly caught the attention of potential guests. Moskito, built by Heesen Yachts, is the latest addition to the famous 55m steel category from the Dutch shipyard. Speculation yacht elevates the series with bold but chic interiors from the British company Bannenberg & Rowel and an improved internal architecture that maximizes group living and strengthens the connection to the sea.

From the outside, her contemporary yet sporty exterior lines, from Omega Architects’ Frank Laupman, are instantly captivating – at sea, her sleek hull easily cuts waves to create a smooth ride for guests in all weather conditions. Inside, it’s inviting yet stylish, with generous amenities including an opulent spa and beach club, and heavy use of glass. It’s no surprise that Arthur Brouwer, CEO of Heesen, calls Moskito “a fine example of Heesen’s DNA”.

At 55m, the Moskito is not the largest yacht in the rental market, but it certainly has wide appeal. From its contemporary color palette – think sycamore, eucalyptus, and smoked oak with herringbone floors – to the attention to detail in owner and guest suites, it has many features that make it a great one. great option for all tastes and backgrounds.

As she hits the rental market for 350,000 € / week, Dickie Bannenberg and Simon Rowell of Bannenberg & Rowell Design, talk to Forbes about their favorite design elements and explain why Moskito could be the friendliest superyacht in the world.

Out of the 12 projects you worked on for Heesen, how is this particular project unique?

Bannenberg: This is the fifth that we did in the Heesen 55m series. This is one of a pair that was built to spec. They were codenamed Castor and Pollux – the twins. Heesen surprisingly gives us free rein to imagine an interior. Heesen is the customer – there is no one here at this point – so we have to distinguish between doing something large enough to appeal to the widest possible market, but also avoiding being safe and flat.

The owners – who bought this boat last October when it was about 95% complete – wonderfully and miraculously said “we love everything, leave it as is”. On top of that, they asked us to choose some artwork for them, so we curated a collection mostly made up of young British artists. It was very nice, as design control fanatics, to be able to organize this because we don’t always get the chance to deliver something complete.

Rowell: It was a very smooth process. The only challenge was to organize world events and bring products bought from all over the world into Europe. It was a bit of a challenge, but it went really well in the long run.

How has the design evolved from previous yachts in the series?

Rowell: I think one of the advantages of this being is the fifth evolution of the series, is that the spaces have been optimized. Windows are improved, spaces are improved, technical areas are tightened, and the guests and the owner benefit. So that’s really the advantage of an evolutionary series.

One of the big features we involved in both of these projects was a lot more glass, much bigger windows, and more of the look and feel of real space and space – we wanted to make sure that was the key to design. So it has an open plan, more metropolitan feel than a lot of yachts, with not too much visual disturbance. We really want to maximize this, especially in the owner’s suite which has lovely long, partition-free windows. When you get on board, you get the impression that this is really a pretty big yacht. There is a lot of space to breathe. Everything in terms of architecture is based on this.

What are your favorite architectural elements?

Rowell: We created this kind of rippling architecture, so we don’t fight too much with windows, but we also define rooms in a little more subliminal way than using walls. If there is a piece of equipment, we tried to carve around that and get big spaces and practical functionality – there’s even a small bar area tucked away in one of the chests.

The other element of the architecture, from an interior point of view, the thresholds have lowered compared to previous yachts. We wanted to improve that – you’ll see a lot of vertical themes on the shades and create the impression of even taller windows, including low-key lighting so you have a great vibe at night.

How would you describe the interior styling?

Bannenberg: I’ve always thought this interior works great at both ends of the spectrum. It’s fine for sitting in shorts, but it also works well for smarter events. I think it’s just very livable. It’s smart, but it doesn’t make you sit on the edge of the sofa to feel too formal.

Rowell: I think the incoming owner probably liked it. It’s not a big, old-fashioned, shiny yacht interior. Even some contemporary yachts can become quite untouchable and look like museums, but I think it looks like an open plan residence. He needs to be approachable, but he always dresses very smart and tailored when he needs to show up.

What makes Moskito so charter friendly?

Rowell: She already looks very catalog compatible because her palate is quite photogenic, so she is very salable. Plus, charters are quite often user-friendly – quite often it’s a group that gets on board and these spaces are great for groups. There is a large sky lounge and large open rooms for entertainment. And the cabins are great. One of my favorite pieces is the guest bathroom. We spent ages designing them. Some of our competitors will just create a lean version of what’s in the master cabin, but we’ve designed each one to feel really special. You want your guests to feel like this is a luxury experience.

How has the charter market responded so far?

Bannenberg: It’s been very busy already. I was talking to the first officer the other day and they had Chinese guests, they had Americans, Russians, Ukrainians – it was pretty international.

Rowell: It must be the most chartered yacht in the world.

What are the principles of Bannenberg & Rowell Design and how did you integrate them into this construction?

Rowell: We create yachts that have an identity and a bit of soul. We also try to make sure that there is no wasted opportunity. When you spend 40 or 100 million euros, there should be no wasted opportunities. It’s nice for us but it’s a discipline. You will never hear us say “that’s fine” or “that’s enough”.

Bannenberg: Our ideal of “total design” extends from the creation of a graphic identity for the boat to the selection of stationery. Sometimes we even got involved in the design of uniforms. It’s all about attention to detail. We have a famous thing in the office that dates back to my dad’s time called the “snail tongs” list. It’s basically a calendar of all the indoor things we need to get hold of, right down to china and glass. This is called the snail tongs list because years ago my dad designed and delivered the boat to the owner and the very first meal they had on board was snails, and the only thing he failed to provide were snail tongs.

Do you prefer to work on speculative yachts like Moskito or fully custom yachts?

Rowell: I really like a mix. What we are doing here with Heesen is very efficient, but we are still fighting because they are under pressure to keep costs under control and they are exposed every step of the way until it is sold. So, it’s not that it’s a nice cozy arrangement, but it’s really nice to have some of your work that is less volatile and more familiar territory, in a good way, not in a complacent way.

You worked on a series of yachts of different sizes for Heesen. Why is the 55m so popular right now?

Rowell: We’ve seen a gradual increase in height. The very first project we participated in in Heesen was 37m – they no longer offer 37m. We then went on a 47m, then a 50m then a 55m. From a yachting market perspective, we saw an increase in size, so we were part of that trip. This particular segment of 50-55m yachts is very competitive and is located in the territory of large yachts, but Moskito is very accessible. When you work on projects of this scale, you are always on a human scale. You think, how would I live on this yacht? When you get bigger boats it’s very exciting and you can do all kinds of things, but sometimes you have to deal with a part that has been made huge because it can be huge so you are still working against things. like a room being too large for its ceiling lights. It’s a whole different set of challenges to try to bring that back into a human environment.

Moskito will be available for hire from €350,000 per week via International yacht collection. Shewill be in the Mediterranean in summer and in the Caribbean in winter.


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