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PHI: the World’s Largest Motoryacht Below 500GT

Published 30th December 2020

Discover article on Royal Huisman website as below

Lifting the veil on the radical, fast displacement aluminium motoryacht (bit by bit, to respect the Owner’s request)…

Lawson Robb are excited to present an impressive new fact: Project PHI will be the world’s longest motoryacht below 500 GT.

Until now, PHI’s length was a mysterious “55m+”. With her launch coming up in 2021 it is time to reveal her actual overall length: 58.5m / 192ft, which makes her – based on today’s Classification rules – by far the longest motoryacht in the sub-500GT category.

PHI’s sleek, low hull and superstructure profile are considered by outsiders to be a great challenge to engineer and build. Rigby and Rigby are working with Royal Huisman who have delivered over thirty low-profile and unique, award winning sailing super-yachts, and is not intimidated by the prospect of fitting complex motor-yacht systems and technology into sleek, low hulls. The team has all the knowledge and experience at hand to explore, develop and optimise the ideas of the Owner, designers and architect into tailor-made solutions – using proven expertise for a brand new creation without any shipyard requirement of adapting an existing basis of previously delivered yachts.

Cor D. Rover, responsible for PHI’s general concept, exterior design & interior layout, explains the design philosophy: “Rather than just building a large yacht on a so-called shipyard ‘platform’ to enjoy the pleasures of being at sea, the Owner of PHI wanted to build a yacht with a profound underlying story, a deep-rooted knowledge that runs through all aspects of the yacht, from her exterior appearance all the way to internal experience. After a lot of internal deliberations at our studio, exploring numerous concepts, we discovered the rich and detailed story behind the symbol PHI. Evidence of this is all around us. The more you study, for example, growth sequences in nature, the more amazed you become. The perfect mathematical way that a Nautilus shell or a Sunflower grows is truly amazing. Some call it coincidence, others call it natural evolution, I, being a spiritual person, will definitely call it “Divine”.

“Although a motor-yacht of this size looks pretty large in a building hall or marina, it seems less so when you are in the middle of the ocean. With the endless galaxy above you, the vast water surface – sometimes calm and friendly, sometimes brutal and violent – around you, and beneath your feet, the little explored and mysterious sub-aquatic world, the overwhelming magnitude of nature and natural forces can make any sailor feel pretty small and humble. This formed the basis for our design philosophy. We wanted the upper deck, where the Owner has his penthouse apartment, to be closest to the skies, to follow the PHI philosophy with a focus on the galaxy. The main deck, where most daytime guest activities happen, has a more horizontal focal connection with the ocean surface, whereas the lower deck, physically rooted in the water, is strongly ‘connected’ with the underwater-world.”

“The resulting overall design speaks a very organic visual message, and will all around the deck show a range of subtle hints to the natural world that surrounds the yacht. If you should have an opportunity to visit PHI you will find that, no matter where the Owner will take you, he will have a story for you: why details look like they do, and what has been the thinking behind them.

Apart from the fact that PHI has an aesthetic story to tell, she also fulfils the Owner’s wish for a technically highly advanced vessel that sets new standards. First of all, when PHI “hits the water” in 2021, she will be the longest sub-500 GT motoryacht in the world. The Owner wanted to achieve this without compromising on the highest quality standards. As a natural and logic result, the project ended up with Royal Huisman, the best sailboat builder in the world. The more we see PHI come alive, the more I am convinced that only a sailboat builder has the know-how and ambition to execute miracles on a square inch, and Royal Huisman is the epitome of this watchmakers skill.”

“By using Van Oossanen’s XL Fast Displacement Hull Form, PHI will be extremely fuel efficient. Given the fact that there are no electric chargers between the Azores and the Caribbean, this is the best thing we can reasonably do at this moment, trying to burn as little fossil fuel as possible until the day renewables will be the reliable mainstream.”

Cor D. Rover continues: “A cool gimmick can be found in the lower deck lobby where we created an infinite wine-cellar.” What this means? You will have to exercise patience for a couple of months to see it with your own eyes…!

Guy Booth, Owner’s representative and project management comments: “From the early days, it was fairly clear that this Owners vision would take a unique combination of some extraordinary skills. The Owner knew that he wanted a deep, intelligent and thought-provoking core concept, that reflects elements of several great personal interests. We initially met with six or seven of the most pedigree yacht designers in the world. There was something about Cor [D. Rover]’s approach that resonated with the Owner, asking thousands of questions, and proposing thousands of crazy ideas. In the early days, no one had any answers for the Owner. It took Cor and his team almost a year of deliberation before they eventually proposed the idea of ‘PHI’, how it related to the Owner, and Cor’s vision of how it would translate into design. From this moment, she has always been ‘PHI’. With such a powerful vision, a demand for the absolute highest level of quality available anywhere and such difficult engineering challenges, Royal Huisman were clearly the best partner to build the boat.”