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LUSINE - from concept to delivery.

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Richard Walker, from Burgess New Construction, talks us through the 60.6m (198.8ft) Heesen LUSINE, a five-year custom yacht build, and explains why our full-service, in-house team earns 'Don't go anywhere else' referrals

Lead image: Ruben Griffioen

Richard Walker, Burgess New Construction
Richard Walker, Burgess New Construction

Congratulations on delivering LUSINE!

Thank you! It was a great project. Construction, outfitting and commissioning were all completed to a tough schedule and we delivered the yacht a couple of weeks ago. The end of a project is always an interesting time for us as it marks the end of huge effort from the new-build team and the start of the yacht's operational use – and ultimately the owner’s enjoyment of her.

 

Richard is a marine electrical engineer with over 20 years’ experience in the design, installation and operation of industrial and marine electrical systems. He joined Burgess in 2011 after five years overseeing the electrical systems of major construction projects for Arup. Prior to this he worked as Chief Engineer on several prestigious private yachts during build, refit and operational periods.

What was your role?

I led the Burgess New Construction (BNC) team, managing the project from initial pre-contract discussions through design, construction and commissioning to sea trials and delivery. We act as the owner’s project manager, leading our team of technical consultants, managing third-party specialists and advising the owner’s team on all marine, technical and scheduling aspects of the project.

LUSINE carves up the North Sea during sea trials
LUSINE carves up the North Sea during sea trials Image - Dick Holthuis

Rigorous sea trials make sure the yacht performs to or above expectations on a whole range of metrics
Rigorous sea trials make sure the yacht performs to or above expectations on a whole range of metrics Image -Dick Holthuis

We worked closely with the owner in the pre-contract phase before deciding on Heesen as the shipyard and Sinot Exclusive Yacht Design for the interior design. As with any project, close collaboration and a good working relationship  deliver the best results. An important part of our role is making sure the team is pulling in the same direction and always with the owner's interests paramount.

How did it go?

There are always challenges because every project is unique. This yacht is built on a new Heesen platform but it's also a custom yacht designed around the owner’s vision and specific requirements, adding a helideck for instance. We had to meet the owner's exceptionally high and exacting standards to deliver the yacht to schedule while managing the impact of COVID on a major construction project.

LUSINE being out through her paces in the North Sea
LUSINE being out through her paces in the North Sea Image - Dick Holthuis

What difference does BNC make to an owner?

We're the largest, most experienced team in the business and our job is to ensure the owner gets the yacht they want – not only in terms of the things you can see, touch and feel but also the hidden aspects such as reliability, redundancy, noise, vibration, safety - the list is endless.
 

This project is a case in point because it's a repeat client, and we were initially introduced because of a personal recommendation from another BNC client, the advice was 'Don't go anywhere else.' That was very nice to hear.

We took a clear brief from the owner and their team to make sure that their requirements were fully understood and translated into technical language in the build specification.

We then applied the specific experience and all-round expertise in Burgess to develop the specification with the shipyard and designers before contract signing. This means we can mitigate the design, technical and commercial risks that, from experience, we know exist.

After contract signature it's a case of scrutinising what's being built, that it's in accordance with the specification and best practices. Sometimes our job is to push the shipyard to come up with different solutions and change their practices a little bit. It's always challenging but that's part of the role of the owner's project manager and representatives, to get the best result for the owner.

Is there a benefit of working with a full-service company like Burgess?

In a word, simplicity. Having 360-degree in-house expertise means we can consider all aspects of the yacht and its operation at the concept and design stages.
 

If the yacht is going to charter, we get input from the best charter managers running the most prestigious fleet in the business. If cashflow and budgets are key we can develop forecasts with our Yacht Management team, which runs the largest operational fleet in the industry.

We draw down on our technical expertise and feedback from the operational fleet to make sure the yacht is technically excellent, operationally friendly, has good crew circulation, service areas for the guests, sufficient stores.

In short, we build a better yacht.

Towards the end of a build, time is critical and having in-house teams for new construction, operation, crew and insurance brings a streamlined efficiency that other organisations just don't have. It removes a problem for the owner because we can handle all aspects of the project seamlessly, the owner doesn't have to go elsewhere.
 

We will have a unique and detailed insight into the vessel from the first indicative drawing of the profile of yacht by the designer, to the first weld bead used in the construction of the vessel through to the commissioning and acceptance of the vessel.

Having Burgess Yacht Management involved post delivery also gives us that continuity. We understand what's going on, how it's developing, what new technologies have been brought in – we just have a deeper relationship with the yacht and all of this information is held within Burgess. Then if the owner invites us to sell her later on, we know the yacht inside and out.

How big is the build team?

LUSINE has been a five-year project from contract signing to delivery. For Burgess, Sean (Bianchi) was involved at the contract signing and all the way through at a high level. Then there's myself, Helena (O'Donoghue) and Jake (Reid) who have been running the project's technical side the whole way through. We also had an onsite inspector supervising the day-to-day construction.

LUSINE on her way to sea trials
LUSINE on her way to sea trials Image - Dick Holthuis

This owner had a very strong commercial team overseeing the project with us. As well as the owner's team and Burgess, we appointed Dölker + Voges, who we know well, as the interior design reviewer working directly with the owner's team.

There's quite a big external team, most of whom we brought in and were directly managed by us, but there were a couple reporting directly to the owner. A technology company worked on entertainment systems and one of the owner's former captains was involved in operational systems. The owner's interior designer worked with Sinot, there was a paint consultant, a helideck consultant and an acoustic consultant.

She cruised through and has now been handed over to the new owners
She cruised through and has now been handed over to the new owners Image - Tom Van Oossanen

Building a yacht is always a huge undertaking, whether it's a 60m or a 160m, they're all very complex projects, all unique, all custom. The design team is very large because there are so many decisions to be made and specific details to get right.

Here is a list of yachts recently delivered to owners by the Burgess New Construction team in collaboration with a host of shipyards, designers, consultants and advisors. If you want to know more about the difference we could make, please get in touch.

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