Over the past seven months, Royal Huisman has been working on the 59.7-metre superyacht Project 404 at its shipyard in Vollenhove, the Netherlands. Construction has now entered the next phase with the turning of the hull.

Project 404, aka MM597, was designed by Malcolm McKeon Yacht Design and built by Royal Huisman’s craftsmen. The French company Studio Liaigre has created the interior, which is currently under construction at the shipyard’s joinery hall.

At the request of its owners, Royal Huisman has kept the design a closely guarded secret. However, the first airing of the Alustar aluminium hull has revealed some of its features, such as a reversed bow and sleek hull lines. To facilitate the yacht’s high-performance characteristics, Project 404 will have a lift keel, retractable propulsion, and twin carbon rudders.

The deckhouse will be made from carbon composite, as will the cockpit coamings and main sheet arch. These are all currently under construction “next door”, at the shipyard’s sister company Rondal.

A large transom opening will give access to an expansive beach club. The ship will have boarding platforms giving access from both sides of the yacht, and storage for watersports equipment. The assortment of cutouts in the deck will soon be a flush surface. Practically unnoticed will be the large main tender hatch; an opening for sail storage on the underdeck reels, lockers for Rondal’s carbon electric winches, and space for state of a the art deck equipment.

Building in Covid-19 times

‘The hull turning at Royal Huisman this week signifies a pivotal stage in her build and that this construction has remained on schedule, despite the worldwide pandemic, is testament to the yard’s strategic, meticulous approach and the incredible dedication of the entire team,’ says Malcolm McKeon.

Picture by the yacht’s owners.

Royal Huisman’s CEO Jan Timmerman is pragmatic about ‘building in Covid-19 times’: ‘We always aim to offer our clients the experience of being involved with the build: visiting the shipyard facility, viewing the work in progress, getting a feel of what the yacht will be like – possibly even in combination with a 1:1 mock-up of key areas. The past months were “different”, but we managed to accommodate client involvement, all the same.’

Images of the full design of this “no-compromise” performance sloop remain under embargo at this moment, but more updates can be expected towards its delivery in 2022.

Main specifications of Royal Huisman Project 404 / MM597

  • Type: High-performance sloop with retractable propulsion
  • Length overall: 59.7m / 196ft
  • Accommodation: 12 guests and 10 crew
  • Owners’ representative: Gregory Monks
  • Naval architecture: Malcolm McKeon Yacht Design
  • Interior design: Studio Liaigre
  • Builder: Royal Huisman
  • Hull material: Alustar aluminium
  • Superstructure: Carbon composite
  • Classification: Lloyd’s Register, MCA
  • Year of delivery: 2022

Picture (top) by Royal Huisman.