Her design alone took a year to complete. Her build took a further four. But the 81m schooner, Sea Eagle, splashed by Royal Huisman in 2020, was worth the wait. Having clocked up an astonishing 45,000 nm since she first set sail, she is one of the 10 largest sailing yachts in the world and the largest aluminium-built one overall. (Here all our posts about Royal Huisman)
Best Naval Architecture
Winner of the “Best Naval Architecture” category at the Design & Innovation Awards 2021, Sea Eagle was commissioned by an owner with a very clear vision honed over years aboard her predecessor, the 43m sloop, Sea Eagle, penned by Germán Frers and Rhoades Young Design.
Sea Eagle, by Dykstra Naval Architects e Mark Whiteley
He wanted a practical, powerful, safe yet easy to manage craft, a brief used by Dykstra Naval Architects and Mark Whiteley Design used as their springboard for their design.
Sea Eagle is clothed in glorious waterlines topped by a powerful Panamax rig spanning three masts, the tallest of which towers 61m over her deck. She spreads 2,580 sqm of sail upwind and 3552 sqm downwind.
According to Erik Wassen of Dykstra Naval Architects, this combination of sleek waterlines and that edgy rig deliver “huge stiffness under sail, improved stability and thus onboard comfort. The sail plan is easy to adapt to changing weather too”.
All the big names in the sector chipped in with the Dykstra team on the rig: Rondal supplied the 34 winches and furlers for the electro-hydraulic sail system, Carbo-Link the carbon rig and Doyle Sails the sails. The result? Sea Eagle confidently delivered 21.5 knots in moderate winds in her sea trials.
Sea Eagle: powerhouse of technology
The 81, schooner is a powerhouse of technology and technical solutions, all of which complement her sleek profile, axe bow, almost vertical transom and long superstructure which includes a deckhouse topped by the fly. Mark Whiteley of Mark Whiteley Design told us that the long strip of glazing on the deckhouse perfectly encapsulates Sea Eagle’s seductive charm.
“As the design developed, we honed in on a faceted feature which helps give Sea Eagle her distinctive modern signature, lightens the and softens all the various elements making up this volume,” he says. “The overall effect gives the superstructure ‘a curved tension’ that draws the eye from bow to stern”.
Sea Eagle’s proportions and low profile are also the result of the owner’s brief. “He wanted to have a continuous floor from the exterior dining space, right through the large main saloon to the forward dining saloon, with no steps. Thanks to the expansive glazing the latter also has direct contact with the natural environment,” concludes Whiteley.
The lower deck is given over to accommodation with a master suite joined by a further six double guest staterooms, one of which can convert to a gym. The décor here centres around a white colour scheme paired with pale woods. The furnishings are simple very much in line with the owner’s request for a functional, reliable, frill-free yacht.
Sea Eagle was designed and built to explore the world’s seas. Most importantly, she is the work of a yard that, as Royal Huisman’s own CEO Jean Timmerman, explains, is now building Project 410, an 85m that will soon be crowned the world’s largest sloop. “But we also some truly breath-taking concepts,” he continues. “Like the 85m APEX 850 and the innovative 100m ketch, WING100, that are attracting a lot of interest. All they need now is a visionary owner to turn these revolutionary sailing yachts into reality”.