Huisfit operates on Ethereal’s nerve system with surgical precision


Huisfit operates on Ethereal’s nerve system with surgical precision

In the past 12 months, several Royal Huisman yachts travelled to Royal Huisman’s facilities in Amsterdam for support and assistance. Various ‘non-Royal Huisman’ yachts have also found a safe haven at the shipyard, taking advantage of the perfect opportunity to look after their yachts and prepare for the fast-approaching post-Covid-season. One of the thoroughbreds currently in Amsterdam is Ethereal, the world’s first hybrid superyacht, which was launched by the shipyard in 2008.

Ethereal’s captain tells us all about the upgrade of the yacht’s electrical nerve system, and why Ethereal returned to Royal Huisman to be ready for next summer:

“I’ve been looking forward to coming to Royal Huisman shipyard for Huisfit quite a while now. I was fortunate enough as a young captain to be the master on the racing yacht Matador. She was an innovative design by Germán Frers and originally built by Royal Huisman, as Huaso, in 1983. A cruiser racer, with a removable interior that could be switched from racing to cruising in a cassette way, Matador competed in major maxi regattas around the world. Over time, as the competition became more intense, the need for modifications to reduce weight and increase speed became apparent.  So to lighten the yacht, the beautiful interior was completely removed. When the late Wolter Huisman, while visiting Matador in 1988, saw the stripped shell of the interior he smilingly asked me not to take the boat back to Royal Huisman. He knew the shipwrights at the yard would have had a fit if they saw what had become of their craftsmanship.”

“I am here now at Royal Huisman Amsterdam for Ethereal. She is a very different animal to Matador. Ethereal is the world’s first hybrid superyacht and it is her first visit to Royal Huisman since she was commissioned in 2009. Since delivery she has sailed to remote areas of the planet, spending many seasons crisscrossing the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans and has many adventures and stories to tell.

We arrived at the shipyard in the middle of winter to a warm reception by the Huisfit team. The main works of Ethereal’s in-water-refit are the complete replacement of the programmable logic controller (PLC) systems with the latest technology. The PLCs form the redundant nerve system of the yacht which controls all onboard systems. This requires the yacht to go ‘dead ship’ whereby all of these systems are shut down for several weeks.”

“Therefore, independent safety systems were installed by the Huisfit team for bilge alarm and fire detection. Alerts for alarms were set up to send via SMS to crew and Huisfit personnel. With no propulsion or winches, the yacht is well positioned with lines and stable mooring poles to keep her secure. Taking advantage of this ‘dead ship’ time and the availability of a specialized team, a long list of additional tasks are taking place in the engine room, technical spaces, interior and on deck.

For myself and the crew, working with skilled builders – a number of which were involved in the build of Ethereal – is a wonderful experience. The management is well organized and responsive and of good service.  Our shoreside requirements have been met in a ‘one-stop-shopping fashion’. This has been important to us especially during the COVID pandemic, where all but essential services are closed in Holland.

Ethereal is benefiting greatly from this downtime spent at her makers, and in the good hands of the team  at Huisfit, as we prepare for a summer of cruising and more far flung adventures , if COVID will allow.”

Peter Grubb, captain of Ethereal

Pictured above: MATADOR – Royal Huisman’s Frers-designed maxi Huaso was originally a cruiser-racer. She really came into her own as a racing boat when acquired, optimized and campaigned as Matador, placing second in three maxi world championships.


No better time than now to get your yacht ready!

Could Huisfit at Royal Huisman’s deep water facilities in Amsterdam be the smart choice for your project, too? Huisfit warmly welcomes all enquiries. For more info please visit [click here for a link]

World’s first hybrid superyacht launched (in 2008)

As Royal Huisman innovations tend to be well ahead of the curve, it is easy to see how a 58m / 190ft milestone project named Ethereal might be overlooked just a few years later.

Several years had passed since Royal Huisman launched the ketch-rigged sailing yacht, Ethereal. Noted for her pioneering hybrid propulsion system and incorporating 500kWh of stored energy in her Li-ion battery bank, Ethereal has now logged several hundred thousand nautical miles traversing the world’s oceans propelled either by sail, or by mechanical propulsion, or via her stored energy source. Furthermore, her entire domestic load – in addition to sailing systems and anchoring functions – can source its power from this same set of Li-ion batteries, enabling true stealth mode operation.

Understandably, then, the Royal Huisman team was a little surprised by our Feadship colleagues’ claim to have launched “the world’s first hybrid superyacht”: read more at INHUIS STORIES & UPDATES [click here for a link].

More information about Ethereal can be found by folllowing the links on this website to YACHTS > DELIVERED YACHTS [click here for a link].

Various Royal Huisman innovations can be found on this website at DISCOVER followed by INNOVATIONS [click here for a link].