Warmest congratulations to the owners, designers and architects of the secretive high-performance sloop for multiple wins...


28 January 2024
Warmest congratulations to the owners, designers and architects of the secretive high-performance sloop for multiple wins...


…at Boat International’s Design & Innovation Awards in Kitzbühel, Austria:

  • Best Exterior Design – Sailing Yachts: Sarissa
  • Best Interior Design – Sailing Yachts: Sarissa
  • Best Naval Architecture – Sailing Yachts: Sarissa

Aside of the recognition for the design, there is obviously excitement and gratitude on the part of the build team, who turned the design into reality. In addition, the team of Royal Huisman is particularly honored by the following additional awards:

  • Eco Award: Sarissa’s board systems
  • Innovation of the Year: Sarissa’s forward facing retractable electric propulsion

Sarissa – project 404 – high-performance sloop with retractable propulsion – 59.7m / 196ft – naval architecture: Malcolm McKeon – interior design: Liaigre – owners’ representative: Gregory Monks – hull material: Alustar® aluminium – superstructure: Carbon composite – delivery by Royal Huisman: 2023 – more information about Sarissa can be found at this website > delivered yachts [link]

Comments from the report by the judges:

Outstanding Exterior Design – Sailing Yachts: “…the level of development and detail on board Sarissa, which is based on a performance cruising boat profile, won the judges over. They remarked on the ‘stunning coachroof’ perfectly sleek and integrated; the ‘very clean’ design made possible by the hidden captive winches and hardware; the ‘lovely shapes’; and the design and execution level of the exterior furniture in the very livable cockpit, which several judges said they had never seen to date on a sailing yacht. The design perfectly reflects the brief of the experienced owners who wished for a modern-looking yacht with easy water access, comfort, shade, infinite water views, a jacuzzi and a climbing wall, along with performance. From bow to stern, no detail has been overlooked.”

Best Interior Design – Sailing Yachts: “In Greek, sarissa means a long, sharp spear. Its innovation in the third century BCE facilitated Alexander the Great’s empire, thus it is synonymous with technology, speed, strength and excellence. This Sarissa is all those things in a very private family boat destined for long passages and time at anchor. The interior is relaxed, homelike, fresh in chic simplicity and intelligent in the use of space. Vertical portlights drove the interior arrangement and led to the development of custom furniture that would not obscure the views, nor are features such as chainplates, sloping hull sides or the keel trunk hidden. The colour palette is simple with clear light oak, white lacquer and accenting leather. The unpredictability of the layout is a key feature. All cabins are unique, corridors gently curve, stairs are off centreline, the owner’s suite flows to a private beach club and the cinema hosts cosy elevated reading nooks.”


Best Naval Architecture – Sailing Yachts:  “The four finalists for this category prove that sailing yachts continue to get more efficient and performance-oriented each year. After the naval architecture subcommittee crunched the numbers – evaluating the yachts on 35 points – the two top candidates were a hair’s breadth apart, although their mission statements were somewhat different. While Nilaya had the more complex brief and an innovative construction approach, the final result is that Sarissa presents the best all-around sailing ability, range, comfort quotient and stability. Both naval architects availed themselves of high-end CFD and FEA research. However, managing the much larger weights and loads of Sarissa, especially with multiple hull and deck openings, the in-boom furling of the world’s largest flat-top mainsail built in 3Di RAW and the innovation of massive fully retractable forward-facing propulsion drives, won the day.”

Note the clean hydrodynamic hull with retractable electric drive propulsion units retracted. A video of the folding out process can be found at this website: discover > innovation > 1. sustainabilty [link]


Eco Award: “Sarissa presents a multi-faceted approach to cruising with minimal environmental impact, from wind-driven propulsion, hydrogenerators and waste heat recovery to black and grey water treatment and trash management. Most of her power and propulsion needs are met with just one variable-speed genset and a 380kWh battery bank that can deliver four to eight hours of stored energy. Batteries charge via the propellers underway or when freewheeling during sailing. All rigging and spars and the mainsheet are airfoil sections, reducing drag. A Piranha Biological Marine Sanitation Device produces effluent cleaner than MARPOL standards and assures all cleaning and bathroom products are 100 per cent biodegradable and non-toxic. To minimise the waste produced, the galley is equipped with a food digester that uses biological enzymes to break down and digest up to 10 kilograms of food waste daily, a compactor for plastics and cardboard and a glass crusher for bottles and jars.” Lean more? Link


Innovation of the Year: Forward-facing, retractable electric propulsion: “Royal Huisman boldly chose to install the first Hydrosta forward-facing retractable electric azipod propulsion for reasons of redundancy, efficiency and improved performance under sail on board Sarissa. Opening doors allows the propulsion legs to swing down from inside the hull, and the doors re-close to create a smooth underwater profile. These 500kW units rotate through 90 degrees, replacing the need for a stern thruster, which saves weight and noise. Being electric drives and located along with their battery stack forward under machinery and watersports stowage, the system removes noise from the guest areas, plus the yacht can be away from a dock or mooring without starting an engine. The pulling, fixed-pitch propellers linked to permanent magnet motors act like underwater turbines, charging the batteries and providing carbon-free power to the ship’s systems, reducing demand on the Volvo gensets.” Curious? Link


It is not easy to be objective about the quality of your own work. Organizations such as the International Superyacht Society Awards and their expert, independent juries help to provide an unbiased measure of achievement. Overview of awards for Royal Huisman in recent years : link