on 25 Apr 2023
The 81m, all-aluminium superyacht owned by Taiwanese billionaire Dr. Samuel Yin has already covered 45,000nm since her launch
Sea Eagle II, owned by Taiwanese billionaire Dr. Samuel Yin, was delivered in 2020 during the start of the Covid-19 pandemic and resulting lockdowns. It was a low-key launch for such an incredible boat – the world’s largest all-aluminium superyacht. Without much fanfare, Sea Eagle II has covered over 45,000 nautical miles.
Yin was the proud owner of Sea Eagle, also built by Royal Huisman, and so he returned to the famed Dutch yard for his spectacular follow up.
Yin reportedly developed his ideas for Sea Eagle II while cruising the world on his first yacht. Sea Eagle II is almost twice the length and five times the volume of his first yacht, and it took four years to build.
Dykstra Naval Architects and Mark Whiteley Design managed the naval architecture, rig design and style of Sea Eagle II, which features a long waterline, Panamax Rig and plumb bow. The three carbon masts, each a little taller going from bow to stern, have a maximum air draft of 61 metres for Panamax clearance. Sea Eagle II’s rudder is five metres tall and the largest carbon composite rudder ever produced.
Dykstra Naval Architects has focused on building sailing yachts that really can cover long distances under sail with low crew requirement, thus improving the yachts ‘sailability’ and therefore reducing its emissions. They designed the rigging and hull for Athena, another three-masted giant sailing yacht built by Royal Huisman, and they are the firm behind the two sailing superyachts featuring a DynaRig, Maltese Falcon and Black Pearl. A key plus behind the DynaRig is its ease of operation for the crew.
“Environmental impact reduction is better achievable when the vessel is responsive to the breeze and can sail by wind to the desired destination,” said Erik Wassen, a naval architect with Dykstra. “The powerful rig geometry of Sea Eagle II can be quickly adapted to the conditions encountered, allowing her to safely sail for proportionately more miles of the journey.” Wassen added that the high stability of Sea Eagle II also means the boat heels less, improving onboard comfort.
Sea Eagle II reported a 21.5 knot boat speed in moderate breeze during sea trials. Her sail area over three masts covers 2,580 square meters upwind and 3,552 square meters downwind. But despite the huge size, Royal Huisman reports that all three main sails can be hoisted at once in relatively short time. By using a system of hydraulic take off from each main engine (a process of turning mechanical power from an engine into hydraulic power) and peak shaving from the battery bank, enough hydraulic power can be created to hoist all the sails at once.
Of course, there is more to Sea Eagle II than her technical prowess. She is a stunning yacht that can hold her own in the world’s top superyacht spots while still being a long-range cruising boat.
Mark Whiteley, who handled the exterior (along with Dykstra) and interior styling, said the key to the yacht’s appeal is the “long, uninterrupted lines of glass” that give a sweeping look. “As the design developed, we honed in on a faceted feature which helps give Sea Eagle II her distinctive modern signature, lightens the overhangs and reflects the chine. The proportions and low profile were driven by the owner’s request to have a continuous floor from the exterior dining space, right through the large main saloon to the forward dining saloon, with no steps.”
Access to the deck and interior is via foldout boarding platforms on both port and starboard sides. Forward of the superstructure and the foremast is the sheltered, low-profile entrance to the crew quarters. Between the flybridge helm station and the main deckhouse below is an interior bridge from which the vessel can be commanded in heavy weather.
A visitor stepping down from the alfresco dining area into the deck salon will find themselves in a large space with plenty of natural light. There is informal seating close to the large media screen forward and around the U-shaped, inner half of the inside/outside bar. Beyond the entry lobby, further forward on the same deck level, there is a formal dining and leisure spaces.
The curved, forward windscreen offers guests a panoramic view of the sea. Stairs aft of the lobby area lead to owner and guest accommodation below, with six suites are located on one level. One guest cabin can be converted into a gym. Stairs forward provide access to the half-raised bridge and downward to the crew accommodation forward.
Sea Eagle II began her cruising years in the quiet of Covid, but as she continues to navigate the world, her spectacular sails and sleek lines will impress people the world over.
All photos courtesy Royal Huisman / Tim McKenna
Technical Specifications – Sea Eagle II
Hull speed: 22kts
Accommodation: 11 (owner and guests)
Hull and superstructure: Aluminium
Main engines: 2 x 1081kW Caterpillar C32
Generators 2 x 120kW Caterpillar C7
Battery system: 120kWh for peak shaving
Rig: Carbon masts and furling booms
Sail area: 2,580sqm (upwind) / 3,552sqm (downwind)
Naval architecture: Dykstra Naval Architects
Interior design: Mark Whiteley Design
Builder: Royal Huisman