Jan 3, 2010

The World's Largest Sailing Yacht - Maltese Falcon

Maltese Falcon, the world’s largest sailing yacht 88 meter (289 ft) has been sold for USD 100 million and is built by the Italian Perini Navi Yacht. This boat uses the innovative sailing system DynaRig. It consists of three constantly rotating masts, which hold 15 sails. The maximum speed of the boat is of about 21 knots. Maltese Falcon is able to cross the Atlantic in just 10 days.


It was built after the dynaship concept, a 1960s invention of the German hydraulics engineer Wilhelm Prölss, which was intended to operate commercial freight sailing ships with as few crew as possible. The ship has fifteen square sails (five per mast), stored inside the mast; they can fully unfurl into tracks along the yards in six minutes. The three carbon fiber masts, which are free-standing and able to rotate, were manufactured and assembled by a company financed by Perkins at the Perini Navi Istanbul "Yildiz Gemi" (literally: Star Ship) yard in Tuzla, 50 mi (80 km) east of Istanbul, Turkey, under the supervision of the English company Insensys and Dutch company Gerard Dijkstra & Partners. Other design was provided by Ken Freivokh Design. The Maltese Falcon was the third yacht built by Perini for Perkins.

The yacht is easily controlled and has been seen to sail off her anchor and away from berths within harbors. The yacht's sophisticated computer detects parameters such as wind speed automatically and displays key data. An operator must always activate the controls, yet it is possible for a single person to pilot the yacht. In a radio interview for the BBC World Service's Global Business programme broadcast in December 2007, Perkins revealed that he personally wrote some of the yacht's unique control software.
The Maltese Falcon has two 1,800 horse-power Deutz engines running at 1,800 rpm with a top speed of 20 kn (23 mph; 37 km/h) with minimal wave-making and virtually no vibration or noise and with a smooth and non-turbulent wake.

The yacht has a permanent crew of 18 to maintain the technical aspects, including the rig and to operate the onboard "hotel", which can accommodate twelve guests plus four guest staff. The boat also includes an onboard gourmet chef and stewards and stewardesses.

The Maltese Falcon was registered in Valletta, Malta in 2006. It completed its trial sail in the Sea of Marmara to the Bosphorus strait on June 12, 2006, and made its maiden voyage from Turkey to Italy via Malta in July 2006. Since that time, Perkins has been renting out The Maltese Falcon for between €325,000 to €335,000 per week, plus expenses.
In a 60 Minutes profile on November 4, 2007, Perkins suggested the yacht cost more than $150 million, but less than $300 million, refusing to be more specific.
The Maltese Falcon was listed for sale in 2006 on Yachtworld.com, with an asking price of €99,000,000 with engine hours listed at 1,890 hours. Perkins sold the yacht for £60million in July 2009.

The Maltese Falcon DynaRig

Damon Roberts of Insensys, Ltd. was responsible for designing and manufacturing the DynaRig sail system of The Maltese Falcon in the Tuzla shipyard, Turkey. The design, testing and manufacturing of the system was completed over a three year period. All aspects of the system were incorporated and tested to ensure that the design and finite element analysis matched the actual loads whilst sailing.

The DynaRig owes its origin to work done in the 1960s by Wilhelm Prölss; at the time he believed the system could provide additional propulsion for ships. The DynaRig is effectively a square rig, the mast is freestanding and the yards are connected rigidly to the mast. In this case each mast supports six yards. The yards, unlike a conventional square rigger, have built-in camber of 12%. The sails are set between the yards in such a way that when deployed there are no gaps to the sail plan, enabling each mast's sail plan to work as a single sail. The sails, when not deployed, furl into the mast. The sail is trimmed to the wind direction by rotating the mast. As there is no rigging, the yards have no restriction on rotation and this, taken together with the curved (shaped) yards, low windage and effective single-piece sail, combine to give the rig improved aerodynamic efficiency compared to a traditional square rigger.

The masts are approximately 58 m (190 ft) in height above the bottom bearing. The DynaRig concept calls for an elongated section (to reduce the drag) and this needs to be symmetrical. As the rig can be tacked to allow flow in both directions, the mast rotates about deck and heel bearings.
Insensys also incorporated their fiber optical strain monitoring system that monitors the loads on the rigs to ensure that the carbon fiber structures are never overloaded whilst the yacht is sailing. The fiber Bragg grating system was embedded within the rigs during fabrication of the carbon structure. The system monitors the strains in real time and transmits the loads to the bridge such that they are understood whilst sailing.

Source: wikipedia.org


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