Owners of power and sailing craft alike know that RINA is among the most respected classification societies, having classed more than 1,200 yachts and megayachts. There’s additional reason to hold the company in high regard, as it has added certification services for sailing superyacht rigs.
“Until now, sailing yacht classification has focused on the hull and machinery,” explains Paolo Moretti, general manager of RINA’s marine sector. “We think that this is illogical, as sailing yachts depend on their rig.” RINA therefore created its new guidelines to include everything from the approval of the initial plans to regular surveys after the yacht has been completed and delivered.
The latter is particularly important. RINA studied what caused some rigs to fail. One culprit is lacking an understanding of how a particular rig will behave in specific situations. As Moretti explains, “In many cases, captains and crews are not aware of critical information relevant to their rigs, and this often leads to wrong sail reduction maneuvers that overstress the system.” RINA therefore developed a maintenance and handling plan for megayacht crew to follow.
RINA also studied accidents in which some superyachts lost their masts, to determine typical failure points as well as things that put yachts at risk of the situation occurring. RINA developed software to calculate the inertial loads stemming from hull motion in severe weather, to determine safe vs. fail status. “As far as the mast calculation is concerned, wave-induced inertial loads are sometimes of the same order of magnitude as aerodynamic loads and have to be taken into account during rig design,” Moretti says. “Our analysis criteria address those issues, and we believe this is a unique service which will see a very high uptake.”
The RINA certification is now mandatory for any RINA-classed sailing yacht that charters, but also available optionally for private yachts. There are different certification levels from which to choose, all backed by testing and manufacturer-certified assurances of quality.