UPDATE, AUGUST 13, 2014: Perini Navi has produced a terrific video of the mast-stepping process:
Read on for the original article and photos.
The 56th hull in Perini Navi’s sailing-superyacht fleet is looking more and more like the sloop she’ll be upon delivery. The 192’3” (58.6-meter) Perseus³ now has her mast in place, one of the tallest in the world. It rises 248’7” (75.8 meters) high.
The mast was manufactured of carbon fiber by Future Fibres. The same firm made the 76’8” (23.4-meter) boom. It’s interesting to note that Future Fibres says no filler was used for the mast. That can apparently add three percent to the mast’s weight. Clearly, weight control is key for any project. It’s key for Perseus³ particularly due to her owner’s aggressive racing plans. Future Fibres says it drew upon its experience with dedicated racing yachts to customize the rig. The Perini Navi features a new mandrel furling and locking system, for example. Tim Meldrum, chief designer at Future Fibres for Perseus³, adds that top-down furling will take care of the “enormous” code 0, and that the cable “is the longest and most powerful furling cable we have ever produced.”
So, just how “enormous” is the code 0—and the rest of the sails? In total, more than 107,639 square feet (10,000 square meters) of fabric is being supplied by by Doyle Sailmakers. The code 0 is 19,418 square feet (1,804 square meters). That, and the asymmetricals, are among the largest of their kind worldwide. To put it into further perspective, the A2 alone is nearly 28,008 square feet (2,602 square meters).
It was no simple task to source these sails for Perseus³ . Robbie Doyle, founder of Doyle Sailmakers, says that there was no fabric simultaneously light enough for the crew to manage and strong enough to handle the loads. His company therefore worked with fabric specialists to develop the proper materials. He adds that from design to completion, it’s taken more than 60,000 hours of work. “The P3 sail wardrobe is one of the most unique and challenging ever created,” he sums up.
His company’s tasks didn’t end there. “Another challenge was to properly balance the loadings on the three headstays plus the code 0 torque rope and still have acceptable headstay sag for each sail,” he says. “Doyle worked with the engineers at Perini, Future Fibres, and Germanisher-Lloyd to come up with the proper balance of loads on the stays and sails.” Of course, a monitoring system will keep tabs on the full rig stress when Perseus³ is cruising or racing. She should be quite a sight to see. Perini Navi developed jib winches that have a maximum load of 30 tons and maximum line speed of 131 feet (40 meters) per minute. That’s the fastest we’ve heard of in the superyacht sector. Perini Navi further says its full variable-speed motors and furlers package should allow tacking and jibing 75 percent faster than yachts with its previous-generation systems.
Perseus³, with a beam of 37’4” (11.4 meters) and with naval architecture by the builder and Ron Holland Design, will be displayed at the Monaco Yacht Show in September.
BONUS PHOTOS: Visit the Megayacht News Facebook page to see more images of the mast stepping of Perseus³.