Private Preview 2005: Perini Navi Maltese Falcon
When Maltese Falcon is completed next year, the 289-foot Perini Navi vessel will become the largest personal sailboat in the world. The ship’s mass, however, will belie its nimbleness.
The yacht, which is already spoken for by an undisclosed sailing enthusiast, further demonstrates the ability of the Italian boatbuilder and other shipyards to produce watercraft that offer agility as well as immensity. Felicità West, a 210-foot Perini Navi sloop launched last year, reaches speeds of 18 mph, and Mirabella V, a 247-foot VT Group vessel that is the world’s largest single-masted sloop, can sail at more than 20 mph. While Perini Navi has not projected the speeds at which Maltese Falcon will travel, its owner expects the behemoth to sail as swiftly as any sailboat in history; he plans to challenge records set decades ago by such racing clippers as the J-Class boats that eschewed comfort for performance.
Gerard Dijkstra & Partners of the Netherlands is the boat’s naval architecture firm, while Ken Freivokh Design, a British company, is responsible for both the interior and exterior design of Maltese Falcon. Perini Navi has not released details of the interior, which will be completed by the German firm Sinnex, except to note that it will include four decks. The three-masted vessel—the masts will be made of carbon fiber to minimize weight—will feature an automated rigging system for rotating the masts and raising and lowering the 26,000 square feet of sails. The hull and superstructure of the boat were completed earlier this year in Perini Navi’s boatyard in Turkey.