The latest sailing yacht from the Maltese Falcon designers appears more conventional but is no less impressive.
The design team behind Maltese Falcon, the 289-foot sailing yacht that can be operated by one person, has created another technological marvel. When it is completed next year, Dream Symphony, at 463 feet, will be the world’s second-largest private sailing yacht, and the largest one made of wood. “It is the largest-ever all-wood yacht in the modern era,” says Ken Freivokh, whose firm, Ken Freivokh Design, collaborated with Dykstra Naval Architects to design the vessel.
When it launched from a Perini Navi boatyard in 2006, Maltese Falcon established a new benchmark for sailing technology. Its most notable—and most noticeable—feature is its unique automated rig, which enables a skipper to sail the yacht solo. Known generically as a DynaRig and specifically as the Falcon Rig, it features three self-standing, 190-foot-tall carbon-fiber masts that rotate to trim the sails. Each mast houses five square sails. When the sails unfurl—electronically—along the masts’ rigidly attached yards, there are no gaps between them, so each sail plan essentially serves as a single sail. Together, the sails cover more than 25,800 square feet, helping to propel the vessel to a top speed of 18 knots.
Dream Symphony is being built by the Turkish boatyard Dream Ship Victory (DSV), whose owner, Valeriy Stepanenko, is responsible for the yacht’s conception. He also commissioned a 656-foot-long shed at his company’s Marmaris headquarters to accommodate the construction. It appeared as though Dream Symphony was going to be the world’s largest private sailing yacht, but in May, the German shipyard Nobiskrug launched White Pearl, which, reportedly at 482 feet, now claims the title. (White Pearl’s owner is expected to take delivery in 2016.)
Maltese Falcon and Dream Symphony share a design team, but they are two completely different vessels.
“They are not really comparable, and they are not sister ships,” says Anneliek van der Linde, Dykstra Naval Architects’ marketing manager. Though she concedes they do share at least one common trait: “Both are big yachts.”
Dream Symphony, a four-mast schooner, will not have a DynaRig, which was developed for Maltese Falcon in part by Dykstra under the direction of the yacht’s original owner, the American venture capitalist Tom Perkins. It is based on a concept first proposed by the German hydraulics engineer Wilhelm Prölss in the late 1960s. “The [Dream Symphony] owners decided against the DynaRig option because it did not offer the classic ‘cloud of sail’ look typical of a large schooner,” says Freivokh. Instead, the yacht’s nearly 54,000 square feet of sails will be controlled by a more traditional setup that includes Hoyt booms. “They offer considerable advantages compared with traditional booms, and they will slightly reduce the number of crew required to hoist and lower the sails and make adjustments underway,” he says. “[The rig] does not, however, provide the full manning advantages of the DynaRig, as crew are still required to assist with winching lines to adjust the trim of the sails.” Dream Symphony is designed to carry 32 crew members.
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