The new Perini Navi sloop Perseus^3 has the world’s third largest carbon mast and her A2 spinnaker is the world’s largest single sail, bigger than all the giant Maltese Falcon’s 15 sails combined. Mike Owen and Rob Peake report.
Perseus^3 is the second in Perini Navi’s new 60m series, launched earlier this year and in Palma for her first regatta and she is likely to turn heads, if only for her sheer scale.
This line is designed with performance much higher in mind than any previous Perini flybridge yachts, as already demonstrated by Seahawk, the first of the range, at the Bucket this year and last. Perseus^3 (Perseus Cubed) clearly goes a step or two further.
She is sloop rigged and her carbon mast stands third tallest in the world. Her Doyle inventory comprises a whopping 10,000m2/107,640ft2 of sails, and her A2 spinnaker is the world’s largest single sail, measuring 2,602m2/28,010ft2. For scale, this one sail alone is bigger than all the giant Maltese Falcon’s 15 sails combined.
Doyle reports that initially there was simply no existing fabric capable of this job, so they developed their own new cloth, blending Polyester with Dyneema to give the cloth high strength and tear resistance, as well as light weight and enough softness for easy handling.
Future Fibres was responsible for the 16.4-tonne mast, one of the three tallest ever built, saying: “We have managed to produce a tube with a perfect exterior surface and a flawless Clearcote gloss carbon finish with zero filler – which can add up to three per cent to the weight of a mast.”
A new rig load monitoring system will use strain gauges to detect the loads acting on the carbon fibre rig components.
To manage this massive sailplan, Perini has been busy creating its own new generation of fast, quiet captive winches and furlers with variable-speed motors, a max loading of 30 tonnes for headsail, and varying line speeds aboard between 40 and 110 metres a minute. Forward there’s a carbon sprit, also a first for Perini, for the huge flying sails, the Code 0 calling for Future Fibres’ largest ever top-down furler.
But Perseus^3 has more than one focus. Her owner sailed his previous Perini, the 50m/164ft Perseus (now Silencio) in a circumnavigation with his young family. They enjoyed the cruising and also competed in the Hamilton Island Race Week. Charter was useful, too. All this will continue with Perseus^3 , perhaps just faster.
There’s a top bluewater and race-experienced permanent crew on board, vital to the safe handling of such an immense rig, and the accommodation is well suited for private and charter use.
Bruce Brakenhoff of Perini Navi USA explains: “When it came to planning his new, second Perini, the owner said: ‘I really love cruising, having my family aboard the boat, having a successful charter boat and I really love doing Buckets, so I want a boat that has as few compromises as possible to cover all of those bases.’
“When we started from that blank sheet of paper, not only with the engineering systems and changes like chainplate relocation for the sloop rig, I remember a meeting with Ron Holland with the owner saying what else can we do to make this even faster? Ron had just delivered a twin-rudder boat he’d had good experience with and suggested this. The owner thought it a great idea.
“But at the same time as it’s fast, this boat will be as popular a charter boat because it has a fantastic layout, an amazing owner’s suite, a humungous flybridge, and it’s got a pool, one of those lap pools where you swim against the jets – the thing’s like eight metres wide, it’ll turn into the biggest spinnaker pit you’ve ever seen!”
That could come in handy with that huge spinnaker.
With a centreboard Perseus^3 still can cruise in the Bahamas, but she will not manage the Panama Canal as she is too tall to fit under the Bridge of the Americas.
LOA 60m 197ft
LWL 50.4m 164ft
Beam 11.4m 37ft 5in
Draught 4.3-12.3m 14-39ft
Displacement 570 tonnes