St. John Tradewinds News

Luxury Clipper S/Y Maltese Falcon Anchors Off Frank Bay

The Maltese Falcon anchored in Frank Bay.

One of the world’s largest privately-owned sailing vessels made a stop on St. John last week.

The distinct three-masted clippper Maltese Falcon could be seen on Friday, May 13, as the 289-foot vessel raised anchor and sailed away from Cruz Bay.

The impressive vessel was spotted anchored off shore of Frank Bay on Thursday night, May 12, and left the area the next morning. But not before making waves across the island as residents imagined a once-in-a-lifetime cruise aboard the unparalleled vessel.

With a weekly price tag of around $378,000, before expenses, cruising aboard the Falcon will remain just a dream for most.
The luxury clipper was built in 2006 by Perini Navi, and commissioned and formerly owned by venture capitalist Tom Perkins, according to Wikipedia.

The yacht is now owned by London-based hedge fund manager Elena Ambrosiadou, who purchased the vessel in 2009, according to Wikipedia.

While the vessel boasts an incredibly luxurious interior, with everything from natural light flowing through translucent floors and comfort for 12 guests in five staterooms and one expansive passage cabin with a private cockpit, the ship’s distinctive three masts are the first things to catch one’s eye.

The Maltese Falcon cruising.

The DynaRig is a concept invented by German hydraulics engineer Wilhelm Prolss to provide additional propulsion for ships with as few crew as possible, according to www.symaltesefalcon.com.

“The DynaRig is effectively a square rig, the mast is freestanding and the yards are connected rigidly to the mast, in this case each mast supports six yards,” according to the website. “The yards, unlike a conventional square rigger, have built in camber of 12 percent. The sails set between the yards in such a way that when deployed there are no gaps to the sail plan enabling each spar’s sail plan to work as a single sail.”

When not deployed, the sails furl into the mast, which is what rotates to trim the sail, according to the website.

“The sail is trimmed to the wind direction by rotating the mast,” according to www.symaltesefalcon.com. “As there is no rigging the yards have no restriction on rotation and this taken together with the curved (shaped) yards, low windage and effective single piece sail combine to give the rig improved aerodynamic efficiency compared to a traditional square rigger.”

The three rotating masts hold 15 sails for a total sail area of 25,791 square feet, according to the website.

The engines aren’t shabby either.

“The Maltese Falcon has two 1,800 horsepower Deutz engines running at 1,800 rpm with a top speed of 20 knots with minimal wave-making and virtually no vibration or noise and with a smooth and non-turbulent wake,” according to  www.symaltesefalcon.com. “The yacht has a permanent crew of 18 to maintain the technical aspects, including the rig and to operate the onboard ‘hotel,’ which can accommodate twelve guests plus four guest staff. The boat also includes an onboard gourmet chef and stewards and stewardesses.”

Along with the main vessel, chartering the Maltese also comes with the use of plenty of toys like two 32-foot tenders, four laser sail boats and a jet ski, according to charterworld.com.

The vessel has won a number of international yachting awards including the 2007 International SuperYacht Society’s Best S/Y over 36 meters and the 2007 Showboats International Award for most innovative sailing yacht. And the designers are not about to stop there.
A new and bigger Maltese Falcon is in the works, according to Wikipedia.

“There is now a new and improved Maltese Falcon sailing yacht design concept as unveiled by Perini Navi Italy, complete with the rotating clipper rig,” according to the website. “The new 110 metre Falcon yacht design is larger, faster and better according to Perini.”

No word yet on how much the “faster and better” Maltese Falcon will cost for a week-long charter.