Maltese Falcon ... hit or miss?

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by Stephen Ditmore, Jun 29, 2006.

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Maltese Falcon, hit or miss?

Poll closed Jun 29, 2007.
  1. A triumph!

    35 vote(s)
    33.7%
  2. Interesting

    58 vote(s)
    55.8%
  3. Uninteresting

    4 vote(s)
    3.8%
  4. A truly stupid concept and a complete waste of time

    7 vote(s)
    6.7%
  1. brian eiland
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    brian eiland Senior Member

    Glad someone saw the message. I only had just finished the football game and came back to catch this notice about the screening
     
  2. brian eiland
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    brian eiland Senior Member

  3. charmc
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    charmc Senior Member

    For anyone who missed the show, here is a link to the Perkins interview with the MF segment.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/sections/i_video/main500251.shtml?id=3450746n

    IMHO, the interview was terrible. Leslie Stahl and the 60 minutes producers had an obvious agenda. The questions about not being able to stand having a woman in a position of control were clearly setups, with any reference to what the women in question had done edited out. (Fiorina: forcing an unpopular merger, losing profits and stock value in the process of trying to integrate two disparate corporations and cultures. Dunn: Secretly investigating top HP employees and board members, authorizing criminal fraud to obtain copies of personal telephone records.) The questions could have been phrased in the context of power struggles between board members and top management, but that would have been accurate and not nearly as controversial. Too bad no one in the "news" business has the guts to be a real journalist anymore.

    One telling Perkins comment was left in, although glossed over. The venture capital firm Perkins co-founded in 1972 is one of the most successful in the world, and it loses money on 8 out of 10 projects.
     
  4. brian eiland
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    brian eiland Senior Member

    I think I would agree with you Charlie...a bit of an underhanded attack without any background material on the HP affair. Wished they had talked more about the development of the boat, and the risk involved with that. But that's not what the American public wants

    Boating gets so little press in this country, particularly TV time. I remember trying to find 'anything-at-all' about the 'RACE' around the world in the big multihulls back in 2000-2001. I would have thought this 'very unique event' for the time would have sparked more press interest like in Europe. I also had a couple of friends who were participating, and I was concerned for their lives in the southern ocean, as they had not had the proper amount of prep time since the boat's launching.

    I did not know these video replays were available from the 60 minute programs. I want to look up the segment on 'curve ball' and send it to some friends of mine who still believe in this nonsense in Washington DC.
     
  5. charmc
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    charmc Senior Member

    Brian,

    I agree on the lack of boat racing coverage. Before it was acquired by Fox and became NASCAR Central, the Speed Channel covered a few boat race events: dinghy and sprint boat races from Down Under, America's Cup, and even a few sailing fleet and match races. Pretty much all gone now. :( I never believed the Golf Channel could succeed, but it's done well featuring a sport that is not terribly exciting to watch on TV. Why not a Boating Channel?

    The 60 Minutes web site has links to a lot of recent segments. I saw the "Curve Ball" one there.

    The stupid "Why are you against strong women?" question really made me angry because I had followed events at HP over the past few years. Carly Fiorina said herself that the Compaq acquisition was risky and would be difficult to implement. She said she believed it would be viewed as either a major success or a major failure. Whether you agree or disagree with Perkins' positions, the fact is there were important and devisive issues in each case, regardless of the gender of the CEO.
     
  6. brian eiland
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    brian eiland Senior Member

    Coffee Table Photo Book

    ...in case you haven't seen the ads for this new 'coffee table book'..


    "The Maltese Falcon"
    by SuperYacht Art, 240 pages, hardcover. Published by TRP Magazines, printed by Butler & Tanner. 50.00 GBP.


    The Maltese Falcon is certainly one of the world's most recognisable and impressive yachts, but I must confess that I was less than impressed with the look of it's superstructure. To my mind's eye, square rigs belonged on wooden vessels from the 1800's through the end of the clipper era. Tossing three columns of what appear at first glance to be updated Chinese Junk rigs onto a modern Perini Navi hull seemed, well, odd.

    It wasn't until I viewed a long piece on the 60 Minutes television show about the boat and its owner Tom Perkins that I got past my prejudices to look a bit deeper into the technology behind the boat, and when this huge coffee table book landed with an audible thud on my desktop I began to look with real wonder at just how Perkins brought his childhood dreams to fruition:

    "Cutty Sark was the iconic clipper, capable of running before strong trade winds at speeds over 20 knots and logging hundreds of miles per day. As a kid I studied her log books, which had been preserved and annotated by sailing historian Basil Lubbock. I must have been a hand aboard a clipper in some previous incarnation because I have always been drawn to these square-riggers. After decades of ownership of sailing yachts... I was still obsessed with the clipper square-rigger concept.

    "So I wondered if it would be possible to bring forward the advantages of this design into the 21st century. Could one create a clipper which would be practical and not require dozens of young crew to set and hand her towering clouds of sail? My good friend Fabio Perini had built a superbly beautiful hull of 88m, but it remained unfinished. Might it be the platform for an entirely new idea? I asked Perini Navi to explore the clipper 'yacht' possibility. This triggered the submission of a plan by renowned Dutch naval architect Gerard Dijkstra which caught my attention."

    The story of the build project and the engineering and programming needed to enable a single person to control all the sails and steering is astonishing. More than an engineering masterpiece, the rigging on the Maltese Falcon is functional sculpture. Wait until you see how the interior's been fitted out...

    Thousands of photos from an array of world famous photographers including two of my favorites Carlo Borlenghi and Franco Pace.

    This book is available for purchase by visiting www.superyachtart.com/mfb for 50.00 GBP
     
  7. brian eiland
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    brian eiland Senior Member

    Electric Fever Habit

    A friend recently sent me this very funny parody on John Masefield's
    famous poem, 'The Call of the Running Tide'.

    While there certainly is an element of truth in this poem, I don't intend
    to demean the wonderful, technological Maltese Falcon, as I am awed
    by her. But I also chuckled with this excerpt,
    "I must go down to the sea again, with RAM in gigabytes,
    and teraflops of processing for hobbies that I like,
    And software suiting all my wants, seated at my console
    And pushing on the buttons which give me complete control."


    ________________________________________________________
    Here is the full poem: (and I am not the author)

    I must go down to the sea again, in a modern high-tech boat,
    And all I ask is electric, for comfort while afloat,
    And alternators, and solar panels, and generators going,
    And deep cycle batteries with many amperes flowing.

    I must go down to the sea again, to the autopilot’s ways,
    And all I ask is a GPS, and a radar, and displays,
    And a cell phone, and a weatherfax, and a shortwave radio,
    And compact disks, computer games and TV videos.

    I must go down to the sea again, with a freezer full of steaks,
    And all I ask is a microwave, and a blender for milkshakes,
    And a watermaker, air-conditioner, hot water in the sink,
    And e-mail and a VHF to see what my buddies think.

    I must go down to the sea again, with power-furling sails,
    And chart displays of all the seas, and a bullhorn for loud hails,
    And motors pulling anchor chains, and push-button sheets,
    And programs which take full charge of tacking during beats.

    I must go down to the sea again, and not leave friends behind,
    And so they never get seasick we’ll use the web online,
    And all I ask is an Internet with satellites over me,
    And beaming all the data up, my friends sail virtually.

    I must go down to the sea again, record the humpback whales,
    Compute until I decipher their language and their tales,
    And learn to sing in harmony, converse beneath the waves,
    And befriend the gentle giants as my synthesizer plays.

    I must go down to the sea again, with RAM in gigabytes,
    and teraflops of processing for hobbies that I like,
    And software suiting all my wants, seated at my console
    And pushing on the buttons which give me complete control.

    I must go down to the sea again, my concept seems quite sound,
    But when I simulate this boat, some problems I have found.
    The cost is astronomical, repairs will never stop,
    Instead of going sailing, I’ll be shackled to the dock.

    I must go down to the sea again, how can I get away?
    Must I be locked in low-tech boats until my dying day?
    Is there no cure for my complaint, no technologic fix?
    Oh, I fear this electric fever is a habit I can’t kick



    PS: No one can claim that Maltese Falcon is in any way, shackled to the dock...not with her sailing record.
     
  8. sharpii2
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    sharpii2 Senior Member

    Hi, Brian.

    I guess the moral of the story is that high tech voyaging is for those who can afford it. Just like big professional crews were in the yachting days of yore.

    For everybody else, I guess, it's low tech-with maybe a few high tech flourishes. I suppose that one of the reasons Captain Slocum sailed around the world alone is that he couldn't afford a crew.

    It is amazing how many low tech boats are still hanging around. Some of them being nearly a century old.

    I think the most important contribution of this 'boat' is not so much what it will do for yachting--I don't expect to see a lot of 30, 40 ft 'Falconettes' at the local marina--but what it portends for commercial shipping as the 21st century grinds on, with ever higher energy costs and ever louder choruses against pollution. It sports a 'dyna sail' rig that I first read about in 'Popular Science' magazine way back in the seventies. Shortly thereafter Oil prices plummeted, making the system instantly irrelevant.

    I don't expect that to happen again.
     
  9. brian eiland
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    brian eiland Senior Member

    KISS vs 'essential'

    Hi Sharpii,
    I don't think its just a question of the technology of the vessel design itself that this poem addresses, but rather the often time we overload our vessels with what is perceived as indispensable gear.

    There is a lot to be said for the KISS principle, if possible


    And the material science didn't exist to build the dynarig full scale at that time. Even then we are so short sighted in the scheme of things, particularly this looming oil problem
     
  10. Windfreighter
    Joined: Dec 2007
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    Windfreighter New Member

    MF dynarig yard arm dimensions

    The yardarms on MF are apparently 12 degree arcs.

    How do you suppose the radius is optimized?
     
  11. brian eiland
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    brian eiland Senior Member

    Optimized Arcs, etc

    Have a look at these two papers and I think you will find the answers
     

    Attached Files:

  12. brian eiland
    Joined: Jun 2002
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    brian eiland Senior Member

  13. Windfreighter
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    Windfreighter New Member

    MF yard width

    What I get from those two papers is that the overall yard width is determined as to be practical for the boat, and then from there they found 12% to be the optimum camber. I don't know if the optimum camber calculated would be dependant on the yard width or not, but that would likely be a good starting point.
     
    1 person likes this.
  14. brian eiland
    Joined: Jun 2002
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    brian eiland Senior Member

    San Fran bound??

    Saw a brief report of her being in Costa Rica. Possible she is headed for San Francisco....a US appearance...WOW
     

  15. redcoopers
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    redcoopers Member

    I actually had the opportunity to sail with Tom Perkins in the 2001 America's Cup Jubilee at Cowes onboard the "Mariette." It was a great deal for me: I was a midshipman at USNA and on the offshore sailing team, and he offered about 6 of us the chance to crew for him.

    I just saw this thread recently but I also saw the 60 minutes interview, which I thought did not characterize him as I saw him. Anyways, when he talked to us about his "Maltese Falcon" (which was in construction), he did not speak in a way which seemed to say "mine's bigger." Instead, it seemed to me that he just loved sailing, racing, and engineering, and he wanted to build the boat simply because he loved it so much plus his finances could allow it.

    All of us dream for that awesome boat we could build with limitless finances. For him, it was some sort of modern (I think hideous) square-rig. For myself, it would be a 50ft, double-ended gaff-rigged cutter.

    BTW, if anyone wants to invest money in me as a venture capitalist, I'll let you sail on my boat.

    -Jon
     
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