Maltese Falcon ... hit or miss?

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


Maltese Falcon, hit or miss?

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

    35 vote(s)
  2. Interesting

    58 vote(s)
  3. Uninteresting

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

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

    Not Bad Looking, certainly better than Mirabella

    I had started a posting to add to this subject thread, but somehow I lost it in the computer, so I will just add this photo for now.

    ...but yes I would do something about that ugly radar mast

    Attached Files:

  2. Vega
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    Vega Senior Member

    Not for me.
    Not that I like Mirabella , but at least, it looks like a sail boat (not a nice one, I agree) but with the Maltese... if you take the masts out, cut a piece in the midle rear, cut a piece in the front and glue everything get a nice motoryacht:p

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  3. sharpii2
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    sharpii2 Senior Member

    I would definitly call it a hit.

    How well it handles in stormy weather will be a big test of the concept.

    I am leary of having to rotate the whole mast to trim the sails. I can just imagine the whole thing weather cocking down wind with a big puddle of hydraulic fluid at the base of the mast.

    It is hard for me to imagine that anything can be strong enough to take those kinds of torsion loads, but it probably can.

    the multi segmented sails have the advantage of needing less thick sail cloth which, in itself, might make this rig more competitive with a fore and aft rig than it looks.

    Time will tell.

    1 person likes this.
  4. marshmat
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    marshmat Senior Member

    Well, now that she's had some time at sea, there's a bit of data to back up the aesthetics. Such as: 14 knots over ground in 16 knots of wind, on a 60-degree reach. And heeling less than fifteen degrees. Not bad for a 1240-tonne, eighty-eight metre boat! The reports from the crew seem to indicate that she's a pleasure to sail and handles very well, to the point where she can traverse busy harbours under sail alone.
    Since the Falcon is capable of nearly 20 knots under engine, I'd call her a motorsailer, apparently equally capable under sail and engine.
    A gorgeous boat, I think. Yes, I know you traditionalists tend to prefer fore-and-aft rig, but to a new-school techie like me, the freestanding square-rigger is a pretty piece of work indeed.
  5. water addict
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    water addict Naval Architect

    seems like an inefficient rig. But then again- an 88 meter sailboat? Efficiency is probably not the purpose here...
  6. sharpii2
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    sharpii2 Senior Member


    I suppose if she were rigged fore and aft, she would have to be a schooner, wouldn't she. J class boats were sloops. CIIW, weren't they the largest sloops (jib and main only) ever built, taking into account both length and displacement. Even as a schooner, her sail 'cloth' would have to be much heavier than with this rig. 88 m is certainly getting up there size wise. Wasn't the Thomas W. Lawson, at 122m, the largest fore and aft ship ever built? And, IIRC, with her seven masts, she was not considered a success.

    I have considered a sceme to have fixed yards (that always stay aloft) on a fore and aft rig. That way the sails can be broken up into much smaller 'cells'. The 'cells' would furl window shade style. Each cell would be an all or nothing at all furl. The existence of three to four cells per mast would make sail area ajustment still very practical even under this restriction. I see this sceme as the only likely competition to this concept for a vessel this size.

    This 'dynasail(r)' may well be the answer to putting real propelling sails on large ships. Let's see how it handles under fire. Let it go through its first force 10 and see how it does.

    Maybe the extra powerful engines are needed for maneuvering around harbor in strong winds. I imagine all those yards up there add a lot of windage.

  7. Stephen Ditmore
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    Stephen Ditmore Senior Member

    For a moment I thought you were saying you wanted to shoot canon at it...
  8. sharpii2
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    sharpii2 Senior Member

    hmmm. Interesting thought.
  9. Richard Hillsid
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    Richard Hillsid Senior Member

    Nice, i aprove.
  10. Redsky
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    Redsky Senior Member

    iv looked at it, and thought about it,and looked at it agian,,,
    the thing that bugs me the most is they dident wrap the upperworks around the bases of all 3 masts w a forward slanting window pilothouse just in front of the forward mast if visability was a issue...the short forward equip mast dosent bother me so mutch.
  11. Seafarer24
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    Seafarer24 Sunset Chaser

    Square-rigs are very powerful sailing downwind. The old clipper ships could go 300miles/day which is an average of 12.5 knots. Falcon appears to be a "gentleman's" boat, and "gentlemen don't sail to windward" (even if the boat can!).
  12. Leif HerrGesell
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    Leif HerrGesell Junior Member

    New Design always stirs our passion on way or the other

    As someone who would rather own a Herreshoff design than a Perini, and will never own either, I think I am fair when I say that new concepts often scare traditionalists like myself. We fear that that which we love will somehow fade from existence. Falcon has been called a clipper and other than the fact that she has three poles and floats in no way resembles a clipper.

    Her sails are more reminiscent of historic asian design as much as anything.

    Nathan Herrshoff stunned and offended the world with catamaran design to the point that he was warned of his own heresy.

    Tom Perkins is obivously not afraid to court criticism nor post his bans and is willing to entertain design evolution. The design will spark interest in those that can afford to utilize the advances and the rest of us will continue to potter about in our excellent boats of traditional line and rig.
  13. brian eiland
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    brian eiland Senior Member

  14. westlawn5554X
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    westlawn5554X STUDENT

    I think whether it is success or failure, it is a money well spend to the riches to present us another possible showcase of boat technology.


  15. MikeJohns
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    MikeJohns Senior Member

    She's a triumph of modern material engineering and computer simulated design but she looks a bit too anti-social for my taste, a spick posers vessel not to the KISS principle, but I'd like to see her sail past, I suspect she'd be spectacular in a good stiff breeze with everytrhing flying.

    Lets send her windward round the Horn.. the test of any sailing ship.... Skipper, weve got furlers 3, 6 and 8 jammed, and the entertainment system and the massage machine are on the blink...and that bio-diesel we picked up in Argentina has clogged all the filters.
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