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. Stephen Ditmore
    Joined: Jun 2001
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    Stephen Ditmore Senior Member

    Does the rule that vessels over 50 meters have an anchor light 6M above the hull require vessels that size to have a forward mast?
     
  2. tom perkins
    Joined: Aug 2006
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    Location: California

    tom perkins New Member

    Some Answers to Questions about the Maltese Falcon

    I have read with interest the opinions and questions posted about my Maltese Falcon "Clipper Yacht" over recent weeks. I'll attempt to answer these as best I can now that some time has elapsed.

    We call her a clipper because she attempts to achieve the multiple advantages of those fast square riggers from the past. If you look at photographs of the last of the big sailing windjammers, you will see that the fore and aft sails are really just vistigial---all the power is coming from the square sails themselves. The Dijkstra design simply carries this trend to its logical end, and eliminates all these redunant sails. The DynsRig concept leads to a yacht with the ability to point so high, that jibs, etc. are just in the way.

    The superstructure is just sufficiently high to permit a view ahead, over the bow, from the wheel house. Any lower, and the view would be blocked by the bow, and thus I believe, be unsafe.

    The signal mast forward is required for the radars, which cannot be mounted on the rotating masts. The height is required to raise the radar beam above the superstructure sufficiently to protect crew from the radiation. Also, this mast, in my opinion, fills in a space where one might otherwise expect to see jibs, and so it is there partly for aesthetic reasons.

    The sails are set automatically by a single person from a central console. Of course, there is routine maintenance required by an agile crew of sailors aloft, but rarely do they have to be in the rig during sailing. The upper sails are set or furled as required to control heeling. In a twenty knot true wind with everything set, and hard on the wind, the heeling angle is about 22 degrees. This isn't much for a small boat, but it feels too much for most guests, so we furl the sails necessary to keep heeling to around 15 degrees, and there is only a modest drop in speed.

    To date the we have set and furled all the sails over one thousand times. We have had only two or three problems requiring a man to go aloft to sort. We have experienced no damage to sails or rig. This is a staggering number. With all due respect to Mirabella V, I expect that during her entire lifetime, which I trust will be very long, her sails will not be set this many times. The DynaRig is very practical for a big boat, for the ease of use factor, if for no other reason.

    The Falcon may be a motor sailor, but not by my definition, since she sails faster than she motors---if that doesn't qualify her as a sailboat, then what does?

    I have raced classics for much of my life. I believe the Falcon is a new classic, and to my eye, she is very beaqutiful. Tom Perkins
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. Guillermo
    Joined: Mar 2005
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    Location: Pontevedra, Spain

    Guillermo Ingeniero Naval

    I agree.
    Cheers.
     
  4. Duma Tau
    Joined: Oct 2006
    Posts: 34
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    Location: Scotland, Clyde.

    Duma Tau Junior Member

    Hear Hear!!

    She is wonderful, beautiful, superb.

    I wish I could see Maltese Falcon for real; to be aboard and sail her would be like a dream come true.

    Well done Mr Perkins; yachting needs visionary people like you.

    Geoff Proven
     
  5. Doug Lord

    Doug Lord Guest

    The Falcon

    Congratulations, Mr. Perkins! Incredibly innovative and absolutely gorgeus.
    Thanks for sharing your comments on this forum.
     
  6. marshmat
    Joined: Apr 2005
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    Location: Ontario

    marshmat Senior Member

    I'd be curious to see, once the concept's been out there for a few years, how the Dynarig concept would scale down to something a bit smaller. Falcon's a gorgeous boat, to be sure, but she's not exactly affordable. And due simply to the sheer size, a lot of neat cruising grounds that are a breeze in a smaller megayacht (is that an oxymoron?) would seem to be pretty difficult for the Falcon. It'll be interesting to see, as word starts to spread, how this sort of technology plays out in the 100' classes, then the 75'ers, etc... although I don't think it'd be as practical on your average 40' fibreglass jellybean, it would be neat to see what a good square-rig could do in smaller yachts as well.
    Congratulations indeed, Tom. The yachting world needs this kind of innovation.
     
  7. brian eiland
    Joined: Jun 2002
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    Location: St Augustine Fl, Thailand

    brian eiland Senior Member

    Radar Mast

    As I suspected. And anyone who has spent time on the bow of any vessel realizes the exaggerated motion there, thus the need for a 'substantial' mast, particularly an 'unstayed one'.


    A valid point. I'm actually starting to get more use to the look after awhile
     
  8. brian eiland
    Joined: Jun 2002
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    Location: St Augustine Fl, Thailand

    brian eiland Senior Member

    Smaller Dynarig

    I agree marshmat, this would be interesting. For many years now I've heard many praises for the 'junk rig', and this certainly retains some of those positive features, and eliminates some of the negatives, aerodynamically.

     
  9. Stephen Ditmore
    Joined: Jun 2001
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    Location: Smithtown, New York, USA

    Stephen Ditmore Senior Member

    So many things I'd like to ask Tom, including questions he must get all the time about start-ups. But with respect to the above discussion, I have trouble seing this rig on anything less than a 60 footer (or perhaps a single sail version on a 55' viking longboat).

    I could see a two masted version on a 75 or 80 foot hull. At that scale, I'd hope one might use rudder bearings, thrust bearings, steering gear.... off the shelf solutions.... to achieve the mast rotation. Do you agree, Tom? Would Gerard Dijkstra? Is there a place other designers can turn for more information on the DynaRig?

    One other sailing yacht question for Tom (though others can certainly offer their answers). You've chosen to work largely with Europeans on this project, and there's plenty going on in Europe. What's going on in North American sailing/yachting/naval architecture worth being excited about?

    OK, two other questions.... how fast will Maltese Falcon sail backwards?

    Fair Winds,
    Stephen
     
  10. hansp77
    Joined: Mar 2006
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    Location: Melbourne Australia

    hansp77

    I love this boat, I love hearing and learning about it, and mostly I love to look at it.
    just thought I would add in a few photos from http://www.symaltesefalcon.com/ to for interest.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    hope they haven't already been posted.
     
  11. frankofile
    Joined: Jan 2005
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    Location: So Cal

    frankofile Junior Member

    Just noticed that the only mast supported by standing rigging is the antenna mast. Ironic...
     
  12. Vega
    Joined: Apr 2005
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    Location: Portugal

    Vega Senior Member

    And I still find that antenna very ugly.
     
  13. Stephen Ditmore
    Joined: Jun 2001
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    Location: Smithtown, New York, USA

    Stephen Ditmore Senior Member

    Surely the furling systems are electrical - so putting things electrical on the rotating masts is not entirely out of the question...
     
  14. brian eiland
    Joined: Jun 2002
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    Location: St Augustine Fl, Thailand

    brian eiland Senior Member

    Your radar unit no longer has a reference point with respect to the vessel's axis if its on a rotating base
     

  15. Vega
    Joined: Apr 2005
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    Location: Portugal

    Vega Senior Member

    That's not a problem. The radar could be mounted on a gyroscope. The mast would rotate, but the radar would maintain always the same axis.

    And satellite communications systems don’t need to be high, but only need to have a clear "view" of the sky. They could be on the back of the boat, as they are in sailing boats (I mean, more traditional sailing boats).
     
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