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

    Cheap Labor Markets

    Finding cheaper labor is not near the problem as finding cheaper labour with the experience and artisic capabilities to turn out an 'international yacht' project. They can be two different things. Ask Joe Vittoria of his experiences building the first two of his Mirabella yachts over in Thailand....probably took over twice as long and employed a lot of non-thai managers
     
  2. brian eiland
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    brian eiland Senior Member

    Video reference of Maltese Falcon

    A few shots of Maltese Falcon in motion.
    SuperYachts at Antique
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xtRwnVIKf0M&NR=1

    It's quite surprising there are not more of these video sightings considering the press this vessel has garnered??

    Does anyone know of others??
     
  3. lazeyjack

    lazeyjack Guest

    believe me perini would not be there if it was not for cheaper labour, I was told I would pay a welder 20 new tr lire a day, thats 18 au ,Plus the absense of red tape that is forever present in Eu
     
  4. Omeron
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    Omeron Senior Member

    lazeyjack, 20 new TR lira a day is a bit optimistic.(15 US$)
    Unskilled labor per day starts around 20-30 US$ a day, for an officially
    registered employee, including his social security and taxes.
    In a project like this, probably your labour cost would average
    around 40 US$ a day,not including management level.
     
  5. brian eiland
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    brian eiland Senior Member

    Superyacht Cup 2007

    Every day of the regatta the vast 88m (288ft) three masted Maltese Falcon built by Perini Navi left everybody in awe including experienced yachtsmen. The remotely controlled free-standing carbon fibre rotating rigs, complete with 18 yards are a technological masterpiece, setting 15 in-mast fuling square sails operated by 75 electric winches aloft. The detailed design, testing, planning and engineering for such a vast and untried project is difficult to comprehend and the execution is an outstanding testament to all invloved.

    For the final day of The Superyacht Cup it was possible to see the awsome offwind power of Maltese Falcon in action. Rather than the typical offwind problems of large sailing superyachts where exrtra crew are required to handle gennakers to give any reliable offwind performance, on Maltese Falcon the helmsman just bears away and the square sails instantly offer maximum projected area.

    On the final reach to the finish Maltese Falcon was sailing close to 20 knots pushing a large bow wave in front of her.
     
  6. brian eiland
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    brian eiland Senior Member

    New Book on Tom Perkin's quest to build Maltese Falcon

    On July 3 David A. Kaplan's new book, "Mine's Bigger": 'Tom Perkins and the Making of the Greatest Sailing Machine Ever Built' was due to be released.

    "Tom Perkins had a dream. It wasn’t to get rich, acquire power, or marry fame. As the man most responsible for creating Silicon Valley, he had done all that. His venture-capital firm, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers remains the most celebrated money machine since the Medicis. He’d helped found Genentech and fund Google. And in 2006, his resignation from the Hewlett-Packard board of directors triggered the revelation of a spying scandal that dominated the front pages. Along the way, he also managed to get himself convicted of manslaughter in France and to become Danielle Steel’s Ex-Husband No. 5.

    No, as hit his 70s, Perkins wanted to create the biggest, fastest, riskiest, highest-tech, most self-indulgent sailboat ever–the “perfect yacht.” His fantasy would be a modern clipper ship–as long as a football field, 42 feet wide, with three masts each rising 20 stories toward the heavens. This $130 million square-rigger–the Maltese Falcon–would evoke the era of magnificent vessels that raced across the oceans in the 19th century.

    With keen storytelling and biting wit, Newsweek’s David A. Kaplan takes us behind the scenes of an extraordinary project and inside the mind of a larger-than-life character. We discover why any sane man would gamble a sizeable chunk of his net worth on a boat. We meet the cast of engineers who conspired with him. And we learn about the other two monumental yachts just built by gazillionaires that Perkins is ever eyeing. In a battle of egos on the high seas, Perkins loves to preen, “Mine’s better! Mine’s bigger!” On the Falcon’s climactic voyage across the Mediterranean–1,600 nautical miles from Istanbul through the Dardanelles, to the Greek Islands and Malta, by Sicily and Sardinia, and on to the French Riviera–we revel with Perkins as his creation surges along at record-breaking speeds.

    This is the biography of a remarkable boat and the man who built it. More than a tale of technology, Mine’s Bigger is a profile of ambition, hubris and the imagination of a legendary entrepreneur. And in the end, too, it is a story of love and loss
    .".....Kaplan

    Buy the book, see more photos, watch a video...at Kaplan's website:
    http://www.davidakaplan.com/
     
  7. brian eiland
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    brian eiland Senior Member

    Interesting Photo Set

    Found this interesting set of photos by Tim Wright of the Falcon at the St Barth's Cup
    http://www.photoaction.com/index-1.html

    ..click on St. Barths 'Bucket' 2007,
    ..then chose Maltese Falcon
     
  8. brian eiland
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    brian eiland Senior Member

    Luff Rope Details?

    Does anyone have knowledge of the 'luff-rope' details on Maltese Falcon??

    I use the word 'luff-rope' (for lack of another word) for the edge treatment of the sail that must follow some grooved track in the yardarm?
     
  9. RHP
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    RHP Senior Member

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

    Sea Trials

    ...another excerpt from Kaplin's book...


    "After the customs shipment appeared, after we lifted anchor and docked alongside a tanker to take on 20,000 more gallons of diesel fuel, we set out for the ten-day shakedown cruise through the Dardanelles, into the Aegean Sea and the Mediterranean, on to Malta and up to the Côte d'Azur and the Italian Riviera. At that point, the Maltese Falcon had sailed only one day in her life. This was unusual: sea trials for a new yacht typically lasted for weeks to ensure that everything worked and that the boat wouldn't sink under the stress of wind and seas. But the two 1,800-horsepower engines had performed flawlessly, the electronics showed only minor hiccups, the experimental sailing rig was still standing, and nothing leaked. And Perkins was in a hurry. He wanted out of Turkey, where he had spent parts of five years while overseeing the Falcon's construction—often living aboard a motor yacht he kept docked at the shipyard. He'd had enough of the noise of all-night welders working on freighters the next dock over, toxic fumes from the painting shed, metal scraps in his scalp—and the nasty stray cat in the shipyard he named Satan. He wanted the open sea.

    The sea was his sanctuary—all the more so after the death of his beloved wife of thirty-three years, Gerd Thune-Ellefsen Perkins, a decade earlier. Perkins knew the Mediterranean and Caribbean better than his own San Francisco Bay. Untethered to the worries of everyday existence, life on the water seemed to allow Perkins to escape to a world of beauty, freedom, and on-demand solitude. He could brave the elements, yet live in the rarefied luxury of mahogany and cabernet. He could test out every new technology and gadgetry that an engineering geek loved, yet have chefs and stewards to cater to every detail of his needs. His 138-foot old schooner Mariette had given him the chance to compete on the European racing circuit with a classic yacht. His 154-foot Andromeda la Dea allowed him to cruise the oceans and circumnavigate the globe; on that ketch, he had sailed to Antarctica before rounding Cape Horn, criss-crossed the Atlantic seven times, and in a victory of happenstance over prudence, survived the 'perfect storm' of 1991 near Newfoundland that killed at least 12 people.

    ................

    Day by night, as he experimented with the Maltese Falcon's sail formations and angles of attack on the wind, Perkins absorbed himself in his technological masterwork. Most of the time, he seemed to prefer that obsession to the corporate intrigue he thought he'd long gotten out of. No longer was he on the board of thirteen public companies at the same time—chairing a record three of them on the New York Stock Exchange. The Falcon was the crowning achievement of his half-century of yachting. It was to be his retirement project—actually, given the boat's mammoth size, it was to be his self-described 'retirement village.' As the maiden voyage got underway that morning in July 2006, Perkins decided he'd try his ****edest to stay on course with what was supposed to be the trip of his life.

    It was a journey long in the making. Perkins had gotten what he wanted most of his life. The Falcon was the ultimate prize—a boat nobody else could have conjured up, a fantasy that made him a visionary, a fool, or both. Nearly six years earlier, he had decided to create 'the perfect yacht.' Given both advances in materials science and the explosion of dot-com lucre, two other American tycoons were attempting about the same thing. All the better to Perkins: he wanted to make the best boat, but it would even more satisfying if he could beat out others while accomplishing it. 'Mine's bigger,' as Perkins liked to say, meant somebody else's needed to be smaller. In a kingdom of haves, he had to be a have-more. Temperamentally, constitutionally, pretty much clinically, Perkins needed to be in a battle of egos on the high seas. After all, there's not much fun in winning a competition of one.

    Perkins's 'clipper yacht' was intended to evoke the era of magnificent vessels that once raced across the oceans. But his 1,367-ton square-rigger would be more New Old Thing than mere tribute to the past. It was a futuristic marvel born of modern technology and design. Gone was all the rigging: there were no ropes, no wires, nothing to support the masts or the horizontal yards, or to control the fifteen sails carrying nearly 26,000 square feet. No longer was there a score of deckhands to climb the rig to furl and unfurl every sail. Instead, the masts were entirely freestanding and, unlike masts on any other boat, they were not stationery, but rotated. The sails were deployed at the push of a button, rolling out from inside each twenty-five-ton mast. Dozens of computers and microprocessors—connected by 131,000 feet of cable and wires—integrated the whole thing, allowing helmsman and crew to control the boat nearly effortlessly. And unlike the clippers of yore, with their vast, white expanses of billowing canvas, the Falcon's sails in effect formed a nearly flat vertical wing on each mast. Conventional clipper morphs into fin-de-siècle machine—a marriage of old and new, or a mutant of tradition? It depended on your perspective.

    Damm the risks, damm the uncertainties, damm the costs—it was full-speed ahead. That was the Silicon Valley ethos that Perkins was so elemental in establishing. Now he would change the culture of sailing. Part art, part science, and part magic, sailing was a way of commerce for thousands of years. It had been the instrument of global discovery going back to antiquity. It was a romanticized sport of kings since the seventeenth century. Sailing was no longer necessary to travel the world, but it remained essential to Perkins. Sailing was beautiful, dangerous, enduring, primordial, noble. Sailors reined in nature and harnessed the wind——yet were at their mercy. Tom Perkins resolved to leave his mark on that long arc of history and imagination—in short, he intended nothing less than a sailing revolution. And a vessel through which his boundless ego could be expressed—the largest privately owned sailboat on the planet, the Maltese Falcon."


    This is the story of that yacht and the man who built it.

    Excerpt from Mine's Bigger: Tom Perkins and the Making of the Greatest Sailing Machine Ever Built by David A. Kaplan (HarperCollins 2007).
     
  11. Guillermo
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    Guillermo Ingeniero Naval

    Just to tell Tony Sard, an spanish 'Ingeniero Naval' from Mallorca, has been the man in charge during Maltese Falcon construction, regarding masts and rigging. he was in Tuyrkey for 2 years and 9 months, having to learn the turkish language.
     
  12. RHP
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    RHP Senior Member

    Falcon book

    Well, according to the Falcon's website, they say it is not recommended reading beause.........

    "There is a new book out by David Kaplan, an editor from Newsweek, with a photo of the Falcon on the cover. In spite of its risqué title, Mine's Bigger, the book is mostly a rehash of old public material from the owner's personal and business life, and only partly about the yacht. If you have been following the Falcon in any of the yachting magazines, you already know more about the boat than you will learn here. Kaplan, a non sailor, laboriously explains basics, as the difference between tacking and gybing, and, unfortunately, most of the boat's new technology is over his head. Sorry David, but to site visitors, we recommend not wasting your time or money on this one."

    from http://mfalcon.blogspot.com/
     
  13. barnacleMagnet
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    barnacleMagnet New Member

  14. J DUFOUR
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    J DUFOUR archimanadesigner++

    hi,

    Maltese Falcon is a really a beautifull boat on the dock but on the seas , it's another story. And why she is already on the market if she 's so smart ?

    Is she only a " concept boat" ?

    jd
     

  15. RHP
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    RHP Senior Member

    Most big boats are on the market if a buyer puts cash on the table and I wouldnt be surprised if Tom Perkins has already got his eye on a new project, maybe something even more outrageous..... :)
     
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