After over two years of design, engineering and construction, Doyle Sailmakers has fit sails on the impressive new Perini Navi Sloop, Perseus^3 in La Spezia, Italy this past week. The sail inventory, produced in Salem, Massachusetts, is one of the largest and most complex ever assembled, and will provide a breathtaking and unprecedented racing and sailing experience for the owners and crew. Perseus^3 stands apart from her peers with both her carbon clearcoat mast – one of the world’s tallest – and for her A2 Spinnaker – the world’s largest sail – measuring in at 28,010 square feet (2,602 square meters).
Two years’ worth of work came together in two days in Italy, as the Mainsail, Reacher and Blade Jib were fitted for the first time. The yacht will now begin her series of sea trials and sail system trials, gradually adding in the remainder of this spectacular racing inventory.
From the onset, performance was the clear goal of this project. Doyle Sailmakers was involved with the process from the beginning, working with Ron Holland Design, Perini Navi and Future Fibres to optimize every aspect of the sailing experience. The mast was carefully engineered to assist with the massive sail area of the yacht. From Doyle Sailmaker’s end, the size of the sails entailed a novel approach to both engineering the materials and sail handling. Taking it one step further, Doyle CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) addressed the challenges of properly balancing the load on the three headstays, with the additional Code 0 Torque Rope, while still maintaining an acceptable headstay sag for the racing requirements of the yacht. Working with the engineers at Perini Navi, Future Fibers and Germanisher-Lloyd, Doyle CFD helped establish the proper balance and stability of loads on the stays and the sails.
Doyle Sailmakers has long been known for its innovation and this project is no exception. With prior experience coming from M5, Athos and Kokomo III, Doyle Sailmakers constantly adds new innovations and continues to enhance the overall sailing experience. New developments for this project include an inboard end fitting for the battens that isolates both the forward compression of the battens as well as eliminating vertical shifting. This new design ensures that the custom Perini Navi slides will enter the track without compromising the luff tape – essential to reliable sailing with rollboom mainsails. Additionally, the working jib, hoisted on a removable inner forestay, necessitates innovative soft hanks that automatically change in diameter as the sail is lowered to allow the sail flake over the larger diameter torque tube at the base of the torque rope.
Perseus^3 is the first vessel from Perini Navi to include a bow sprit – enabling the yacht to carry a number of massive downwind racing sails. The two spinnakers are among the largest sails ever made. The A2 measures in at 28,010 square feet (2602 square meters) and utilizes over 3,200 yards of cloth. Initially, there was no existing fabric capable of delivering high performance, light weight and a ‘soft hand’ for handling. The solution was an extensively tested fabric that blends Polyester with Dyneema – giving the cloth high strength as well as tear resistance.
The Code 0 will also fly off the sprit, and is being furled on the largest Top Down Furling Cable ever created by Future Fibres. After previous success with Top Down Furling for Code 0’s – with the cable in a contained luff sleeve – this was selected for Perseus^3 to enable the crew to quickly furl the sail and stow it easily. The Code 0 has been constructed using Doyle Sailmaker’s proprietary Stratis process, with curved radial seams to follow the path of the loads and enable precise shaping, high strength and minimal weight.
Perini Navi Group, a leader in the design and construction of many of the world’s largest sailing and motor yachts, has long been one of Doyle Sailmaker’s most important partners in the superyacht market.
“We first worked with Perini Navi on Andromeda le Dea in 1990, which at the time was one of the most technologically sophisticated yachts afloat. We have been pleased to work with them since on some of their highest performing and noticeable projects – from the majestic 88m Maltese Falcon, the racing oriented 38m Sloop P2, or the signature purple sails of the 50m Ketch Baracuda,” said Robbie Doyle, CEO of Doyle Sailmakers. “We always enjoy working with Perini Navi as they share our passion for sailing and innovation, and are always working to deliver the very finest product to their customers.” In just this last year, Doyle Sailmakers has been fortunate enough to deliver sails to the 56m Ketch Audace, 52m Ketch Tamsen, 50m Ketch …Is A Rose, 50m Ketch Silencio, 45m Sloop Clan VIII, 40m Sloop State of Grace and currently has sails underway for the 56m Ketch Asahi and 45m Sloop Helios.
The mast and boom for Perseus^3 were produced by Future Fibers, and at 75.8m the mast stands among the three tallest rigs ever built in the world. “We have managed to produce a tube with a perfect exterior surface and a flawless Clearcote gloss Carbon finish with zero filler – which can add up to 3 per cent to the weight of a mast,” according to Future Fibres. The mast weight is optimized at 16.4 tonnes. Similarly, the 23.4m carbon fiber furling boom has been manufactured using pre-preg carbon improving structural performance and weight, compared with standard wet–laminate construction. The boom features a new mandrel furling and locking system, as a result of extensive testing and prototyping.
In order to ensure safe sailing, Perseus^3 will feature an exclusive Rig Load Monitoring System that monitors the loads acting on the sails and rig components through a series of strain gauges.
For the handling and control of the impressive sailing system, Perseus^3 features the new generation of Perini Navi captive winches and furlers. The jib winches pull a maximum load of 30 tonnes and have a maximum line speed of 40 meters per minute. Electric variable speed motors and furlers, duly synchronized and monitored by the Perini Navi Automated Sail Handling System, dramatically improve furling and deploy times while speeding the tacking and jibing time by over 75% compared to vessels of the previous generation.
Gallery: Perseus^3 Mast and Sail Installation
Main Sail: 808 m2 The mast features 4 main sail locks: 1 full hoist + 3 reefs Batten car system Cunningham ram
Reacher: 1,160 m2
Blade Jib: 706 m2 with carbon vertical battens
Working Jib: 370 m2 On soft hanks and removable torque cable
Code 0: 1,804 m2 On the biggest torque cable TDF ever built by Future Fibres
A2: 2,602 m2
A3: 2,173 m2
Spinnaker Staysail: 721 m2
Mast: 75.8m Carbon Fibre by Future Fibres
Boom: 23.4m Carbon Fibre by Future Fibres
Standing rigging: Lateral Rigging in Carbon Fibre Aft and Fore Stays in Carbon+PBO+Kevlar