UK firm plays its part in $100m yacht

Southampton-based composites specialist Insensys played a major role in the construction of the Maltese Falcon, the ‘superyacht’ unveiled last week in Italy

Southampton-based composites specialist Insensys has played a major role in the construction of the Maltese Falcon, the ‘superyacht’ unveiled last week in Italy.

The vessel, which is estimated to have cost around $100 million to build, has three free-standing masts – which were designed, tested and built by Insensys. Each mast is 57m high, weighs 13 tonnes and has six curved carbon fibre yards to make the rig look like a classic square rigger. The masts can be rotated to suit the wind direction.

The basic design of the rig and masts dates back to the 1960s, and German hydraulics engineer Wilhelm Prolls. One drawback of the design – dubbed Dynarig – was the fact that the masts needed to be stayed, or held in place with lines. The use of modern, innovative composites allow the construction of free-standing masts.

Insensys chief executive Martin Jones said: “The mast would be subject to bending loads of around 18 million Nm – around three times that experienced by the largest wind turbine ever built.”

Author
Lou Reade

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