Throughout yachting history, few superyachts have ever developed the international recognition from which the Maltese Falcon benefited ever since her delivery in 2006. Built for the late venture capitalist, Tom Perkins, the 88-meter yacht was until recently a contender for the title of largest sailing yacht in the world.
Even though her claim to the crown was recently overtaken by the 106-meter Black Pearl, the Maltese Falcon remains to many one of the most iconic yachts ever built. Sold to Elena Ambrosiadou at an asking price of €70 million in 2009, the 88-meter is also one of the largest yachts available for charter with a rate starting at $400,000 per week.
Commissioned in 2000 by Tom Perkins, the Maltese Falcon took nearly six years to complete and was eventually launched in 2006. Built by Perini Navi, the Italian shipyard now famous for their sailing yachts, the 88 meter's most innovative attribute became her sails that could rotate based on the direction of the wind. This was a first for the yachting industry.
The project was initially based on an incomplete 88-meter hull that Perini Navi had at a facility in Turkey following a canceled order. Interestingly included as an owner supplied item in the building contract, the masts and sails' design initially originated from a fuelling crisis. "While looking into the possibilities I came across the Dynarig ?- a square-rig concept developed by the German government during a fuel crisis to reduce the fuel consumption of merchant ships." recalled Perkins in 2013 with BI.
"This rig inspired me and I looked into its possibilities with the naval architect Gerry Dykstra. I went to his studio and listened to his ideas for applying modern technology to the original primitive concept, using three unstayed carbon fiber masts, each fitted with elegantly curved, fixed yards that would allow the yacht to sail upwind. I was impressed with his ideas and said, ?'Fine, let?'s do it,'? and left.? After the meeting, Dykstra looked at his team in some alarm and said, '?My God, where do we go from here?"
This innovative system that allows the Maltese Falcon to even sail against the wind also gives her advanced cruising abilities. During her first sea trials, she achieved a cruising speed of 16 knots on. In a storm in the Gulf of Lion, France she achieved a top speed of 26 knots under sail alone, with the equivalent of 7,500hp generated through her Dynarig set up.
Three years into his ownership of the Maltese Falcon, Perkins, however, sold her to hedge fund manager, Elena Ambrosiadou at an asking price of €70 million, reportedly at least breaking even on the sale.
"The high point of my ownership was entering San Francisco harbour, when literally tens of thousands of well wishers turned out to see the Maltese Falcon sail beneath the Golden Gate." Perkins explained BI.? "But that was just about the furthest she ever got from Istanbul. ?She was in such demand as a charter yacht and commanded such high fees that I simply couldn't refuse. But this meant keeping her in the Caribbean and the Mediterranean, and I soon got bored with that.? So, in 2009, after three years, this remarkable yacht was sold."
Designed by Ken Freivokh, the Maltese Falcon was extensively refurbished in 2015/2016 during a refit. One of the most active yachts on the charter market, she accommodates up to 12 guests.
The 88-meter yacht's main deck serves as communal space for the guests' entertainment. Aft of the deck is a large, outside dining room with a bar and cocktail space flowing into the Falcon's main salon.
Split with the outside world by a circular bar, that can be closed off in the middle for part of it to remain inside, which is particularly useful during long crossings, the formal main salon acts as a lounging space for guests.
Featuring three comfortable sofas and windows on either side of the yacht, the main salon leads directly onto the staircase that connects each one of the decks.
Forward of the main deck are two formal, separate lounges that can act as a private study, a space for business meetings or simply a nice spot to play cards. These two areas open up to a formal dining area located towards the bow of the yacht.
A more formal location, mainly used in times of bad weather, the dining room located forward of the main deck sits twelve, similarly to the outside dining table found aft of the main deck.
Forward of the dining room are two doors that allow guests to exit onto the deck. Accommodating up to 12 guests, the 88-meter sailing yacht features four cabins on the lower deck with an additional, convertible one. Designed with clear wood and black & white panels, the reoccurring theme of the Falcon is found in a fashion or another in every room on the yacht.
Although the yacht's main VIP cabin is located aft of the lower deck, an additional VIP cabin can be created by combining two regular cabins forward of the deck through the use of a sliding wall. The forward cabin then transforms into a lounging space for its guests, further creating a his and hers bathroom layout thanks to the additional space.
Stretching across the full beam of the yacht, the original VIP cabin occupies more space than even the master's cabin on the upper deck. Featuring a large bathroom and a lounging space aft of the cabin, the VIP lies aft of the lower deck and is decorated with precious works of art, as are most of the rooms on the Maltese Falcon.
Even more impressively, the master cabin is located on its own deck, up on the upper deck. With a clear view opening from the stateroom's bed onto the Maltese Falcon's aft deck, the stateroom features a private, outdoor lounging area.
On this private deck, which also doubles as a sundeck are several lounging chairs located all around the space. In the middle of the deck is an outdoor, circular, casual dining table. A large, square Jacuzzi completes the sundeck's layout towards its aft.
Amongst the long list of the Maltese Falcon's impressive amenities is its ability to transform the lounging space located towards the bow of its sundeck into a cinema. Installing lounging chairs forward of the sundeck and projecting movies onto the bottom part of her forward sail transforms the Falcon into one of the most theatres on the water.
A popular charter yacht, the Maltese Falcon also boasts a long list of toys for its more dynamic guests. In addition to the two large tenders that it carries on her bow, the Falcon features an inflatable water slide, deployable from its sundeck.
"Irrespective of his amazing achievements before and after, Maltese Falcon remains Tom’s most defining moment." Ken Freivokh told BI in 2013. "He once confided that he would not go down in history for his corporate successes, such as having set up the most successful Venture Capital company ever, a firm that takes credit for the establishment of Los Angeles’ Silicon Valley and the technology that has poured from it, but for having built the Maltese Falcon."
Born in New York in 1932, Thomas Perkins passed away in June 2016 at the age of 84. Haing graduated from MIT and Harvard, Perkins' first key career move came as he helped develop Hewlett-Packard under Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard.
In 1973, Perkins founded Kleiner Perkins together with his former colleague, Eugene Kleiner, hence establishing one of the first venture capital firms on Sand Hill Road. His firm became one of the most succesful VC funds in history, leading investments into Compaq, Google, Amazon and Netscape. In 2014, Forbes estimated his net worth at $8 billion.
"Tom was a pioneer in the venture capital industry." commented Frank Caufield, a partner at Kleiner Perkins at the time of Perkins' death. "He defined what we know of today as entrepreneurial venture capital by going beyond just funding to helping entrepreneurs realize their visions with operating expertise. He was there at the start of the biotech industry and the computer revolution."
Perini Navi, the shipyard under whose brand the Maltese Falcon was built, had a long standing relationship with Perkins prior to starting on the construction of the 88m yacht.
After starting up with a series of small sailing boats, Perkins was introduced to Fabio Perini and ultimately commissioned the 43-meter Andromede la Dea from him. The sailing yacht was delivered in 1987 and became the second yacht ever built by the Italian shipyard. Now known as Paz, the sailing yacht was a turning point for the sector in general.
Three years into his ownership of the 43-meter, Perini brought the designs of a larger scale project to Perkins, who decided it was time for an upgrade. The 47-meter Andromeda La Dea was delivered by the Italian shipyard in 1990. Onboard her, Perkins explored destinations such as Antartica and Alaska.
Shortly prior to his sale of the Maltese Falcon to Elena Ambrosiadou, Perkins decided to look into a new side of yachting and bought a personal submarine. The underwater Falcon could reach depths of up to 400 meters and basically fly underwater.
In order to have a suitable yacht for using the Falcon following his sale of the 88-meter sailing yacht, Perkins purchased a 37-meter Japanese training ship and had it converted at a shipyard in the Philippines. Amongst the adventures of the newly refitted Dr No was following whales in Tonga even underwater thanks to the Falcon.
The Maltese Falcon's new owner, Greek hedge fund manager, Elena Ambrosiadou first saw the sailing yacht near the Greek island of Delos. Together with her ex-husband, Ambrosiadou founded Ikos, their own fund, in 1990 with $600,000 in assets under management.
By 2004, the fund was managing several billion using its math-based strategies and moved over half of its staff to Cyprus for tax purposes. Around the same time, as she purchased the Falcon, the two partners started splitting up with the rights to their trading algorithms widely debated in courted and, reportedly, through corporate espionage within the firm. "There is something extraordinary about the IT at Ikos... Ikos is designed to remove human emotions from trading decisions." one of Ikos' employees told Business Insider.
Was the Falcon really the largest sailing yacht?
Following her delivery and at the time of her sale in 2009, the Maltese Falcon was hailed by international media as the largest yacht in the world. Within yachting, however, this claim always led to vicious debates.
Indeed, whereas it is clear that 180-meter Azzam is the longest yacht in the world and Dilbar is the most voluminous, both of these are motor yachts. With sailing yachts, the ranking is however much more opaque due largely to the measurement that is used.
Loaded waterline length, known as LWL, is the measurement of the length of a vessel from the points where it sits in the water. On the other hand, length overall, abbreviated as LOA, is defined as the maximum length of a yacht's hull, which for sailing yacht also includes the bowsprit, a key factor when measuring a sailing yacht and part of the difficulty in this ranking.
The Maltese Falcon's claim rested on its LOA measurement of 78.21-meters and the fact that she did not have a bowsprit to offset calculations. The 90-meter Athena, built for Jim Clark, Founder of Netscape in which Kleiner Perkins was an investor, was longer in absolute length but had a long bowsprit, which led to long debates.
The main contender to the title, other than the Falcon, was however the 93-meter Lurssen, EOS. Built for Barry Diller, the sailing yacht topped the rankings both in LOA and LWL. Since the yacht had a bowsprit, some argued that her length at waterline should be used (83m) whereas the Falcon should be measured in total length (88m), hence putting her on top.
Recently, this debate was rendered moot by the launch of the 106-meter yacht, Black Pearl by Oceanco. Designed by Ken Freivokh and with naval architecture by Dykstra, the sailing yacht features a Dynarig system, similar to the one found on the Maltese Falcon.
Whereas the Maltese Falcon may no longer be the largest sailing yacht in the world, her build has inspired many of the innovations later found on sailing yachts. As a testament to her popularity, she remains in high demand for charter, over 10 years after her initial delivery.
Dutch builder Moonen Yachts has announced successful joining of the hull and superstructure of the latest Moonen Martinique superyacht. Currently under construction in the Netherlands, the 36-metre YN199 is available for sale, and is on track for a Summer 2020 delivery.The 36-metre motor yacht YN199 is the second yacht built on the semi-custom Martinique platform. She features exterior design from René van der Velden, with naval architecture undertaken by the Dutch experts at Diana Yacht Design in collaboration with René van der Velden. The London-based Studio Indigo is responsible for her sophisticated interior design.Following the keel laying on 14th December 2018, the second hull in Moonen’s Martinique line, the 36-metre motor yacht follows the delivery of her award-winning sistership, Brigadoon, in summer 2018.YN199’s Project Manager, Nicky van Zon, comments on the latest construction milestone: It’s no secret that Moonen has faced a challenging period over the past few months. Regardless, we’ve worked hard to ensure that project delays have been kept to a bare minimum. We’re all extremely proud that we have been able to reduce the delay in the construction of YN199.On-board, the yacht accommodates up to 12 guests across a six cabins, as well as a crew of seven. Her interior design concept remains flexible to allow prospective owners to customise it to personal style and taste. Still, special consideration has been already given to maximising internal areas to enhance a sense of space and ease of movement.Regarding her technical features, the yacht has a high-tensile steel hull and an aluminium superstructure. Reduced construction weight results in a maximum speed of up to 16.5 knots, lower fuel consumption and low noise and vibration levels for comfortable cruising around the world.Following delivery next summer, YN199 will be on display at the 2020 editions of the Cannes Yachting Festival and Monaco Yacht Show. At the moment, Moonen also has one more 36-metre steel and aluminium yacht under construction. Noteworthy, the yard filed for bankruptcy protection with the Dutch court this summer. Later, it has entered into a new ownership under an Australian couple, Matthew and Louise Baxter.
November 15, 2019
Brokerage company SuperYachtsMonaco has presented a new futuristic superyacht concept Project L by French designer Thierry Gaugain. Known for collaborations with Philippe Starck on several yachts including M/Y A, S/Y A and Venus, he is now presenting his solo 120-metre project. Project L will accommodate an indoor and outdoor cinema, nemo room, beach club, spa, gym, live performance area, dive centre, polar gear room, pools and a tender drive-in garage. Designer Thierry Gaugain, working on this project, did not limit himself to established frameworks. For example, it seems that the ship is generally devoid of windows, but this is not so. The area of glazing is actually large, just glass with one-sided visibility.Project L has a focus on sustainable yachting and will be powered by a diesel-electric hybrid propulsion system with azimuthing thrusters fore and aft. She will have an impressive 10,000 nm range at 12 knots and a high capacity waste management system to support her autonomy.She is also designed to be silent on the water. Her original naval architecture allows stable gliding through the water. Her low drag and seamless lines are to ensure best levels of low noise and vibration.Furthermore, Project L will feature a retractable ballast – like a sailboat keel – to adjust stiffness, roll time, feel and stability according to conditions, swell and wind direction when at anchor.Guest capacity of Project L is flexible, depending on her owner's needs. She can accommodate 12 guests with 40 crew plus staff, but it’s possible to expand this up to a maximum of 36 guests and 50 crew.The yacht's interiors will be well-lit, as lots of natural light can flood in. Her lighting system will mirror the hue of natural light as the day passes, promoting wellness and calm on board.The exteriors of Project L will be linked to the interiors by one-way glass which reflects the seascape. Her only exterior light will run the length of the yacht, which can change colour to transform the reflections or her nighttime silhouette. A futuristic concept is now exclusively for sale with SuperYachtsMonaco.
November 15, 2019
At the recent Monaco Yacht Show, a leading British yacht builder Sunseeker has revealed new Sunseeker 133 model. It will operate on a hybrid propulsion system developed jointly with Germany-based engines manufacturer MTU. Yacht Harbour discussed the future of hybrid propulsion engines with Darren Barnett, Marine Manager with MTU UK.Sunseeker 133Where does MTU decision to focus on hybrid systems for yachts come from?MTU has been an engine supplier for many years. The company is around 110 years old. Over that time, we have specialised in manufacturing and supplying light-weight and high-speed diesel engines.Now the time has come, when we have to be more than just an engine supplier, since the power requirements on-board yachts are getting greater. Owners of yachts want to operate them in a different way. They do not want to travel fast - they want to travel comfortably, economically and efficiently.Therefore, the best solution to that is to offer the system that can power the vessel in different ways. Thus, it would provide both propulsion and supply of all the consumes on-board, such as air conditioning, stabilisers and other hotel loads.Is that right, that speed is not the major concern anymore?Yes, that is what we say. So it is not all about having the largest, most powerful engines. It is about being able to offer better experience on-board, whilst the customers spend their leisure time there.Sunseeker CEO Andrea Frabetti and Darren BarnettWhat makes hybrid propulsion different from other engine systems?Diesel engines will remain the core of propulsion systems for boats in the future. Nonetheless, what we are doing is offering systems that can power a vessel using batteries, for example. We also deploy generators to provide power for not only propulsion, but also for conventional power needs on-board.Actually, the way all of that is linked together is a clever part, because the hybrid system itself is greater than the sum of all the components. You cannot just select components and install them into the yacht. Apparently, they need to be integrated together, so that they operate seamlessly. We believe, that there is a great future in yachting for hybrid systems.Our approach is that we will deliver the whole scope of supply. It means, not just the engine, not just a part of it but the whole system. Thus, we are also taking full responsibility for it. Customers want to have the knowledge that the complete system will be taken care of, because with complicated systems such as this one it can get difficult.Currently, we are developing a hybrid system jointly with Sunseeker for the Sunseeker 133 yacht. And we are looking into a modular and serialised system, since we want to have a portfolio of components to select from, such as different diesel engines and several types of batteries and generators. Sunseeker 133Do you think the hybrid propulsion system you are working on could be installed on other yacht models?The ideas is, with Sunseeker we have the first or pilot installation. Therefore, at the moment we are working on the scope of supply for the Sunseeker 133. In the future, the basis we have developed with Sunseeker will be available for other yacht builders with different diesel engines, different batteries and different generators. It will be possible to customise the system for any particular yacht.But is the system ready for installation yet?We are still in the development phase, but we are close to finalizing the total scope of supply. Hopefully, Sunseeker soon will be able to begin construction of the 133 yacht with the hybrid system.Then in the future, what do you think could be the largest size of a yacht to operate on hybrid propulsion?The serialized system we are developing with Sunseeker is aimed more at the production yacht market. Naturally, much larger yachts have much more specific requirements. However, we have done it in the past and that is what we will continue to do in the future.Operating as a custom service, we would develop a system to meet the customer’s requirements. That could be any size of yachts, up to the very largest ones. For instance, Sailing Yacht A operates on a kind of hybrid system, where MTU have supplied gensets.Many builders now opt for more eco-friendly engines in general. Have you noticed raising environmental awareness among yachting clients?Yes, definitely. Owners of yachts have realised that they probably could do something to more environmentally friendly. All the large yachts are the big consumers of power. What they could do, is raising awareness of where they can be more efficient. And it is obvious, that vessels running on diesels create emissions.Alternatively, with a hybrid system, all those large vessels could operate in harbours using batteries. It is a great benefit, that it is emission-free and completely clean. The only problem with hybrid is that for the moment people do not understand what hybrid is. It is a long process, and we are trying to educate people, what the capabilities of that system are.What is more, when a yacht is at anchor in a small bay and the owner of the yacht wants to swim around with family, they would not want a generator running with exhaust emissions coming on to the water. The environment would much nicer if there are no diesel engines running. We see it is a great benefit.
November 14, 2019
Delivered this summer, the 90-metre Oceanco superyacht DreAMBoat made a splash at the Monaco Yacht Show 2019 with her international debut. Yesterday, the famous vessel was photographed at the shores of Gibraltar.Photo: @DannyWheelz on Instagram via Dutch YachtingAccording to social media sources, DreAMBoat was built for US billionaire and owner of the Atlanta Falcons NFL team Arthur Blank, who is valued at $5.5 billion by Forbes. Meanwhile, Forbes valued the team at $2.6 billion as of September, 2018.DreAMBoat at the MYS 2019. Photo via Dutch YachtingThe yacht of aluminium superstructure on a steel hull features a 14.2-metre beam. Sleek exteriors by Espen Oeino come trademarked with generous overhangs from the superstructure and cut outs in the bulwarks lending her classic and strong appearance.DreAMBoat at the MYS 2019. Photo via Dutch YachtingThe vessel’s exterior also features numerous large windows offering panoramic views. Swimming pool aft at the main deck, a partially closed sundeck with Jacuzzi and plenty of seating and entertainment zones and a private Jacuzzi at the owner’s deck.DreAMBoat at the MYS 2019. Photo via Dutch YachtingDreAMBoat's interior carries bespoke surfaces and limestone floors, all decorated with sophisticated natural materials including wood, semi-precious stone, leather and mother-of-pearl all designed by Terence Disdale. Her impressive interior volume of 2,950 GT allows accommodation for 23 guests on-board, along with up to 33 crew members.Her propulsion package consists of two MTU 4,828 HP engines, with reported top speed of 18.5 knots.DreAMBoat at the MYS 2019. Photo via Dutch YachtingThe superyacht belongs on the list of the largest superyachts, ever built for sports teams owners.
November 14, 2019
Italian engineering startup company iSpace2O has offered an interesting 'craft', with no analogues as of today. Named DeepSeaker DS1, it can dwell both above and below water. DeepSeaker is a multipurpose craft. The vessel can be deployed for leisure, tourism, search and rescue, research and other utilities.DeepSeaker DS1 is capable of diving to a depth of 50 - 100 meters, depending on the mode. To go underwater, it is necessary to fill the inflatable tank that plays the role of a ballast tank.Oxygen cylinders that allow people inside to breathe are not needed, since the Oxygen for the passengers will be extracted from sea water.According to the developers, this process requires minimum energy, which is important, since DeepSeaker DS1 is a 100% electric device.On the surface, equipped with water jets and foils, the DS1 is capable of speeds up to 30 knots under the most powerful performance. With two electric motors of 40 kW each, which are included in the basic package, the maximum speed capabilities are limited to 23–25 knots.Lithium-ion batteries guarantee six to eight hours of battery life. A full recharge of batteries takes eight hours, but there is also a quick charging system that allows you to manage in no more than an hour.The small size of the four-sear Deepseaker DS1 enables her to fit easily in a garage of any superyacht or support vessel. The owner is also entitled to personalise his model opting for a colour scheme in the style of a mothership.The standard equipment on-board the vessel includes a digital dashboard, connectors for iPad, GoPro cameras and even such peculiar devices as hydrophones, with which one can listen to marine inhabitants.According to Giuseppe Carusi, co-founder at iSpace2O, the project has existed for five years, but only now they received financing. The first prototype of DS1 is planning to attend the Dubai Expo in October 2020, while the final version of the prototype will be ready by early 2021.The price of DeepSeaker DS1, according to preliminary data, will vary from € 950 thousand to € 1.2 million, depending on the version. In the future, it is planned to develop a larger and more spacious version, based on the platform.
November 13, 2019