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The largest sail yacht ever built in Italy



img_11251Perini Navi recently announced the technical launch of 70m Sybaris, a yacht that push to new boundaries the research and design in the sailing superyachts.

With a fleet of 57 megasailers and three motor superyachts on the water, the brand new 70- metre ketch is the largest and most advanced sailing project since The Maltese Falcon and represents the state of the art in the evolution of the yard Perini Navi. Sybaris was built to the usual top levels of quality, comfort and safety that characterise all the Perini yachts, but her design and engineering have been taken to the next level. This has been achieved in part because of her greater length and volume, but is also thanks to the Group’s ongoing research into new technical solutions and her experienced owner’s input and insistence on excellence from the very beginning. Indeed, the original design was thoroughly revisited and underwent significant upgrades to finesse an extraordinary yacht that captures the advanced technical and styling attributes that define the Perini Navi brand.

Dynamic design

The exterior design by Perini Navi’s Technical & Design Office, with considerable input from the owner’s team, is noticeably sleeker and more sculptured than previous models with a less pronounced sheer line and more vertical bow. The contribution of Philippe Briand, called in to optimise the naval architecture and powerful sail plan, was fundamental in integrating high performance with luxurious comfort at sea. The French naval architect advised moving the mizzen mast further aft, for example, to provide more ‘clean’ air between the main and mizzen sails and improve sailing performance. This required close collaboration with the in-house design team, not least because the mizzen mast usually rests atop the engine room bulkhead, but also enhanced the layout of the cockpit by introducing space for a full size circular dining table between the mizzen mast and the 4m-wide glass entrance to the main salon.  The overhang of the superstructure brow above the windows has also been com- pletely eliminated to present a flush surface that serves to lighten the visual impact of the superstructure profile. For the same reason, the section of superstructure forward of the helm station on the fly bridge is painted the same dark grey as the hull, and the engine room ventilation grilles have been restyled to seamlessly merge with the side windows. Thanks to these major modifications, both technical and aesthetic, the graceful and balanced lines of the anthracite hull and metallic silver superstructure belie the yacht’s considerable volume of 850 gross tons.

Sailing performance

Performance under sail is a key element of the Sybaris ethos, provided by the 72m main mast and 61m mizzen for a total sail plan of 5,842 sqm. To this end, the carbon fibre spars and CarboLink standing rigging supplied by Rondal are equipped with an advanced monitoring system that provides constant feedback on rig loads via a series of sensors.

The electric in-boom furling systems of the composite booms are the first of their kind produced by Rondal. The fully mechanical reefing points on the masts supplied by Equiplite represent an innovation in halyard lock performance: gone are the days of “missing” the lock as the main halyard car engages automatically every time.

Electric variable-speed captive winches and furlers, duly synchronised and monitored by the Perini Navi Automated Sail Handling System, speed up tacking and jibing by dramatically improving the furling and deploy times of the North Sails 3Di wardrobe of sails. The reacher/blade winches, for example, pull a maximum load of 35 tonnes and have a maximum line speed of 75 m/min.

In addition to the high aspect ratio spade rudder, to further improve sailing performance (and access to shallow anchorages) the yacht has a centreboard keel with a variable draught of between 4.5m and 11.7m. Quiet and precise manoeuvrability is provided by a retractable Voith inline bow thruster powered by a permanent magnet electric motor.

Silent efficiency

Sybaris is equipped with two 120 kW variable speed generators – a first on a Perini Navi yacht – supplying electrical power via a DC bus to the vessel’s main electrical grid with the potential to store excess power in lithium polymer batteries. The battery banks, providing a total power of 136 kW/h with a recharge time of less than one hour, offer the advantage of ‘silent running’ mode both at anchor and while sailing. The aft platform, for example, can be deployed using battery power and bathers can enjoy a swim without the exhaust fumes associated with diesel generators.

The battery banks are located in the bilges and are easily accessible for maintenance or replacement (space has been reserved for a further battery bank should the owner choose to augment the system in the future). Smaller and lighter than fixed speed generators, variable speed generators are also quieter and consume less fuel because they can run at lower rpm to meet actual loads, rather than at a constant speed focused on peak loads. The peak and trough shaving during hotel generator operations allow for improved efficiency as well as reduced emissions, longer maintenance cycles and stable DC electrical power by eliminating the need for AC filters. The Perini Navi engineers also worked hard to rationalise the system architecture by reducing the lengths of cable runs an important consideration on a 70m yacht with more than 100km of wiring.

Comfort guaranteed

Minimal noise and vibration is expected as a given by today’s owners and Perini Navi has continuously developed its machinery and accommodation installation procedures to reduce both. One of the most significant contributions to achieving this goal has been mounting the engine and gearbox components on a vibration damping cradle that is then elastically fixed to the hull structure as a single unit.  This method was first employed aboard the 60m ketch Seahawk and resulted in extremely low noise levels of 45dB (equivalent to the hum of a refrigerator or light rainfall) in the owner’s suite when cruising at 12 knots under engine power with generators on. At full power noise levels are only slightly higher and, of course, in battery-powered silent mode they are virtually non-existent.

Titanium details

The owner requested that certain rig components and deck hardware be made from titanium that offers a high strength-to-weight ratio and resistance to corrosion in seawater. Even the stainless steel Harken deck winches were specially treated using a special process known as microshot peening to create a satin surface texture like titanium.

The Miami based studio PH Design was in charge of the interior design and décor, but also extended to the open air living areas. They introduced the sculpted railings and other fixtures milled from solid titanium that appear throughout the yacht. The lustrous alloy is a notoriously difficult to work and Perini Navi had to seek out specialist craftsmen accustomed to working on components for Formula 1 racing cars to manufacture the bespoke fixtures and fittings. Even the bimini structure on the fly bridge is made of titanium with a central portion of UV and IR treated glass to provide additional light without the associated heat.

The largest sail yacht ever built in Italy

“As Perini Navi’s second largest sailing yacht launch to date, Sybaris raised numerous technical and aesthetic challenges,” says Burak Akgul, Managing Director of Sales, Marketing & Design. “But where there’s a will there’s a way, and the result is a uniquely beautiful sailing yacht that pushes the boundaries of design in every conceivable way.”


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