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Dynarig is a revolutionary rig because once the sails are deployed, the thrust of the boat is optimized by rotating the shafts. For the first time the maneuvers are performed not by acting on the sails but on the shaft, which rotates in position to adjust the angle of the sails.
That is, the system allows you to receive the wind with an optimal angle of incidence on the sails through the rotation of the shafts and navigation is always guaranteed with the wind that pulls in any direction. When the sails are wrapped they are kept inside the same trees.
The sailboats so far built with this type of rig are 2 and in both have been mounted square sails on three carbon masts, which are stopped on rotating bases in the hull structure. Each tree is independent and the area of the sail of each individual tree is divided into five small sails that open along the tracks of the yards fixed rigidly to the trees.
The fifteen square sails on the three masts are placed between the yards so that when they are all lined up, they do not have empty spaces between them, creating a single panel to capture the wind and the boat is pushed as if it had been set up with a single sail which is more efficient than more sails that work individually.
This type of rig was conceived in the early 1960s by the German engineer Wilhelm Prölss who never had the chance to verify its practical construction and for years was one of many projects that existed only on paper. As long as Perni Navi is a leader company for innovations and creativity in the construction of automated sailboats, it has been proposed as an alternative to traditional weapons by its affectionate customer, the electronic engineer Tom Perkins, former president of Hewlett Packard, a very rich computer entrepreneur as an answer to his explicit request “I would like to end my career as an entrepreneur and sailor with something exceptional, something memorable.” “If you are interested, I am willing to collaborate and contribute to a project worthy of your company and its my ambitions “. (Tom Perkins died in 2016 in California at the age of 84)
Thus was born one of the largest and most complex sailing yachts in the world, the 88 meter long Maltese Falcon built by Perini Navi between 2002 and 2006, the first in the world built with a DynaRig rig although the original patent rights and the remaining technology were purchased by the German government from an American investor in 2001 and was renamed Falcon.
We immediately say that this type of rig was made possible with the development of technology and new materials used over time for the construction of new boats such as carbon masts that ensure the right lightness and strength to solve the structural problems required for a rig of this type.
Hardly in the 60s with the technology and knowledge on the materials of that time could one think of building a boat of this type but rightly the German engineer must be credited with having devised this ingenious rig. Although in reality the practical construction of the rig has at the moment only worked with three trees and not with the four or five trees imagined by Prölss for a cargo ship.
Currently in addition to the Maltese Falcon is the Black Pearl sailing yacht 106.7 meters long built by the Dutch shipyard Oceanco between 2012 and 2018 that use DynaRig in the future, it does not exclude the possibility that it can develop even on smaller boats.
The company that has been interested in the development and practical construction of the DynaRig rig was Dykstra Naval Architects, which has 50 years of experience in naval architecture design, always attentive to innovation with zero environmental impact.
On behalf of Perini Navi at that time he made DynaRig from the Maltese Falcon and then also the one on the Black Pearl . It’s not enough to create the rig, then you have to make it work and according to Perkins nobody was able to make the DynaRig work better than the engineer Fabio Perini with his construction site.
The engineering challenge to overcome was to build shafts stuck on rotating bases of the smallest possible size to limit the occupied space that would readily follow the wind direction.
that would readilu follow wind directionThis was made possible through a complex electric / hydraulic system consisting of motors, sensors, automatic winches and more, all controlled by a complicated on-board computer that automatically processes all the navigation parameters and plans the maneuvers to be performed.
All the control signals with the various functions arrive on the interactive computer screen installed on the control panel, with just one touch of a finger on the corresponding panel to explain or wrap a sail.
The system allows all fifteen square sails to be lowered or deployed in just six or seven minutes in complete safety with total control of the entire sail plan and it is possible that even one person can manage the entire boat.
Certainly the three trees that rotate according to the wind direction were the main problem but then they had to face a myriad of related secondary problems all new difficulties never faced in the past.
The use of carbon masts as well as being important for the feasibility of DynaRig over time have also proven to be very reliable considering all the miles of navigation made by the Maltese Falcon since 2006, when it was put into the sea until now.
To tell the truth a certain perplexity arose when the owner of the boat decided to put the Maltese Falcon on sale in 2008 just two years after its launch, doubts that time has completely dissolved.
Later the boat with a cost likely to be less than what it was bought by the current owner was a powerful Greek business woman, the blonde Elena Ambrosiadou.
We must say that the constructions of both the Maltese Falcon and the Blach Pearl have been very complex and have involved an impressive group of naval engineers and architects and specialists for every single element installed and it took at least two years of sea trials to try the opening and closing of all the sails, and also simulate some situation that can be created following an incorrect maneuver to then see the consequences of the damage caused.
Furthermore, conditions have arisen in the event of irregular operation of the system starting from the on-board computer. Because you know, automation is nice when it works, but then you need to ensure safety even in the event of a failure.
This circumstance has been addressed by reducing the automatic control of the boat in case of anomalies. For example, in a normal operating situation, to open and close a sail there are five engines with five electronic drivers controlled by a computer. If you break the computer, you can manually intervene on the five motors independently, like normal electric motors.
Currently these boats undoubtedly have a sail plan the most advanced of the moment and this new concept of rigging can be used to create new scenarios in world yachting for the future.
Among other things, the same Perini Navi is developing the heir of the famous Maltese Falcon sailing yacht with a new large boat that optimizes the size of the sail and the length of the waterline for greater efficiency and speed that clearly requires a new buyer so that the yacht is actually built and put into the water.