BY Anna Cummins on 5 Jun 2023

The 88-metre vessel remains one of the world’s most recognisable sailing yachts, famed for its technical innovation.

Maltese Falcon refit

The legendary sailing superyacht Maltese Falcon has completed its refit at the Lusben shipyard in Italy.

The refit of the three-masted 88-metre superyacht has taken more than six months and involved over 80 people working on various teams in synergy with the boat’s crew.

Maltese Falcon was commissioned by Tom Perkins and built in 2006 by Perini Navi, with naval architecture by Gerard Dijkstra and interior design by Ken Freivokh. It remains one of the world’s most recognisable sailing yachts, famed for its technical innovation.

Lusben says its technical experts have ‘successfully translated the needs of the owner into reality, providing support and coordination for a series of aesthetic and functional improvements.’

Maltese Falcon refit

One of the most challenging jobs was repainting the entire hull in its distinctive ‘Perini Blue’. The various teams then, in turn, carried out maintenance work on the onboard systems – generators, main engines, propellers – including the delicate overhaul of the mast handling system.

“It was a challenging project for all of us, not least because the sheer size of this sailing yacht required us to design and build a special system to accommodate the vessel in dry dock,” says Gianni Paladino, Lusben‘s commercial director. “We worked in synergy with the various teams involved in the refit work and with the customer, satisfying their wishes and at the same time suggesting improvements with a view to increasing efficiency and energy savings. It was an honour for all of us to be able to carry out this modernisation work on such an iconic boat, one that has made international yachting history.”

The refit work then focused on sustainability, now a central issue on the political agendas not only of governments but also of boat builders. This was the reason for the decision to replace the generators with superior class units that are more efficient and have lower fuel consumption. It is also why the main engine mufflers were changed, delivering significant benefits for both the environment and guests thanks to a considerable reduction in noise levels.

Maltese Falcon refit

On the advice of Lusben’s technical experts, the propellers were thoroughly checked, and the shafts, blades and bearings disassembled and serviced to ensure efficiency in the years to come and optimise fuel consumption.

The distinctive feature of this sailing yacht – and the reason for its emotional appeal – is the sail rig, which underwent extensive work because it is such a vital and delicate system.

Produced by UK-based Insensys, the forerunner of the Dynarig system is based on three rotating carbon fibre masts capable of deploying up to 2,396 square meters of sail. This surface area translates into a top speed of 25 knots with a displacement of 1,240 tonnes. For these reasons, there was a special focus on the rig, involving controls and cleaning operations across the entire mast handling system.

Maltese Falcon refit

The teak deck was also replaced, and the interiors refurbished – the cabins and bathrooms in particular – to offer guests an even more welcoming and comfortable night area, plus a fully appointed galley. The lighting has also been replaced with LED technology, resulting in significant energy savings. The work commissioned also covered routine maintenance, including hull cleaning and overhauling the valves.

Pierfrancesco Cafaro, captain of Maltese Falcon, says: “It was a challenging job and an effort that involved everyone, because of the high expectations around the project and the complexity of its planning and execution, but the result is more than satisfactory thanks to the support of the yard and Lusben’s team. The Maltese Falcon can now return to the sea in all her splendour, regaling her guests with new and unforgettable experiences.”

Maltese Falcon refit

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