Mathis Rühl Architecture Navale has presented the R77 sailing yacht concept, which completely rethinks tall ship rig solutions.
The 77 metre Panamax sailing yacht has been designed to explore both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
The 62.5 metre air-draft limit for crossing the Panama Canal means that large sailing yachts have to deal with the height restriction of the Bridge of the Americas if they want to use the canal.
The French designer explained, “When air-draft is limited, the common solution is to multiply masts one behind the other along the centreline. Good for reaching, this configuration is less efficient for upwind.” Rühl has come up with an innovative solution to this problem.
He has come up with a new rig concept, which he has named the “Multiple Rotating Twin Wingmast”. By adopting the technology used in biplanes, and putting the rig on a rotating base, the designer believes that the yacht can boast a huge total sail area and achieve impressive upwind sailing angles, whilst still staying under the air draft limit.
The hull shape is also designed to help with performance. The wide deck and vertical topsides offer good upwind performance as well as providing generous deck spaces, which can accommodate the rotating rig bases.
The curved superstructure sits between the two rigs, and is fitted with large expanses of glass for the main saloon and owner’s suite. The guest cabins are located below deck level, along with the galley, crew mess and crew accommodation.
At the base of each rotating mast is a circular cockpit seating area, while on the aft deck there is a swimming pool. Storage for toys and tenders can be found underneath the foredeck. The foredeck itself accommodates a touch and go helipad, a feature not normally found on sailing yachts due to the need for fore and backstays.
The French Naval architect Mathis Rühl has many years of experience, having worked in the past with well known names in yachting, such as Philippe Briand and Southern Wind Shipyard.
This is not the first time that a designer has broken the mould to reinvent rig design. In 2006, Perini Navi launched the iconic Maltese Falcon with its high-tech Dynarig, which has been hailed as a revolution in yacht design. Oceanco has a 105 metre Dynarig project under way, known as Project Solar.