Sailing is a constant challenge between man, wind and sea
Superyacht Technology was delighted to spend time talking to Federico Biatturi, Captain of the incredible sailing Super Yacht Ribelle, he was also the project manager during the planning stage. Before this project, he was owner’s rep and project manager for SY Zefira for the same owners.
Federico asked “Do they want to win regattas, or do they want to cruise around the world? Or a little of both?”
Vitters Shipyard and Malcolm McKeon provided a wealth of experience with regards to the choice of materials, weight saving measures, construction time, safety, and other considerations. Federico’s project manager role was to ensure that the yard executes the architect’s design, respects the structural engineering, uses the best possible materials while staying within the agreed time, weight and budget.
As a sailing yacht captain, you are dealing with all the systems of a motor yacht, plus additional sailing systems. It is essential to stay on top of breakthroughs in sailing technologies such as sail materials, rigging materials, CPU performance computers, superfast carbon hydraulic winches etc.
New performance yachts rely on technology developed by companies like Harken, experts in engineering and development of equipment that can sustain the maximum loads that the sails and rigging are producing, while the boat is fully under pressure to achieve the maximum possible speed.
The Harken team followed the whole deck project very closely, advising on all the deck equipment, doing all the necessary calculations and studies for the best sailing performance and saving all the possible weight while always keeping the loads in mind. The designers from Harken helped the team to develop one-off units, like the mainsail traveller car, minimalist titanium pad eyes, titanium rods on the cylinders, and carbon winches with the SY Ribelle logo, and much more.
Instead of offering their standard equipment, Harken designed very stylish units, in titanium for weight saving, keeping design lines in mind that would go with the rest of the boat. The winches were done with no risers to avoid having cutting lines, but each one at a specified height needed to align with organizers or blocks, and all of them with the logo of the boat on the top inserted on the carbon and covered with clear coat varnished. Around the mast they didn’t offer their standard spring standing blocks, but rather titanium V blocks which are harnessed by spectra lashing, making them super safe and super light.
SY Ribelle excels because of the advance hydraulic systems on-board and the monitoring that runs the systems.