The sheer size of one of the world’s largest superyachts

07 Sep 2021

Mercury Bay Boating Club (MBBC) commodore, Jonathan Kline, travelled back to his native home of America during the month of August. While there, he was invited to sail in one of the superyacht regattas he frequented in previous years, the Newport Bucket (now called the Safe Harbour Race Weekend), held in the waters off Newport, Rhode Island. 

On the same weekend that MBBC keelboat sailors were battling it out in Round 6 of the club’s Polar Bear competition, Jonathan was on the flybridge of the 200ft sloop, Perseus ^3 (the symbol means “cubed”).

Designed by New Zealander (and recent MBBC guest speaker, Ron Holland) and built by the Perini Navi Shipyard in Italy, Perseus ^3’s dimensions are hard to believe. With an air draft of 78m, P^3 cannot get under the bridge that spans the Panama Canal. To get to the Pacific, she must round Cape Horn or the Cape of Good Hope. Nor can she get under the Verrazano Bridge in New York City or the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. The Auckland Harbour Bridge would only allow half of the mast to pass beneath.

Her carbon mast combined with her 23m boom and carbon bowsprit allow Perseus ^3 to fly an astonishing 4,100m² of sail downwind, much of which comes from the A2 spinnaker, the largest ever built. That sail alone has a sail area of just over 2,600m² or well over half an acre. The fully battened mainsail, which weighs in at 873kg has a sheet load of 35 tons, that means the winches must have a pulling power of 70,000lb.

For this regatta, as some of the regular crew could not travel due to Covid, the skipper elected to use the reacher sail, instead of the spinnaker. With her “light sail wardrobe”, Perseus ^3 only needed 20 crew. When the spinnaker and spinnaker staysail come in to play, 30 crew are required. 

Two days of racing in 10 to 16kt of true wind made for some spectacular sailing across a fleet of varied boats, from the massive Perseus P^3 and the graceful J-Class, Hanuman, to the elegant baby of the fleet at 23m, Wild Horses. 

The Informer will next week publish an interview with Jonathan Kline about is perceptions of the Covid-19 pandemic in the USA and MIQ in New Zealand.

Pictured: Perseus ^3, one of the world’s largest superyachts, during a regatta that was last month held in the waters off Newport, Rhode Island USA. Photo credit: Becky Chen.