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New 77m sailing superyacht concept R77

Written by
Gemma Fottles

Measuring 77 metres in length, the latest sailing superyacht concept from Mathis Ruhl Architecture Navale is the R77. She has been designed with a very specific design brief: to create a vessel able to sail both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans by means of passing through the Panama Canal - a passage that most large sailing yachts are sometimes limited with due to the 62.5 metre air draft limit placing restrictions on rig height.

The result is a breakthrough rig configuration, which Ruhl informs us is currently patent pending. He elaborates on the project: "It started with the analysis of specific rig requirements: the sail area should be sufficient to power the 77 metre yacht in medium wind conditions, within 62.5 metre air draft limit. All maneuvers should be fully automated and safe with emergency release ability. The rig should be aerodynamically efficient to all apparent wind angles, also in partially reefed configuration. When motoring or mooring the rig should present a low windage."

“No existing rig solution, even the much talked about Dynarig fulfills all these requisites.

Hence the necessity to start from scratch, avoiding all preconcepts. This new rig concept requires a specific deck plan, therefore the second challenge was to design the layout and superstructure to fit with it. Following the “form and function” principle, the design takes advantage of the rig constraints to bring a totally new design, a mega sailer of its own kind.”

Ruhl continues to explain further benefits of the new design: “We see this rig concept as an interesting option for commercial vessels application. If oil price is actually excessively low, making such investigations appearing not directly profitable, we have to keep in mind that the real issue is much bigger and concerns us all. Besides, oil is a much too precious resource to just burn it, when the wind offers us its innocuous, limitless and beautiful energy."

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