Rondal ships giant A-frame masts for Rainbow Warrior III

Rondal, best known in the shipbuilding industry for the precision-engineered and exquisitely-finished masts, winches, hatches, doors and deck equipment it manufactures for the world’s finest superyacht, demonstrated the true breadth of its engineering talents as two massive, 50-metre A-frame aluminium masts were hoisted onto barges for transportation to the Fassmer Yard in Germany.

There they will be stepped aboard the new, state-of-the-art Greenpeace campaign vessel, the 58-metre Rainbow Warrior III – already afloat and in the final stages of fitting out. The presentation of RW III coincides with the 40th anniversary of Greenpeace.

Rondal was selected to design and engineer this prestigious and technically complex order thanks to almost four decades of experience in mast building and sail management systems. A-frame masts are unusual, and the Greenpeace ones especially so, since they incorporate curving legs as well as precisely defined mast bend. Because of the nature of Rainbow Warrior’s operational demands, the masts also have to be extremely robust and to provide a platform for a multitude of communications systems. They incorporate mountings for 48 antennae, domes, lights and other electronic gadgets as well as fittings for sail management systems.

In addition to the masts, Rondal is supplying the booms, standing and running rigging, five hydrofurls, eight reel winches, four deck winches, deck fittings, sails and hydraulic valve blocks for Rainbow Warrior III, Greenpeace’s first-ever purpose-built vessel. The A-frame masts allow for efficient sail management, carry sufficient sail area to drive Rainbow Warrior at up to 10 knots, and keep surrounding decks clear of rigging, allowing a helicopter to land on the aft-deck.

The fit-out of this project is due for completion in the coming weeks. After sea-trials, there will be a formal launch ceremony and presentation of Rainbow Warrior III in Amsterdam, before she sets out on her mission to promote sustainability and to defend the planet against environmental destruction.

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