The M5 (ex. Mirabella V) project recently broke another record when Carbo-link unwrapped the largest composite forestay ever built. The sloop rig is already an engineering exploit towering an impressive 88.5 metres above deck.
Weeks of work and one day of curing with electricity completed the new forestay which is built with the same cutting edge fibre-optic technology used only on America’s Cup boats. This will be the first time a superyacht has been fitted with a solid carbon cable with unidirectional fibre and a fibre Bragg grating (FBG). These are optical fibres that reflect the loads through particular wavelengths. Data of all the tension and loads on the rig at any given moment can then be visually monitored centrally via computer systems.
Sensors are also wrapped around the forestays. Once the forestay is finished and the carbon foils and furler motors are fitted, access between the two will be extremely limited, making it almost impossible to detect chafing between the stay and the furler. That’s where the surface damage sensors come into play: if there is chafing, they will simply stop reflecting, triggering an alarm.
The build of the new forestay is part of the substantial 18 month refit and 3m stern extension that M5 is undergoing at Pendennis Shipyard.