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Mirabella V - the largest sailing sloop ever
Imagine the exhilaration of a voyage aboard a luxury sailing yacht with a single mast towering almost 300 feet into the sky and a sail area of an amazing 36,500 square feet. Now choose your location. Sardinia, perhaps, in August, or St. Barths for the New Year. All that remains to reach perfection is to provide on board amenities to allow guests to relax in luxury at the end of a blissful day at sea, or exercise and activity oriented facilities to enjoy a day at anchor in some remote part of Paradise.
Largest composite construction worldwide
Already the owners and operators of two luxury charter yachts, each over 130 feet in length, Joseph and Luciana Vittoria have brought to the Mirabella V project a unique blend of expertise and ideals to ensure this will be a special yacht indeed. The specifications of Mirabella V are simply a conglomeration of record-breaking statistics that will take care of making such dreams come true as soon as she will be launched and commissioned later this year. The luxury charter yacht is probably the largest composite construction in the world at 247 ft length over all. With a mast that represents the world’s largest Carbon construction she would not get under the Golden Gate Bridge. The 90-metre mast would tower a mere 40ft above the road. With a beam of 14.80 metre Mirabella V is wider than a Type-42 destroyer and wouldn’t fit through the Panama Canal. Her volume equals the space in almost 58 40ft containers.
An uncompromised performance yacht
Joseph Vittoria is a yachtsman of extensive experience. Performance has been his main brief for Mirabella V, and he and his representative at the shipyard, Paul Johnson, have had a 'hands on' daily involvement with his designer, Ron Holland, composite engineers, High Modulus, and builder Vosper Thornycroft. “We recognized from the start that Mirabella V would present challenges which were unprecedented in yacht building,” explains Andrew Bunney, Managing Director Programme with VT Shipbuilding. Unprecedented might even be considered a typically British understatement considering all the groundbreaking technology that Joseph Vittoria had developed for the new boat. Actually, quite a few design rules may have been rewritten in the process. “Very little of the sailing equipment was off the shelf gear,” says designer Ron Holland. Thus, much of the equipment has not yet been tried and tested in real life size yet.
Innovative technology all round
With a rig of the size of the Mirabella V, a lot of thinking also had to be invested in the underwater design. The yacht carries a lifting keel with a bulb weighing 110 tons. With the keel fully up the yacht will still draw 4 metres compared to 10 metres with the keel fully down. As with any lifting keel the idea behind it is simply to allow the boat a wider choice of destinations. Yet fitting such a keel is not an easy task: First, the keel will be placed in the bottom of a dry dock. Afloat in the dock, the 247 ft yacht will be allowed to settle on to the keel, which will then be attached to the lifting ram from the inside.
Revolutionary sail systems
Another breathtaking aspect of Mirabella’s equipment are the sails and their controlling. The newly designed Doyle fabric “OceanWeave” was first tested on Vittoria’s other yachts. The sails are specially designed to cope with the immense pressure that will result from 1557m² main sail area. The batten system has also been specifically designed. Under sudden pressure the battens compress lengthways by up to 18 inches, thus developing a shock absorbing quality. If, however, pressure grows too strong and the yacht heels by more than 20 degrees, the sails will be automatically released. The engines and other machinery are also optimized to work to this limit.
As stylish as innovative
If Joseph Vittoria’s handwriting is to be found everywhere in the design and construction of the boat, Luciana Vittoria is passionate about the lifestyle and ambiance that will be experienced by her family and guests aboard Mirabella V. No detail is too small, no compromise in quality is acceptable to this very stylish lady. When at anchor the recesses on the foredeck where the tenders are normally stowed will be transformed, one into a 20 person Jacuzzi and the other into a dip pool. Each will hold ten tonnes of water, the Jacuzzi hot, shoulder height water and the dip pool salt water. Both will be sheltered from the sun by small awnings. A music system will complete the effect. Formal meals for up to 20 people can be served in the spacious dining room. Or enjoy the sunset with a barbecue for up to 24 people on the sky deck. Then end the evening watching a movie on a large projection screen under the stars. Another surround sound theatre is available in the main lounge. For more active pastimes, the stern platform provides ample room for snorkeling or diving excursions. The gym, with sauna, has music and TV facilities with wireless headsets for individual preferences.
Up to twelve charter guests
In addition to the 30 foot tender for ferrying guests ashore, the lazarette, or 'garage', contains Lasers, jet skis, ski boats, kayaks, and even two remote control models of Mirabella V. Six guest cabins will accommodate up to twelve charter guests. Each of the cabins has large windows, full size baths in their en-suite bathrooms, TV, DVD, CD players serviced by a 250 hour centralized music distribution system, Internet and telephone connections. A dedicated crew of twelve will be on hand to ensure guests on board Mirabella V have a very special vacation afloat.
Launch in November
The current launch date is now the 26th of November, afterwards there is still a reasonable amount of cosmetic work to complete. Once the yacht is launched on a spring tide they will also have to step the massive carbon mast, which will not be a simple operation either. With all the rigging attached, the mast is keel stepped on to a set of hydraulic rams, at the same time the massive forestay with furling drum have to be brought forward to their fittings near the bow. This will definitely be one of the greatest challenges as they have to get the tension on such a large rigging component whilst the boat is afloat and on a scale never seen before. Mirabella V is due to be handed over at the end of the year and then a series of sea trials will take place.
For the rich and the famous
Mr. Vittoria estimates charter fees to be in the area of £250,000 per week. So it’s going to be the seriously rich only who can afford such luxury. Nevertheless the Vittoria’s hope to have the yacht booked out for about 20 weeks a year. If you should consider the price expensive, just remember that if you blew out the mainsail, a replacement sail would cost more than the engines!
Mirabella Yacht Charter
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