To some gCaptain readers, the superyacht market may be an alien world, however, over the last ten years, this niche industry has exploded. With dedicated, professional teams in place globally, every aspect of their creation, management and running is professionally catered for. Indeed, many naval and merchant mariners have made the leap to the superyacht sector in these burgeoning years as demand grows for specialists in larger and larger vessels.
Whilst by no means the largest fleet on the seas (4,472 vessels over 30m with a further 404 currently in build at the time of writing*) and by no means the largest vessels (the largest, motoryacht Eclipse sits at 162.5m LOA*) they still remain awe-inspiring and stunning when seen in the flesh. Despite this volume, there are a number of iconic superyachts that stand apart from the rest of the fleet. At 72.5m, M5 (ex-Mirabella V) is officially the world’s largest sloop and resides in this pantheon of greats.
Only five years since her last refit at Compositeworks, M5 returns to port for a new substantial refit, this time at Pendennis Plus in the UK, days after the 62.2m motoryacht Virginian leaves the Falmouth facilities.
The refit will see the removal of her 90m mast before she docks continuing with the redesign and extension of her stern by 3m, and the installation of a side-boarding platform, all steered by her original naval architect, Ron Holland. Another UK-based company, Green Marine, who will be supported by structural engineers High Modulus Europe Ltd, will undertake the structural fabrication of the composite stern.
The engineering work will see the replacement of M5‘s main engines, generators, switchboards and sewage treatment plant, as well as the upgrade of the air conditioning system, electrics and entertainment system, all of which will be complemented by a 10-year DNB survey.
The main structural aspects of the refit, estimated to last 12months, will conclude with a full hull repaint with mast and rig overhaul.
Originally built in 2004 by VT Shipbuilding in the UK, M5’s refit marks a return to the British Isles and its artisan expertise for this super-sloop; indeed several British and Irish companies were shortlisted and commissioned for the refit. Amongst them interior designers Redman Whiteley Dixon (RWD), hot on the heels of the delivery of their latest project, 96m motoryacht Vava II.
“We are very proud to have been selected to complete the refit of such an iconic sailing yacht,” said Managing Director of Pendennis Plus, Stephen Hills. “It is through projects such as this that the superyacht industry in the UK, including our yard in Falmouth, continues to enhance its world-class reputation for exceptional build quality, design, finish and engineering.”
“The team assembled for the works are testament to the quality of the workforce and facilities available in the UK,” continued the superyacht’s captain, Rocka Romke, before concluding: “Both Pendennis plus and RWD have established reputations as being among the best in their fields, with experience in both the large yacht and sailing yacht sectors. I believe the collaboration between these parties will elevate M5 to be one of the most impressive and original sailing yachts in the world, in both structure and style.”
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