Saturday, October 26, 2013

Pendennis & Marine Results Re-Step M5

The major refit and remodeling of M5 (ex Mirabella V) that's been happening at Pendennis is nearing completion. Last week the impressive 78m (256ft) sloop left the Pendennis facilities at dawn to be manoeuvred to Queen’s Wharf at Falmouth Docks in preparation for her enormous 89m (292ft) mast to be hoisted back into place.

The stepping of the main mast was managed by Marine Results, with equipment supply, infrastructure management and hydraulics expertise provided by Pendennis. Marine Results is extremely familiar with M5's rig as the company was commissioned to install the original mast in 2004 and have since removed the mast for maintenance in the Mediterranean four years ago. Ed Danby, Director of Marine Results, explained the complexity of the operation:

"The primary crane, provided by Ainscough Cranes with a lifting load of 1,000 tonnes, is one of only two in the UK capable of this operation. As the mast stepping required lifting to 300ft in the air it was crucial that the wind was less than 10 knots. The mast was hoisted at dusk whilst there was still just enough light to ensure the mast was safely vertical. It then took five cranes, supported by a team of over 30 people, five hours to complete the complex procedure."

As the largest single masted sailing yacht in the world, M5's mast and rig are reflective of her size. When the yacht originally arrived at Pendennis as Mirabella V the mast and rigging weighed over 45 tonnes. However, part of the refit was to improve her rig and fittings replacing them with a system made of carbon fibre and titanium, designed and manufactured by Carbo-Link and OYS. This has drastically reduced her rigging weight to to 18 tones but despite the lighter rig it is estimated that there has been an increase in strength of 30%.

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