Builder: Perini Navi
Original owner: Tom Perkins
Why this yacht matters: If you’ve ever seen Maltese Falcon, then you know why this yacht matters. There is simply no other vessel like her in the world. Put her in Newport with some of the fastest, most beautiful sailing yachts around — as we recently saw her at the start of the Transatlantic Race 2011 — and there’s an audible murmur as she sails past. Even five years after her launch, she causes a sensation wherever she goes, thanks to her magnificent DynaRig and square sails.
From the pages of Yachting: The project has taken Perkins, his designers and Perini’s team of 300 laborers more than five years to build. It has taken history’s largest single order of carbon fiber for her masts. (“There’s more carbon in Falcon’s masts than in a Stealth bomber,” Perkins claims.) It’s given naval architect Gerry Dijkstra the chance to bring to life the DynaRig, a blue-sky concept first dreamed up in 1966 in Germany and never tested. It’s caused builder Fabio Perini to challenge his yard in Turkey to come up with new approaches to everything from winch design to joinerwork. And it’s kept Tom Perkins’ intricate mind racing. — Lisa Gosselin, October 2007
View the rest of Yachting's Dozen here.