The term ‘legend’ is used far too lightly in the world of superyachting. In the case of MALTESE FALCON, it is entirely apt, indeed well deserved. Her original owner, Tom Perkins, was an MIT graduate who, as a venture capitalist, went on to become one of the key players in the tech boom investing in start-ups like Netscape, AOL, Amazon and Google. He also loved yachting, owning and campaigning Perini Navis and classic yachts around the world.
His passion for advancing technology was given physical form in MALTESE FALCON. He worked with Dutch naval architect Gerard Dijkstra to revive and refine an evolution of the square rig concept developed in Germany during the 1960s to save fuel on merchant ships but never used. The outcome was the DynaRig, in which three free-standing, rotating carbon masts with fixed yards could deploy 2,396sqm (25,790sqft) of sail area in moments at the touch of a button. A slew of regatta wins paid testament to the efficiency of the design.
On delivery in 2006 her audacious innovation won universal recognition, winning 18 awards in all, the most of any sailing yacht ever. Now under new ownership, her new custodian wanted an equally bold yet wholly respectful update to enhance the yacht’s already impressive green credentials. Emanuela Esposito’s Rome studio was also commissioned to brighten the yacht’s Frievokh interiors without losing any of their award-winning Art Deco grandeur.
Technical updates included new generators, LED lighting throughout, new monitoring systems, new galley and new guest en suites. Her interiors saw darker panels replaced with lighter woods and fabrics, new carpets, furniture, art and AVIT. Her hull was also restored to classic Perini blue. The results are quite exceptional, as her many guests will discover this summer and beyond.
In September 2022 the yacht sailed to the Lusben shipyard in Livorno and rose out of the water in a 180m floating dock where she would remain for the next seven months. On 19 April 2023, she took to the water once again and Burgess was privileged to be on site to record the event.