ALBLASSERDAM _ It is bound to be remembered as the most awesome launch of 2018. Oceanco recently delivered the Black Pearl, a 106m craft with a towering Dynarig and its characteristic fishbone masts.
Oceanco CEO Marcel Onkenhout says the Black Pearl was no experiment but “a real challenge,” a design never done before.
The yacht is the work of designers Ken Freivokh/Nuvolari Lenard and Amsterdam-based Dykstra Naval Architects that also drew the 87m, Perini Navi-built Maltese Falcon, the world’s first Dynarig.
It features tightly fitting, roller-furled sails on 3 free-standing, rotating masts. With sails the size of 6 basketball courts, the computer-steered DynaRig is not a popular but a highly efficient source of propulsion.
“The Maltese Falcon and the Black Pearl are both Dynarigs, but are completely different projects,” says Dykstra Managing Director Thys Nikkels. “The Maltese Falcon was drawn on an existing hull. With the Black Pearl, we started from a blank sheet of paper.”
Like the Maltese Falcon, the hybrid propulsion Black Pearl is also covered with sensors to record its performance in all sorts of weather (see Maltese Falcon item in this newsletter). The yacht has a 15m beam and its black Dacron sails cover 2,877 sq. meters. It has an air draft of 75m.
Half of the Black Pearl’s rig is ready to be equipped with solar cells. Another eye-catching feature: once the yacht makes some speed, its props go into energy “regeneration mode” feeding its power system.
Says Richard Tatlow, chief engineer: “What we can then do is use that energy and consume that within our electrical switchboard inside the vessel.” He adds the Black Pearl can achieve speeds of up to 30 knots and _ courtesy of energy regeneration under sail _ cross the Atlantic with zero fuel use.