The enormous 89-metre mast of the 78-metre sloop M5 – the largest single-masted sailing superyacht in the world – has been hoisted back into place as the yacht’s 16-month refit at Pendennis reaches its conclusion. Last week the yacht left the Pendennis facilities for the nearby Queen’s Wharf at Falmouth Docks in preparation for the mast to be hoisted back into place.


When the yacht arrived at Pendennis as Mirabella V the mast and rigging weighed over 45 tonnes. Part of the refit brief was to replace her rig and fittings with a system made of carbon fibre and titanium, which included advanced chafe and wear-monitoring systems inside each of the carbon foils – the first time this technology has been installed on a superyacht, having been engineered for use on America’s Cup AC45 wing-sailed catamarans. This change has reduced the weight of M5’s rig by 18 tonnes, though the expected strength gain is 30%.

The stepping of the main mast was managed by Marine Results. “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. 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,” says Ed Danby, Director of Marine Results.

The new rig will be tested in full during M5’s sail trials scheduled for early November.

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