Mathis Rühl, a long-experienced French marine architect, who collaborated with Philippe Briand and Southern Wind in South Africa, has presented R77, a completely new sailing boat concept. The 77 metres long boat has two couples of parallel masts (each mast has its own mainsail) which can rotate on the platforms where they are fixed. Rühl’s rigging system, which is waiting for a patent, is called Multiple Rotating Twin Wingmast (MRTW).
The idea has been conceived to solve one of the main problems big sailing yachts have with height limits, especially in the Channel of Panama, which has a limit of 62.5 metres: how to give greater sailing area to yachts without raising masts too much and by maintaining efficiency on all sailing angles? There is no solution; even that one proposed by Falcone Maltese (the Dynaring) wasn’t good. So Mathis Rühl worked hard to his project, by inventing a new deck configuration.
In order to increase the sailing area, old vessels added some aligned masts but there was little possibility to climb up the wind, while in the configurations with two parallel masts (already tested on racing boats) efficiency decreases with angles which go beyond 90 degrees, so when a sail covers the other one. In Rühl’s system, on the contrary, the rotating masts allow to direct sails in an efficient way in all conditions.
The hull,too, has been designed to help performance. It is very wide and with a corner. Moreover, this configuration offers enough space to install the rotating masts. The superstructure between the two masts is almost completely transparent, in order to make interiors well-lit and luxurious. With no forestay, a helicopter can ever land on the bow, while the poop can be equipped with a small swimming pool.