If you want to shatter ocean records, your boat must possess two characteristics: solidity and lightness. That’s what Giovanni Soldini asked of manufacturers when it came time to outfit his Maserati bolide, ex-MOD70 that the Milanese sailor decided to “twist” to make it fly with foils. We asked John to tell us all the secrets of his maxi trimaran, from systems to deck equipment, from sails to appendages.
BUT WHAT CHARTPLOTTER!
“Starting with on-board electronics,” Soldini began, “we installed autopilots driven by Raymarine motors, while for data repeaters we relied on B&G models. All analog data, from those communicated by the sensors on the foils to those from the wind transducer, are fed into a processor of the Spanish Bravo Systems (sophisticated system also used in the America’s Cup) that digitizes them and relates them to each other, allowing us to visualize information with total accuracy.” As for chartplotters? “Chartplotter? What is that?” jokes Soldini, “On board to set routes, tactics and strategy we structure French navigation software, developed by Adrena, which is the official supplier of the Vendée Globe.”
A LITTLE-KNOWN SOURCE OF… WEIGHT SAVING.
“One area where weight savings can be maximized,” the navigator explains, “is in antifouling paints (on the living work) and especially enamels (dead work). I remember that in the old VOR70 Maserati we had gained as much as 30 kilograms! Even on the Multi 70, working closely with our partners at Boero YachtCoatings, we were able to reduce weight to the bone by applying a fine blue enamel to the upper portion of the hulls.”
THE LIGHTEST WATERMAKER EVER
Let’s turn to the on-board facilities: “Regarding the desalinator, which we need for both drinking water and freeze-dried food rehydration, we relied on Schenker, a company we have been working with for some time: again, the watchword had to be lightness, so we designed a custom solution.” The watermaker mounted on Maserati is a derivative of the standard “Smart 30 Basic” model but has been greatly lightened from the commercial version. “It was built entirely of carbon fiber,” Soldini continued, and weighs only 18 kg, making it the lightest watermaker ever built in this category. Precisely because of the type of installation, special arrangements have been designed to enable the desalinator to operate properly at any speed. The system is thus able to absorb the stresses caused by the “flight” of the boat at high speed while gliding over ocean waves. Completely immune to corrosion, consumes an average of 4 watts per liter.
THE IMPORTANCE OF SOLAR PANELS
On the batteries, Giovanni Soldini relied on lithium-ion technology. (the only one that provides significant weight savings), while as far as energy sources “solar panels played a key role. Think that on board Maserati the panels Solbian provide us with 80% power and thus allowed us to land the 180 A alternator (it weighed over 20 kg) and replace it with a much more compact one. That translates into further weight reduction, since the amount of diesel fuel used is even less.” Maserati is equipped with 8 SP 72 ALLinONE solar panels.
TO SUPPORT THE FOIL LOAD
Let’s move on to deck equipment: “As far as the blocks and winches are concerned, we exploited ‘the legacy’ from the days when Maserati was the MOD 70 Edmond de Rothschild, with equipment mostly supplied by Harken(Facnor for the furler). The “L” foil and drift handling system, which we found on our skin to be more stressed than expected, we have now reinforced it with new Antalstoppers, including the new Jammer DV.” The latter incorporates two ‘V’-shaped wedges that interlock by wrapping and gripping the textile: the Double V-Grip system tightens the maneuver firmly yet safeguarding the sock. The greater the load on the maneuver, the more the stopper tightens the grip and pressure is exerted on four sides. “With Antal,” Soldini continued, “we also plan to study other solutions to further lighten the boat, regarding hooks and trolleys for the battened mainsail.” For textile ropes, sheets, halyards and shrouds (specifically, the latter in PBO), the choice fell on the proven products of Gottifredi Maffioli.
MAST, SAILS, APPENDAGES
The 29-meter wing mast remained the original MOD70 one, the sails were made by North Sails (Gigio Russo had a “hand in it”), while appendages (foil, centreboard, rudder profiles) were made by the Eligio Re Fraschini, a company at the forefront of technology that manufactures equipment and parts made of composite materials and metals of the highest quality and performance for aerospace, automotive, marine racing, F1 racing and special projects. In the “backstage” the key man, besides Soldini’s right-hand man Guido Broggi, is designer Guillaume Verdier, “with whom we constantly compare ourselves, since he had overseen the optimization of the boat when it was still owned by Team Gitana,” Soldini concludes.
MASERATI IN BRIEF
Maserati is a foil-equipped Multi70, built in 2011, 21.2 meters long and 16.8 meters wide. She fishes a maximum of 4.5 m and the mast is 29 m high. The total weight is 6.3 tons and the sail area is 310 sq. m. at white sails and 409 sq. m. at carriers. The top speed reached by the trimaran, for now, is 43 knots. Designed by the Van Peteghem Lauriot-Prévost (VPLP) studio, Maserati Multi70-a former thoroughbred of the Team Gitana stable-has been optimized by French designer Guillaume Verdier and his team for new challenges.