M5 refitPendennis yard has announced that the major refit and remodelling of the 78m sloop M5 is close to completion following the re-stepping of her 89m mast. The complex operation was managed by Marine Results with equipment supply, infrastructure management and hydraulics expertise provided by Pendennis.

Last week the 78m sloop left the Pendennis facilities at dawn to be manoeuvred to Queen’s Wharf at Falmouth Docks in preparation for her enormous 89m mast to be hoisted back into place.

Commenting on the operation, Ed Danby, director of Marine Results, says: “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. As the mast stepping required lifting to 300ft in the air it was crucial that the wind was less than 10 knots. 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.”

When the yacht originally arrived at Pendennis as Mirabella V the mast and rigging weighed over 45 tonnes. However, part of the refit specification was to improve her rig and fittings replacing them with a system made of carbon fibre and titanium, designed and manufactured by Carbo-Link with OYS making the fittings.

Although the mast and spreaders have remained original, the 34 new carbon fibre stays have been constructed with built-in dynamic fibre optics displaying the load through a central computer. There are also advanced chafe and wear monitoring systems inside each of the carbon foils. This is the first time that this technology has been installed on a superyacht, being previously engineered for use on America’s Cup AC45 wing-sailed catamarans. This change has reduced the weight of M5’s rig by 18 tonnes,

Rigging specialists Marine Results was commissioned to install the original mast in 2004 and has since removed the mast for maintenance in the Mediterranean four years ago.