North Sails is calling it the world’s largest sail. It’s a 28,029-square-foot (2,604-square-meter) A2 spinnaker built by North for the 192-foot (58.6-meter) superyacht Perseus^3. Building the sail was a major effort that required a custom order from Contender Sailcloth, and a team of 10 sailmakers and two graphic installers.
The sailmakers labored for more than 15 days to construct the chute, which is roughly the size of 10 tennis courts. North sail designer Glenn Cook explained that the sail was designed with the size of the boat in mind. “Because Perseus^3 is a huge boat… you can’t turn very quickly, and trimming adjustments are also slow, so we looked to make a sail that had a very stable flying shape. Plus, the sail has to work across a variety of conditions. The design is more forgiving than you would do on a smaller sail.”
The sail was assembled at North’s loft in Northern Spain. The team there received 3,323 linear meters in 48 rolls of Contender’s Superkote 350 sailcloth. “These boats are huge, the loads that are involved are pretty exceptional,” Duncan Skinner, president of Contender Sailcloth USA said. “We go from a fabric that weighs 32 grams per square meter up to something that weighs 150 grams for the Superkote 350 in this kite. As the weight goes up, the strength goes up and that’s what you need in a sail this size.”
When finished, the huge sail weighed more than 1,200 pounds (550 kilograms) and after it was delivered to Perseus^3 in St. Barth, rigging the sail was a major job. Sixteen people took two hours to unfold the sail and put it into the spinnaker sock.