Maltese Falcon regularly drops anchor under sail


How often do you sail into an anchorage and drop the hook without touching the engine start button?

In this day and age of overcrowding not often, I suspect. Imagine my amazement when the 300ft, 1240-ton Maltese Falcon managed to do this near a very crowded anchorage just off St Tropez during the town’s recent regatta.

The yacht’s three square-rigged masts are so easy to handle that the 15 sails can be feathered to control speed and then quickly furled leaving just a couple of sails – the fore lower topsail and the fore course. These remaining sails are ‘squared’ so that they are at 90 degrees to the wind direction when the yacht is directly head to wind. This brings the yacht to a gentle halt, the anchor is let go and then Falcon sails astern to complete the anchoring process before the two sails are furled. Apparently Falcon makes a habit of this and reguarly sails off her anchor too. Impressive!

See the next (January) issue ofYachting Worldfor a full story on how Maltese Falcon performs and what it’s like being aboard.