Italy’s biggest sailing ship

    On May 7, 2016, La Spezia celebrated the christening of the biggest sailing boat ever built in Italy.  It was Perini Navi’s Sybaris , for which Opac designed and installed a glass hatch cover for the companionway connecting the saloon to the main deck.


    The Sybaris is a perfect example of a craft that combines design and technology. The 70-meter aluminium hull features a keel of variable depth, thus allowing the vessel to access most ports and coves. Its sleek lines, advanced design and aluminium superstructure feature an 18-meter flying bridge, the biggest ever built on a sailing ship. With 850 GT, the Sybaris, whose name refers to an ancient city in Magna Graecia, has a large and very bright interior.

    The vessel features numerous technological innovations in terms of performance, sail plan, and the electrical control system. Both the imposing sail plan of over 2,300 square meters, which hinges on two carbon steel masts (72 and 62 meters high, respectively), and the advanced fine tuning systems are electronically controlled, allowing a single person to control sailing from the main console.

    For this beautiful sailing ship, Opac’s Nautical Division  designed and installed a sliding hatch cover for the companionway on the main deck of the yacht.  Once mounted, it has the appearance of a crystal panel 1.1 meters long and 2.5 meters wide, which can be lowered and slid sideways in order to access the ladder to the saloon below. Understated style and design characterize the apparatus, which, when opened completely, disappears below the deck.  Its transparent surface allows the saloon below to enjoy sunlight, thus creating a total open-air sensation even when the hatch cover is secured.

    The hatch cover was completely designed and built by Opac, in accordance with the specific requirements of Perini Navi.

    The structure consists of a 316 stainless steel frame designed to accommodate the mechanism and the sliding hatch cover itself when it is open.  It also includes a section that connects to the ladder beneath it and a compartment to hold the hatch cover panel when it is open.  Great care was taken during the design phase to ensure maximum security and protection from the elements.  The frame of the movable part is also made of 316 stainless steel and features 26-mm thick crystal.  The tempered crystal surface offers UV protection and, since it is part of the deck covering, it was subjected to a special non-slip treatment.  The entire structure was designed to uniformly withstand the impact of a 1.7-meter column of water.

    The Sybaris now faces an intense season of installation qualification tests in order to complete the construction process.  The vessel is expected to be commissioned this summer. It will then be showcased at the Monaco Yacht Show and, finally, cross the Atlantic Ocean to reach Miami and the Caribbean Sea.