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COURTESY PERINI NAVI

MALTESE FALCON — appreciated. The only fault we could find was with a small area of leather floor covering. It was a little slippery. Who knows, maybe they don't make nonskid leather. Falcon is also the home to many pieces of original art, some of them quite unusual. One is a series of objects on the floor that we were told represented the five senses. It was pretty abstract, because there were six objects. Another sculpture, this one in the owner's main cabin, is of a face that appears to intentionally be a cross between a moai, which are the big statues on Easter Island, and the face of Homer Simpson.

W

hile it only takes one person to sail Falcon, she needs 16 crew. The positions are: Captain (Chris Carter), First Officer, Chief Engineer, 2nd Engineer, 3rd Engineer IT, Second Officer, Spar Master, Bosun, Deckhand, Chief Stewardess, Second Stewardess, Sports Massage Therapist, Stewardess, Chef, and Second Chef. But even with 16, it's an enormous task to keep such a large yacht running and her flawless finish

'Falcon's three tenders — 'Miss Ruth Wonderly', 'Miss Leblanc' and 'Brigid O'Shaughnessy' — are named after female characters in the film.

clean. Since Perkins can't use Falcon all the time — "I have to get back to work in California in a couple of months" — she's available for charter for a maximum of 12 guests. Several of the world's premiere charter agents were at the debut, and

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indicated they had clients who would be very interested — even at the base rate of 335,000 euros/week. Nonetheless, Perkins plans to spend as much time as he can aboard Falcon. She'll be crossing the Atlantic to the Caribbean in November, but after that his plans aren't clear. He and Joe Vittoria have tossed around the idea of a race between Falcon and the 247-ft Mirabella, and he's thought about taking a shot at some course records, but for the near future he intends to use her as nothing more than a retirement home. Perkins is completely aware of the massive scale of the Falcon project. In fact, he calculated that his boat took 5% of the man hours required to build the King Cheops pyramid in Egypt — "but that was a 20-year public works project." He's also aware of how it might appear to others, but doesn't seem to be bothered by it. During Falcon's debut, the signal flags that ran from the bow to the top of the mast to the transom read, "Rarely does one have the privilege to witness vulgar ostentation displayed on such a scale." — latitude/richard

Latitude 38

• August, 2006

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Latitude 38 August 2006  

The August 2006 issue of the West's premier sailing and marine magazine.

Latitude 38 August 2006  

The August 2006 issue of the West's premier sailing and marine magazine.