NORTHPORT, Maine — Something major blew into midcoast Maine just before this weekend’s storm: the nearly 30-story-high Mirabella V, the world’s largest sloop.
“It’s an absolutely extraordinary vessel,” said Jeffrey Mabee of Belfast, who said the Mirabella V came in late Saturday afternoon and anchored about a mile from his house, which is located near Little River. “The mast is [nearly] 300 feet tall. It’s unbelievable. She dwarfs every boat. There was a schooner that sailed past her. It looked like a little toy.”
By Monday afternoon, the supersloop was sailing away, zipping past Islesboro and heading south, with its 290-foot tall mast towering over the island’s treeline.
According to the website www.charterworld.com, the Mirabella V and its 14-person crew can be rented for the recently reduced price of $250,000 per week. The vessel can carry 12 guests in its six cabins.
While neither Belfast nor Northport harbor masters had known the sloop was coming to town, Belfast Harbor Master Katherine Messier said an unusually large number of large boats had indicated they were heading to her harbor before Tropical Storm Irene hit.
Mabee said he had been sailing on the far side of Islesboro when the sloop came to anchor.
“I came around Turtle Head and saw this red light around Bayside and thought, ‘is there a new radio tower over there?’” he said. “It is frighteningly enormous.”
According to a 2005 article in the Palm Beach Daily News, the Mirabella V was commissioned by Luciana and Joseph Vittorio. He is the former CEO of both Hertz and Avis.
It took three years to build the $50 million vessel, which was launched in May 2004.
Amenities aboard the sloop include a Jacuzzi, a dip pool, a gym and a sauna. Guests also can tool around in the alternative watercraft the boat carries, including a 29-foot Hinckley Picnic Boat, four Laser sailing dinghies and kayaks.
Mabee said he took his own sailboat Monday morning for a closer look at the Mirabella V. He saw three crew members working aboard it and marveled even more at its giant size — from afar. Unfortunately.
“Of course, I had this little fantasy that somebody was going to come out there and invite me aboard,” he said.