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Fives supports SOLIDSAIL MAST FACTORY (SMAF), a pioneer in the manufacture of carbon masts for low-carbon shipping

In the shipping world, an innovative initiative is emerging that promises to reduce the environmental footprint of maritime transport: the manufacture of carbon masts for merchant and cruise ships. At the heart of this revolution is the Solid Sail Mast Factory (SMAF), a collaboration between six visionary companies: Multiplast, CDK Technologies, Lorima, Avel Robotics et SMM, led by Chantiers de l'Atlantique. Fives Machining, which is recognized for its expertise as a solutions provider and its experience in draping composite strips, will contribute to this ambitious project.

Fives Machining was entrusted a contract for developing the robotized draping cell at the heart of the manufacturing process. 

The proposed solution is based on Atlas head technology, which will be customized to enable the mass production of 65-meter-long carbon masts with a diameter of around 3 meters from two half-shells. Each half-shell requires the application of 10 tons of carbon fiber during the draping process. 

This self-supporting carbon mast, which can be tilted to pass under the bridges of the world's biggest cities, is designed to support a semi-rigid sail that can be deployed in height, functioning like an ingenious accordion.

"At Fives Machining, we are proud to participate in this maritime revolution with our expertise in robotized draping for composite. All together with our visionary partners we shape the future of navigation." Jean-Christophe Fincato, Fives Machining CEO.

SMAF's first plant, which is currently under construction in Lanester (France), will produce 10 masts per year. Eight masts have already been ordered: the first two for the cargo ship Neoline, which will make its first sea trials in December 2024, and the other six for the Accor Group's two future Orient Express luxury liners, due in 2026 and 2027.

Fives, partner of Louis Duc, experienced sailor and skipper of the IMOCA Fives Group - Lantana Environnement in the Vendée Globe 2024, is pleased to contribute to decarbonized sailing using carbon masts.