Tom Perkins, the American venture capitalist, is close to completing the sale of his clipper-style superyacht the Maltese Falcon.

The 289ft boat is believed to have fetched about £60m ($100m) after being on the market for more than a year.

The yacht, named after the Dashiell Hammett crime novel and its Humphrey Bogart film version, has three carbon-fibre masts carrying 15 sails.

Its appearance is based on a traditional, square-rigged sailing ship. No deckhands are needed to clamber up the rigging and unfurl the sails, however.

Instead, the Maltese Falcon’s DynaRig system can be sailed by one man from a computerised control console on the bridge that moves the yards and sails according to the wind and current.

The sails billow out from storage positions inside the masts up to a height of 20 storeys.

They can unfurl in six minutes into a total area of 25,791 sq ft, equivalent to half the pitch at Wembley.

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