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COWES WEEK–HOW TO GET A WINNING START

COWES WEEK

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GUIDE TO EURO BOAT SHOWS 25 new yachts at Southampton

HOW TO GET A WINNING START

SEPTEMBER 2012

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SPECTACULAR

IN FALMOUTH

ON TEST: ITALIA 13.98 Stand-out yacht in cruiser-racer crowd

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ON TEST Italia 13.98 ON TEST

New merchants of Venice

test facts 0

Venice Marina di Lio Grando

Laguna Veneta

I TA LY Chioggia River Po

Test Editor: Toby Hodges 5

10

nautical miles

G u l f of Ve n i ce N

ISOLA DI POLESINE

Where we tested: Chioggia, Italy. Exited the Venice Lagoon and sailed in the open waters of the Gulf of Venice. Wind: Force 5–7 south-easterly. Model: Italia 13.98 – standard boat (2.5m T-keel) plus extras: Millenium One Technora sails, bow thruster and teak decks. Three cabin with two heads (standard) version

A premium cruiser that performs, rather than a racer-cruiser is how the builders of this new Italian design describe her. But is there room in a depressed European market right now for a new company building 35-45-footers? asks Toby HodgeS

I

t’s a brave move to launch a boatbuilding business during the ‘crisis’ – as our European neighbours describe the current economic situation – and in Italy, producing performance cruisers in the 35-45ft bracket? Hmm, these Italia Yachts folk have obviously let the grappa get to them… I was thinking this as I headed to Venice to sail the 13.98. There’s certainly plenty of experience behind the venture: Franco Corazza, the affable yard president, is a successful racing sailor – 12 times Italian champion in IMS/ORC, twice IMS European

champion and ex-manager of Merit Cup – and he has been the X-Yachts dealer for the northern Adriatic for the past 20 years. His partner, Marco Schiavuta, is an ex-America’s Cup sailor for Il Moro di Venezia/rigging expert, and naval architect Maurizio Cossutti, who convinced Corazza to produce the first model, the 10.98, 14 months ago, is an expert on ORC. But I still kept thinking, why now of all times? Corazza foresees a gap in the market in the next couple of years, “left by Finngulf, Grand Soleil, X-Yachts, Solaris, etc,” and sees Italia Yachts as filling that gap by keeping

production numbers low and quality high. “We aim to produce quality cruising yachts, fast, safe, easy to handle and the right volume,” he says. “We want to try to give the comfort and performance of an X or Grand Soleil at a better price and higher quality.” Italia can build four 13.98 models a year and have produced eight of the 10.98 since March 2011, with 12 people currently working in production. It’s still a risky peg to hang a business on, and the product has to do the talking. How would Italia Yachts’ new 13.98 cope with such a translation, I wondered?

Photos by Paul Wyeth

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ON TEST: TEST ITALIA 13.98

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A liferaft locker sits under the sole – easy to deploy once the bathing platform is lowered on a manual purchase to a camcleat below the port helm

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Good protection offered from a dodger that retracts completely. Table collapses into the sole and washboards slide neatly into a recess abaft the companionway

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4

5

4 2 3

Rod rigging to outboard chainplates, with short Ronstan tracks coachroof-mounted for a narrow sheeting angle. High coachroof provides security when going forward

IN DETAIL 1

Neat foredeck: a large, clean area, with furling line and tack exiting from the end of the coachroof, and run into blocks mounted within the attractive flat-topped bulwark (with scupper). The tack eye comes out of that chunky stem

3

A fixed bowsprit is offered, as are fixed or retracting articulating bow rollers, with chain locker and windlass forward of the excellent sail locker

Balanced performer The launch ceremony for this new 13.98 had been conducted only three days before my visit and the yard had trialled her only once in 10 knots, yet here we were heading out of Chioggia and the sheltered confines of a vast lagoon and into a healthy Force 5-6 with some gusts of Force 7. Marco Schiavuta and project manager Matteo Polli busied themselves at the mastbase setting up the deck slot with wooden chocks as the mast had yet to be tuned and fixed with Spartite, while Franco Corazza kept her heeled gently. I found a comfortable seat on the windward deck, trimming the main, and

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5

Mainsheet set-up

thoroughly enjoyed myself. It’s an excellent set-up and easy to spill gusts. The side decks remained dry, thanks to the raised sheer forward and the wedge-shaped bow that protected the crew and provided a pleasant motion through the sharp chop. When I took the helm, any misgivings about the potential market for this boat dissolved. The steering was super-direct, thanks to the bar-taut Jefa wire linkage, and she displayed a ballerina’s balance, despite being over-canvassed – the single-line reefing lines had yet to be run so we were carrying full Millenium One laminate sails. But it was easy to keep the main feathered and the boat in a comfortable

YACHTING WORLD SEPTEMBER 2012

Above: Romping to weather. The beamy, powerful hull of the 13.98 has a pronounced sheer forward – and the decks stayed dry aft

groove, her deep rudder providing plenty of grip. In this mode, the chunky, removable foot chocks are reassuring for the helmsman. “The performance is part of the luxury cruising boat,” says Corazza, “it’s not a performance boat.” However, belying his words, the B&G Tritons display read 7.5–8 knots at 30°A, increasing to 9.5 knots on a beam reach. Broad reaching, fully poweredup, she really loaded up on the wheel, unsurprising when scorching along at 10-10.5 knots under white sails. The 13.98 certainly showed her legs, yet remained obedient, responding to being muscled back down when the main overpowered and she tried to head into the

wind. Less sail power and less weight is key. The 13.98 has a high sail area:displacement ratio of 27.7 – higher than Arcona, X, Solaris and Grand Soleil – and by keeping weight right down and stability high, she’s fast yet, crucially, easily managed. Reaching back up the coast in a steady Force 7, we were surrounded by black clouds. The wind dropped suddenly and clocked forward of the beam. It was time to drop sails and head into port – wisely as it turned out, for 15 miles north, above Venice, a whirlwind formed, and pictures and videos were soon being streamed across national and international media as a tornado took 12 roofs in its wake.

Resetting standards

Above: A neat touch was the colours of the Italian flag woven through sheets

Unusually for a modern production yacht, the 13.98 has a full spec as standard, including teak interior, T-keel, Antal deck gear, hydraulic backstay, rod rigging and Dyneema running rigging, so the only options on the test boat were teak side decks, a bow thruster and those fancy sails. There’s nothing radical, but everything is done very well and aesthetically, hinting at experienced methodology. A neat touch was having the colours of the Italian flag woven through all the sheets and halyards. Built using a composite framework of vinylester, carbon and glass, the hull is laid up by hand. Designer Maurizio Cossutti

With its reverse T style, this design makes it easy to trim the main, yet keeps the cockpit tidy for cruising thanks to a removable teak plate that covers the sunken traveller track. This looks good and also stops feet or lines getting trapped in the well. The sheet is led into the coaming each side, exiting at the mainsheet winches, perfectly sited for a trimmer to sit between wheel and winch on the side deck, or allow the helmsman to reach the winch when cruising.

explained that the fabricated steel fin of the keel could be replaced by a longer stainless steel chord for IRC racing – it’s currently 2.5m so could go deeper. They wanted a high righting moment, so although it came out heavier than his designed weight, Cossutti thinks it will be easy to save a few hundred kilos in furniture and decks, and put these back into the keel. That said, the yard were keen to stress this is a premium cruiser that performs rather than a racer-cruiser.

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ON TEST: ITALIA 13.98 Saloon. Comfortable sofa for two to port and a movable stool to sit at the table, which locks in three positions, but the hull windows are sited too low to see out of when seated. The arrangement of the tanks, with only one water tank under the starboard berth and the other two tanks under the aft berths, is strange as it leaves a 250lt bias to one side

2

Galley 2m headroom here and in the saloon, enhancing space and light. Two fridges, including a 130lt front-opening stainless steel model, are standard and handy fiddled worksurface, with covers for the double sink, but no dedicated bin

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Navstation. Comfortable and secure. Small, but practical table with deep stowage and useful nooks and crannies. A raised locker with mounted plotter swings out and locks in place at a good viewing angle

4

Aft cabins Largely identical, although the port side one has private access to the heads. Again raised stowage is good, but the hanging space is poor – tucked in outboard, despite having the space to make it larger and more practical. This is fine if you don’t want guests to stay too long! Hull windows and large opening ports

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DATA ITALIA 13.98

SPECIFICATIONS 14.40m

47ft 3in

LWL

12.46m

40ft 11in

Beam (max)

4.30m

Draught

2.50m

Disp (lightship)

9,200kg

8ft 2in 20,282lb

Ballast

3,100kg

6,834lb

119.6m2

1,287ft2

Finesse below

Left

Conclusion

There’s an air of luxury below decks, with impressive finishing and comfort, plenty of height and space, and excellent quality. The standard layout offers three cabins with two heads, with the navstation forward of the day heads to port. The teak trim exudes finesse, grain all lining up and some funky curved techniques (achieved via a membrane press) hugging the rounded corners. This boat is designed to sail with six aboard in comfort. A design challenge was to be able to keep such a large cockpit, yet offer practical space in the aft cabins and still include a sail locker – all of which is achieved successfully. There’s strong evidence of the experience that has gone into her design, with thought given to the way style meets practicality. Cruisers will applaud the many handy stowage solutions, including sole panels that lift easily, bedded on nipples,

plotter can mount on cupboard door viewable from cockpit

I maintain it’s a ballsy time to hit a saturated 35-45ft performance cruiser market, even at the ‘luxury’ end. But if Italia Yachts keep their focus on low production/high quality, as promised, with the 13.98 they have produced a product that should stand the test of time. Vanni Galgani, editor of Fare Vela, for one, salutes this venture as a direction in which Italy should be going: “Small numbers, with top style and quality – this is what Italy is known for: the Ferrari approach.” It was clear from their calm professionalism during our trial that the Italia Yachts team have vast experience. They could easily have been fretting with the combination of press aboard, plenty of wind and a new, as yet untuned boat. But they believe in their products – so much so that they took their first boat, a standard 10.98, to the ORC Worlds and came 5th. The 13.98 certainly delivered. She might not be entirely my cup of tea style-wise, but her quality and crucially her sailing performance impressed – it’s top drawer. In fact, her mix of old and new styling matches her sailing characteristics, blending excellent handling with modern performance beautifully. Time will tell whether the venture succeeds, but I’m convinced Italia have an impressive sailing product at least.

Berths

6

Engine (saildrive)

55hp

41kW

Water

480lt

106gal

Fuel

240lt

53gal

Sail area: disp

27.7

Disp: LWL

133

Price (ex VAT)

€319,000 (£251,563)

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40° 60°

True wind angle

2 0

80°

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3

5

7

9

11

2 4 6

100°

6 knots 10 knots 120°

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20 knots As supplied by designer

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Design: Maurizio Cossutti www.italiayachts.it/en/

160°

12

see the video

yachtingworld.com/video

Or scan this code with your phone to access the Italia 13.98 video See page 20 for instructions

36°

4

GZ (metres)

5

Forward cabin. I really liked the raised lockers, hull ports and curved teak veneer that wraps around the outside of the en-suite heads for that elegant finish – the raised lockers make up slightly for having only a small hanging locker. There’s excellent headroom in the entrance, with 1.8m right up to the island berth. The smart en-suite features neat shower doors – Perspex in the same colour as the bulkhead to blend in. A simple, but clever idea.

20°

6

14ft 1in

Sail area

exposing nearly 1ft of stowage for tins/ bottles throughout the saloon and galley. One of my few complaints was that the frameless BSI portlights are a different size from the deck mould cutouts, so from inside you can see the outside frame shape. It looks odd, but they do all open for ventilation and have dual Oceanair blinds. Slick details include illuminated, dimmable LED light switches, leather latches, painted raised lockers, stylish taps and grab handles fabricated into the stainless steel trim.

Italia 13.98 Polar Curve

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LOA

Boat speed (knots)

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140°

Stability

1.2 1.0 0.8 0.6 0.4 0.2 0 -0.2 -0.4 -0.6

Italia

Data supplied by builder 0

20

40

60 80 100 120 140 Angle of heel (degrees)

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Profile for fortismarine

Yachting world IY13.98 review  

The brilliant review of the IY13.98 from Yachting World.

Yachting world IY13.98 review  

The brilliant review of the IY13.98 from Yachting World.

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