Italia Yachts 14.98
A fast and sexy looking racer-cruiser that ups the cool factor
Here is a new design from Italian designer Maurizio Cossutti and the Italia Yachts design team. This boat is 2 feet longer on deck than the Dehler. The Italia group provided me with an extensive set of graphs and lists showing it had done copious research comparing the new design’s numbers to those of the competition. The designers put a great deal of effort into this exercise. I never worked that way. I let my production builders do that and I did my best to meet their targets. My philosophy was that I’m better off thinking independently. Thanks to SAILING Magazine I got to review four new designs a month so I was never working in the dark.
The D/L for the Italia 14.98 is 124.8 so this is a lighter boat for its length then the Dehler. The L/B is 3.36 so it’s a bit more narrow for its length than the Dehler. The freeboard is noticeably lower on the Italia, giving the impression that it is longer. If the sheer is not dead straight then it is awfully close to it.
The photos show a chineless hull with a much softer sectional shape aft than the Dehler. This means the Italia wins the low wetted surface contest so theoretically should be the faster boat in light air.
The LOA is 53 feet 11 inches, which includes the sprit, is 3 feet longer than the LOD, stem to tip of transom. That’s 3 feet of extra marina fees for a part of the boat that is only for tacking light air and off the wind headsails. My argument would be, why pay for “boat” that is of such limited use if you are a cruiser. If you are a racer you could argue less weight in the ends. Not sure it really matters but you could argue that.
Now, imagine a line drawn from the cutwater diagonally up to the end of the sprit. Now fill that triangle with hull, eliminating the plumb stem. You gain deck space, fo’s’cle volume and preserve the headsail sheeting options. Of course you would also lose that “coolness factor.” It’s hard to put a price on “cool” but you could add up your slip fees at the end of the year and you’d have a number. What is the price of “cool?” It would be a hard choice for me. Standard draft is 8 feet 3 inches, but there are four different keel options.
I like the layout. It’s very similar to that of the Dehler. It also offers the option of playing with the port side of the main cabin. You can have a long settee to port with a small nav station aft or you can have a shorter settee with a facing forward, larger nav station aft. The forward head has the shower stall. The galley suffers like all galleys that have to be designed to allow access to the port quarter cabin. I suppose you could extend the counter inboard and just crawl over it to get to your cabin but you’d run the risk of putting you knee in the cucumber and dill salad. The styling of the interior is very Italian. This is not the “down in the teak cave” type of interior. This is all bright and airy and very, very Italian looking.
The rig has triple swept spreaders with a sweep angle of 19.3 degrees. The SA/D is 28.98. That’s pretty high for a racer-cruiser type boat, and if you combine that with the low wetted surface sections aft, it looks like this boat would be very quick in light air. That’s always fun. This is a very nice looking boat. You may lose some headroom forward to get that look but I think it would be worth it. Once again, what is the price of “cool?”
The deck plan is beautifully designed. The drop-down boarding platform extends to only leave about a 5-inch-wide margin around the transom. This makes for a really big boarding platform. The dogs will love it. All lines are lead aft under the deck to emerge from the cockpit coaming just forward of the wheels. There are two winches port and starboard.
This is an exciting boat. Construction uses the infusion method. To my eye it looks fast, it looks very sexy and it looks comfortable.
LOA 53’11”; LOD 47’9”, LWL 42’11”; Beam 14’3”; Draft standard torpedo keel 8’3”, race torpedo keel 9’10”, L-shape keel standard 7’ 4”, L-shape keel shoal 6’ 4”.; Displ. 22,202 lb.; Sail area 1,432 sq. ft..; Auxiliary 75-hp.; Fuel 85 gal.; Water 134 gal,; D/L 124.8; L/B 3.36; SA/D 28.9