New look and feel for 11.98 reflects push to expand into new markets
Italia Yachts recently launched its new 11.98 in Venice at the historical Compagnia della Vela yacht club. The boat is the first in the Bellissima series which is aimed at recreational owners and complements its Fuoriserie series designed with sports racers in mind.
Italia Yachts told IBI that the new 12m comes with the creature comforts and styling one might expect from a much larger yacht. The interior is the work of Arbore and Partners - Mirko Arbore made is reputation as a designer of high-end villa interiors, so a move to medium-sized sailboats marks a change of direction and makes itself evident in the homely feel of the boat’s interior.
“The qualities of the 11.98 Bellissima are evident from its speed and easiness of manoeuvring and sailing. The balance of volumes and the ergonomic cockpit guarantee the safety and balance needed for a family cruise of short-handed sailing. The layout of winches and stoppers is efficient, complete and user-friendly, making for easier manoeuvres and sail trimming. All the equipment is recessed, leaving clear way for moving on deck. The steering post and all the sailing hardware are ideally positioned” explains Daniele De Tullio after a first sail: “everything is at the right place, so much that you feel like having steered the boat for ages.”
“New branding means a change of pace for the company, responding to the challenges of an increasingly global market”
“The preliminary sailing impressions of the IY 1198 speak of an easy-to-handle and very balanced boat that does not require huge practice, is flexible and shows excellent speed in the Bellissima series. From the very first sea trials the boat showed very good balance and reactivity, in both light wind and stiff breeze, responding as expected and accelerating back quickly after tacking. The boat feels solid and stable.” Says Franco Corazza, who declares: “This boat is a tamed pure-bred.”
The official launch of the IY 11.98 marks a key moment for the yard. “From now on Italia Yachts moves further forward to meet the ever-increasing needs of our clients” explained CEO Francesco Pisciotta. “New branding means a change of pace for the company, responding to the challenges of an increasingly global market. Italia Yachts are more and more appreciated on an international level and the yard, with its new brand, is ready to face new and exciting challenges. Top performances combined with lifestyle make each and every Italia Yacht a great and unique sailboat.”
Italia Yachts is currently building around 20 boats a year, but the plan is to up that to around 35-40 boats annually. Key to growth will be expansion in the US where is is growing its dealer network. It has sales offices in Annapolis, Fort Lauderdale, Santa Barbara and Newport. A new logo that incorporated the Lion of Venice, it’s wing mimicking a sail, is part of the new drive by the builder to raise its brand profile.