The impossible challenge of the Vismara VXR5, a real boat that becomes a home


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vismara vxr5Have you always dreamed of a boat that heels less upwind than others, totally energy self-sufficient, that you can use year-round because even the cockpit becomes a cabin when it’s cold? Just a dream…there is no such thing as an absolute boat to live like, indeed better than at home. We visited it.

Named VXR5, it is 15.50 m long and was just launched by the Vismara shipyard.

Living comfortably without giving up sailing

It was born from the union of Alessandro Vismara and Marco Marioni with his wife. It is difficult to find people who are so competent and passionate, but above all, able to make an object that, concretely, meets the needs of those who want a boat with all the requirements for always sailing and living aboard, with all the comforts. But without giving up the pleasures of sailing.

Yes because, usually, if the boat is too comfortable it is not good for sailing and vice versa. If you favor sailing, it is more uncomfortable. Vismara and Marioni seem to have reached the right compromise. And now we explain how they achieved a seemingly irreconcilable result.

There is no more interior and exterior on the Vismara VXR5

The project revolves around a boat born in 2015, the V50 Dragon, which had, ahead of its time, some features that are only now catching on.

The first innovation is that the cockpit and the interior are on the same plane. To understand, there is no need for the descent ladder.

Of course, the cockpit is very deep. But this solution allows you to have on your head, without it looking like an obstruction, a real fixed roof (the T-Top in jargon) that covers the entire cockpit.

It seems irrelevant, but this solution “enlarges” the convivial area of the boat, with an inside/outside solution that no longer exists.

In addition, a structure such as the T-Top allows the cockpit area to be completely enclosed with transparent covers, so that in bad and/or cold weather this crucial area of the boat can be enjoyed both while sailing and in port. Year-round.

Why this boat swerves less

Why does the Vismara VXR5 heel less than other boats? The secret is an ingenious system in its simplicity. If you look at the numbers of the boat, you will be amazed at the 1,300 liters of water that can be taken on board. It is not just a question of water autonomy. Two water tanks are installed on the two sides in the center of the boat, in addition to the usual central one. When sailing heeled with a simple water pump moves fresh water upwind. And you obviously dump water on the leeward side. Straightening increases substantially. It is obvious.

Water draining into the sea is not a problem. The Vismara VXR5 has a powerful, state-of-the-art desalinator that allows it to run fresh water at all times, without ever having to hook up to the filling station.

There is another trick that makes this boat unique. When you’re in the roadstead and there’s a bit of a swell that makes you dance, you fill the whole 1,300-pound load with water and the boat sinks just enough to make it much less susceptible to rolling.

Because it is a real sailboat

This is fine, but a houseboat so designed will suffer from poor sailing performance. No, because, like all Vismara, it is constructed of glass/carbon sandwich and the interior is built without any counter-molding and contributes to the rigidity of the structure. The shaft is, of course, also made of carbon.

And if you take a look at the hull lines above you quickly realize that the design is that of a high-performance boat, with flat, full lines at the stern as if it were a racing boat.

The result (although we did not test it) is a boat that sails strong, thanks in part to a well-ballasted torpedo drift blade that also allows the draft to be reduced to only 2.50 meters without penalizing performance too much. The advantage of light weight (displacement 13,000 kg) is not only needed when sailing, but also when motoring.

Other genius of the Vismara VXR5

And here is the other genius. Taking advantage of the maximum width(4.30 m), which reaches all the way to the extreme stern, Vismara and Mr. and Mrs. Marioni have equipped the Vismara VXR5 with two engines and associated sail drives. Double advantage. Unique maneuverability in maneuvering that allows the bow thruster not to be used, plus the security of having two motors in addition to two 12v and two 24v alternators.

Vismara and the Marions also solved another problem, that of antifouling, always taking advantage of the innovation available in the market. The Vismara VXR5 has a ‘Slips Dophin silicone antifouling that guarantees 5 years of unaltered performance. Just give it a wipe-down so that algae and animals do not stick to it.

The energy independence you can’t see

And we come to energy independence, another essential point for a boat that was created to sail, if necessary, without touching land for very long periods. Do you remember the T Top roof on the cockpit? Installed here are 1.4-kw solar panels, which are absolutely invisible because they are painted to match. And thus they eliminate the unsightly effect of solar panels.

You sail at night and see where you put your feet

Another simple but ingenious idea from VXR5. Sailing at night without seeing if you go forward where you put your feet. A nuisance when you have to use flashlights on your head. But here the problem has been solved with technology. The deck is covered in white synthetic material with fluorescent rubberizing.

Finally! Almost traditional interior

Another innovative solution. The dinette swivel table has three functions: it functions as a dining table for 6 to 8 seats, you reduce it to compact, and it has the classic anti-roll edge while also functioning as a chart table. If you open it up and lower it to the level of the sofa seat, it turns into a double bed.

And, finally, something classic. The layout of the interior. Starting from the bow. the large master cabin with double bed, double closet and private bathroom with shower. Continue aft and on either side of the corridor are two cabins, one with bunk beds and another with a double. Immediately following is a large bathroom with shower.

In the salon overlooking the cockpit: on the left C-shaped sofa with the magic table and on the right the galley consisting of tilting gas stove, double sink, two fridges plus a freezer, oven, large countertop and chart table at the corner towards the bow for use as an inside wheelhouse.

Perhaps it is true, we are heading for the absolute boat to live there as and better than in a house.


Overall length: 15.50 m
Length at waterline: 14.00 m
Maximum width: 4.30 m
Displacement: 13,000 kg
Draft: 2.50 m
Water: 1,300 l
Fuel: 650 l
Sail area: 130 square meters
Engines: 2 x 40 hp
Shipyard: Vismara




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