“How I powered my boat to make it fast and safe.”

Michele Centemero, owner of the Italia Yachts 15.98 Sofima, tells us about the boat’s innovative engine system developed with Ranieri Tonissi

A boat, to be a true “blue water” boat, must not only be well built, but must be equipped with above-average accessories and equipment. If you are going to sail your boat long and safely, it is essential to have an inboard of adequate power for the size of the hull, a reliable manufacturer, and service to refer to at every opportunity.

Michele Centemero aboard her IY 15.98 Sofima


Michele Centemero, on his brand new Italia Yachts 15.98 Sofima (16.60 x 4.85 m), has not skimped on equipment: you can live on board for months and sail wherever you want. This was also thanks to a desk-studied motorization: “The standard engine configuration, for such a boat,” he told us, “called for a 75-horsepower model, which I felt was undersized considering the ‘long-range’ use I would make of the boat.

After much research-I wanted a saildrive transmission and the main manufacturers, for higher powers, were proposing shaftline transmission-I found the ‘square’ together with Milos Poli of Ranieri Tonissi (exclusive importer for Italy of Nanni Diesel marine engines, ed.). Working closely with Milos and his team, we came up with an innovative transmission system.”

The detail of the saildrive foot with Max Prop three-bladed steerable propeller.


The model chosen aboard Sofima is a Nanni N4.115, with ZF saildrive transmission and Max Prop steerable propeller: “115 horsepower is the power I was looking for on a 16-footer that, ready to sail, displaces 17 tons,” Centemero explains, “but I didn’t want to give up the maneuverability provided by the saildrive (which, unlike the shaftline, allows the foot to be more toward the center of the hull, ed.). From my first tests-I recently launched the boat-I would say mission accomplished.

The bridge on the deck with which you can manage
And monitor the status of the engine.

The boat maneuvers beautifully and the power is felt throughout. At 2,000/2,100 rpm (on an engine that runs at a maximum of 2,800), the cruising speed is 8.2/8.3 knots: and best of all, performance remains high even in adverse sea and wind conditions.”

The weight of the engine, 378 kg, is certainly not a problem; on the contrary, “Being positioned amidships and low down, it increases the stability of Sofima, which, as a good super-accessorised blue water, was not born with the intention of running exaggeratedly.”

Michele Centemero recalls the importance of dealing with an attentive and experienced team when it comes to motorization: “I must say that at Ranieri Tonissi’s they were very good. They have followed the project steadily, overseeing the development and installation of the system all the way to the launch and ensuring that I receive all the assistance I need. And I believe I will have no ‘granola’ in the years to come. In the past, on my old Comet 460, I had a Nanni engine and it never gave me any problems.”


Michele Centemero is echoed by Alessandro Airoldi, CEO of Ranieri Tonissi SpA: “Like Ranieri Tonissi, it was a pleasure to be able to confront and collaborate with a shipyard like Italia Yachts and to find an experienced and collaborative shipowner to be able to develop this project together. The installation of a 115-horsepower engine with saildrive makes it possible to totally innovate the approach to motorization for boats of this size where the use of this type of transmission is necessary and preferable.

The SD15, in configuration with a Nanni 140-hp engine, will be presented by us to the market at the upcoming Saloni in Cannes (Sept. 7-12) and Genoa (Sept. 16-21).”




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