MEETINGS Round Italy sailing with a 130-year-old boat (and a 70-year-old skipper)

Do you remember the adventure of Paolo Lodigiani? Aboard the BAT, a small 5.20-meter-long vintage sailboat built of wood in England in 1889, he left the port of San Remo last year for Trieste, where he arrived after two months of sailing, 1,700 miles of sea and more than 50 ports touched along the peninsula.

It has been a wonderful adventure for the Milanese nautical designer (and AISDEC, Associazione Scafi d’Epoca e Classici (Association of Vintage and Classic Hulls) advisor). The name ‘BAT 200’ given to the enterprise, represents the sum of the boat’s age, 130 years, and that of its owner, 70 years.

Don’t miss the story of his out-of-the-box journey: appointment set for Friday, February 21, 2020, 9 p.m., at the headquarters of the Milan Naval League (Viale Cassala 34). Free admission. MORE INFO ABOUT THE EVENT HERE


THE HISTORY OF THE BAT

BAT is launched in 1889 at the British shipyard J.T. Howard of Maldon, which at the time specialized in building transport boat barges, while its designer, C.P. Clayton, was best known for designs of racing yachts featured in competitions held in the Solent, around theIsle of Wight. The cutter was built with 15-millimeter-thick teak caulked planking on oak framework, with the keel also made of teak and lead ballast. Virtually nonexistent momentum, with plumb foredeck and nearly vertical transom. BAT raced in the 17′ class, which is prevalent mainly in Essex waters. In the early 1900s the boat sailed on Lake Como with owner Mr. Ruspini of Blevio. In 1959 Sergio Spagnul found her abandoned in Latisana, Friuli-Venezia-Giulia, and after restoring her he entered her in several regattas including the Trieste-San Giovanni in Pelago.

THE SMALL-BIG YACHT OF CARLO SCIARRELLI

Since 1965 BAT has belonged to Carlo Sciarrelli from Trieste, who was destined to become Italy’s leading designer of classic and traditional hulls. The boat, which appears to be pontooned and with a low deckhouse at this time, participates in numerous editions of the Barcolana. Sciarrelli, in his famous book “The Yacht,” describes it as follows: “The BAT is my boat. I walk around the Gulf of Trieste with it (…). If yacht is the pleasure boat, which the more yacht the less you can demonstrate a practical value of it, then for me the BAT is the most yacht of all“. In 1994 Paolo Lodigiani bought her, who, after keeping her for a time in Cernobbio on Lake Como, brought her back to her traditional berth at the Adriaco Yacht Club in Trieste, of which he is a member.

In 1999, the Alto Adriatico Shipyard in Monfalcone, under the supervision of Carlo Sciarrelli, restored BAT to its original 1889 design, with the hull open un-ponted. Twenty years later, Lodigiani, in preparation for the circumnavigation of Italy, entrusted BAT to Cantiere Massimo Garella of Borgone di Susa, in the province of Turin, which, with the advice ofarchitect Marco Casavecchia, brought the boat back to Sciarrelli’s design by applying a new deck and deckhouse. BAT’s official return to sea took place on May 27, 2019 at the San Remo Shipyards.

(photo Paolo Maccione)

BAT 1889 – THE DATA SHEET

Name: BAT
Type: auric cutter
Year launched: 1889
Shipyard: J.T. Howard – Maldon (Essex – UK)
Design: C.P. Clayton (UK)
Construction material: teak wood planking on oak framework
Hull length: 5.20m
Length ‘out of the hull’: 10 mt(from the bowsprit end to the boom area)
Width: 2.17m
Draught: 1.40m
Displacement: 2.6 tons.
Sail area: 40 square meters
Motorization: 6 hp outboard
Club affiliation: Lega Navale Italiana (MI) – Yacht Club Adriaco (TS)
Association: ASDEC – Association of Vintage and Classic Hulls

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