That great genius of Giulio Cesare Carcano

carcano2Poking around on the Web with no clear logic, I fell in love with a boat. Lightning strike. Vanilla. A revolutionary project for being conceived in 1971. I began to do some more focused research and arrived at its designer, Giulio Cesare Carcano about whom I knew almost nothing except the name. Thanks to the help of Edoardo Napodano (yacht manager and owner of the website where many of the boats designed by Carcano are “displayed” for sale) I was able to reconstruct his career, which is certainly too little known and valued.

A life divided between Guzzi motorcycles and sailboats-a genius who expressed himself in both fields with revolutionary designs. One cannot fail to mention, speaking of engines, the extraordinary 8-cylinder and the legendary 90° V-twin engine, from whose V , it seems, all his boats were named. Even as a nautical designer, he was illuminated by a unique genius beginning with his first design in 1960, the Volpina, a 5.5 S.I. All of his boats in this class would be named after him: from 1960 to 1969 he designed eight: including his five Volpina and Beppe Croce’s Manuela. They are all innovative boats: he was a true forerunner, designing light displacement boats with strong form straightening, which anticipated the world trend by at least five years.


After the 5.5 Carcano became interested in IOR classes, ranging from Class I to Class V. He designed boats for friends that had to please him, “As a designer,” Carcano recalled, “the IOR formula fascinated me because it allowed for varied and original solutions. The names of some of his IOR boats? Villanella, winner in 1976 in San Remo of the Two Ton Cup, Vanilla, a precursor hull that seems to anticipate the planing designs of Bruce Farr, Vanessa, Viola, Veronica, Vinca, Viluehla. Carcano also participated with Beppe Croce in the first contacts for an Italian challenge to the America’s Cup by meeting with U.S. President John F. Kennedy. But back then, in 1962, the time was not ripe.

Veronica Bottasini



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