The Maserati marque has always been associated with performance on land. Now, the Italian company has taken a different tack, on the water that is.
Calling it another form of racing against time, Maserati is lending its’ name to a racing yacht attempting to break three World Sailing Speed Record Council (WWSC) records.
|Photo Renato Zacchia
A huge trident, the company’s insignia, graces the both sides of the bow of yacht. Its sailors call the vessel, mostly constructed of carbon fiber “a Formula One car without wheels.”
“I am happy that two major companies have decided to approach the world of ocean sailing by supporting this important Italian enterprise", said Giovanni Soldini, who already has two circumnavigations and over 30 Atlantic crossings to his name. “We intend to be the first Italian boat to set a record on an official WSSRC.”
Last week, the Maserati made port in New York on the leg of the Lizard Point UK run.
Getting on board the yacht takes more agility than scrunching into a Formula One car. There are no stairs. One has to get a hand up to the deck or grab onto some of the rigging. Getting off the yacht requires a leap of faith around four to five feet off the deck down to the dock.
To support Soldini, and a crew of nine sailors, the interior of the boat is beyond Spartan. Carbon fiber comprises most of the structures. There is none of the polished wood of the old days around. Saving weight means saving time.
Maserati is lending its name to the yacht “that represents the synthesis of nautical technology and with which Soldini and his crew will attempt to break major ocean records,” said Harald Wester, CEO of Maserati S.p.A.
“Giovanni Soldini aboard Maserati expresses the absolute symbiosis of values – passion, emotion, speed, adrenalin, innovation along with craftsmanship and an Italian identity – between the Trident marque and the great Italian yachtsman in a series of offshore challenges on a global scale,” Mr. Wester added.
Although Maserati is in the automotive world, another chance to set records is derived from the company’s almost hundred-year existence.
That history includes Maserati’s first land speed record set by Bakunin Borzacchini in 1929 to the victories at Indianapolis in 1939 and 1940, the two F1 World Championship titles of Juan Manuel Fangio in 1954 and 1957 and the FIA GT1 world title won by the Maserati MC12 in 2010.
Maserati has gone to the sea before in powered vessels. As early as the 1930s, the Maserati brothers tested two paired 16-cylinder engines at sea and, in 1955, a Maserati engine conquered five powerboat world championships. For 12 consecutive years until 1969, Maserati’s eight-cylinder engines won 19 world, four European and 10 Italian titles in various categories.
Description of the Maserati
|Photo Renato Zacchia
An ultra-technological boat of over 20 meters, it makes a case to be the world's fastest single-hull yacht thanks to a carbon-fiber mast more than 30 meters high, a canting keel, mobile water ballast tanks, forward canard fins, its' extremely sleek waterlines and its structures in composite materials.
As Soldini explains: “After three months in dry dock, Maserati is 10% lighter and more powerful, with a greater self-righting capacity. We have worked to obtain a more stern-heavy configuration, thus making Maserati particularly well suited to sailing at higher speeds."