From Sanremo to Trieste on a vintage boat from 1889


BAT, a small vintage sailing boat 5.20 meters long built in wood in England in 1889, left on 28 May from the port of Sanremo to Trieste, where it plans to arrive after two months of navigation, 1,700 miles of sea and more than 50 ports touched along the peninsula. The protagonist of the company is the Milanese nautical designer Paolo Lodigiani, who is also a member of the board of ASDEC, the Association of Vintage and Classic Hulls. At each stop, those who have chosen to share one or more stages of this unique circumnavigation of Italy will embark. The name ‘BAT 200’ represents the sum of the age of the boat, 130 years, and that of its owner, 70 years.

TWO MONTHS AT SEA, 1,700 MILES AND 50 STAGES

The journey of Italy from Sanremo to Trieste on board one of the smallest and oldest sailing yachts in the world. On Tuesday, May 28th, the historic BAT, auric cutter launched in 1889 by the English shipyard J.T. Howard, in Essex, on a project by the architect C.P. Clayton, left the Sanremo Yacht Club for the upper Adriatic, where it will arrive at the end of July after having travelled about 1,700 miles of sea and stopped in over 50 ports. BAT is a hull just 5.20 meters long (which becomes 10 meters if measured from the end of the bowsprit to the boom area), built in teak wood original of the time and still perfectly navigating today. The trip, called ‘Progetto BAT 200′, wants to celebrate the important birthday of the boat and that of its owner, the 70-year-old Paolo Lodigiani, director of ASDEC (Italian Association of Vintage Sails), yacht designer, wooden boat builder and writer of books in the field of naval design. Since 1990 and for over 25 years, his company B.C.A. Demco Kit in Milan has also been the most important reference point for lovers of self-construction of wooden boats.

THE HISTORY OF THE BAT

BAT was launched in 1889 at the British shipyard J.T. Howard in Maldon, which at the time specialised in the construction of barges for transport boats, while its designer, C.P. Clayton, was best known for his designs of racing yachts which were the protagonists of competitions held in the Solent, around the Isle of Wight. The cutter was built with 15mm thick teak calafate plating on an oak frame, with the keel also in teak and the ballast in lead. The leaps are practically non-existent, with a plumb foredeck and almost vertical transom. BAT raced in the 17’ class, mainly in the waters of Essex. In the early years of the twentieth century the boat sailed on Lake Como with the owner Mr. Ruspini di Blevio. In 1959 Sergio Spagnul found her abandoned in Latisana, in Friuli-Venezia-Giulia, and after having restored her she took part in numerous regattas including the Trieste-San Giovanni in Pelago.

THE SMALL-LARGE YACHT OF CARLO SCIARRELLI

Since 1965 BAT has belonged to Carlo Sciarrelli from Trieste, destined to become the most important Italian designer of classic and traditional hulls. The boat, which in this period is pontata and with a low deckhouse, participates in numerous editions of the Barcolana. Sciarrelli, in his famous book “Lo Yacht”, describes it as follows: “The BAT is my boat. I go for a walk in the gulf of Trieste (…). If a yacht is a pleasure boat, the more a yacht the less it can demonstrate a practical value, then for me the BAT is the most yacht of all”. In 1994 Paolo Lodigiani bought her, and after having kept her for a while in Cernobbio, on Lake Como, he returned her to her traditional mooring at the Yacht Club Adriaco in Trieste, of which she is a member. In 1999 the Cantiere Alto Adriatico of Monfalcone, under the supervision of Carlo Sciarrelli, brought BAT back to its original design of 1889, with the open hull unmounted. Twenty years later Lodigiani, in preparation for the Italian voyage, entrusted BAT to the shipyard Massimo Garella of Borgone di Susa, in the province of Turin, which, with the advice of the architect Marco Casavecchia, brought the boat back to Sciarrelli’s design by applying a new deck and deckhouse. The official return to sea of the BAT took place on 27 May 2019 at the Cantieri Navali Sanremo. The following day the Yacht Club Sanremo, in the person of the historic president Beppe Zaoli, then held the official start of BAT towards the first stage of Loano, with on board together with Lodigiani also Guglielmo Danelon, sailor of the Yacht Club Adriaco of Trieste.



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