Italia Yachts builds a luxurious cruiser racer and it is rare to find one in US waters. These boats are built and sail extremely well. Her three cabin layout with two heads make her an absolute dream for fast cruising or to do some fun buoy racing when the opportunity presents itself.
Topsides, the Italia 13.98's cockpit provides a blend of comfort and practicality. Starting aft, the boat's transom includes a large drop-down swim platform that is manually operated and easy to access between the split backstay and twin Jeffa helms. Forward of that, there's a foldout cockpit table that can be easily struck and stowed beneath the sole or removed completely should you ever choose to do some racing, the long, straight cockpit benches enable a very comfortable layout weather racing or cruising . Not only do they provide plenty of space for stretching out, but allow easy access for grinding the Antal Winches. All lines, from the halyards to the jib and main sheets, run below deck (even the A-sail tack line,which emerges via a stainless lead on the stem and a set of six retractable mooring cleats are set in a low, broad toe rail. Continuing forward, the lower shrouds are led to the edge of the Low-profile cabin trunk, and the uppers are led outboard, allowing for an unobstructed passageway along the side decks. The anchor deploys on a retractable stainless sprit. Deck hardware is from Ronstan, with clutches from Spinlock. The teak cockpit sole and teak side decks are vacuum-bonded to a fiberglass backing, which is in turn bonded to the fiberglass deck in the interest of ensuring an especially durable installation.
The layout below decks is fairly conventional, with an owner's cabin forward and mirror-image double quarter berths aft. The port quarter berth can be given over to storage. The joinery is fabricated in a sleek, curvaceous style, which is not only great looking, but means there are far fewer corners to bump into when moving about in a seaway. Door frames all include seals to prevent them from knocking and banging, and the panels comprising the sole are installed with very small gaps between them to minimize creaking. The L-shaped galley has a pair of Isotherm fridges and Techimpex oven and stove. The centerline seat at the dining table can be slid out of the way when not in use, and the table can be lowered to turn the starboard settee into a large double berth.
The Italia 13.98's has 55hp Volvo sail drive with about 1600 hours turning a three-blade Gori overdrive prop which enables a cruising speed of around 8 knots @ 2600 rpm’s Engine access is excellent, both through the companionway steps and from the sides, with all filters, fills and belts close at hand. With an eye toward safety, the Itallia 13.98 is equipped with multiple fire suppression systems in places like the engine space, battery compartment and behind the electric panel. A digital Mastervolt Systems Monitor makes keeping track of tankage and battery levels a snap.
When you step aboard, the Italia 13.98's commitment to performance and quality is readily apparent in such go-fast features as discontinuous rod rigging, a below deck Furlex headsail furler, Navtec hydraulic backstay control and a cleverly recessed main traveler running the width of the cockpit sole. The boat's standard double spreader spar is aluminum and built by Denmark's John Mast. Below the waterline, there hides a powerful, high-aspect semi-balanced rudder and an aggressive iron T-keel with a lead bulb: the latter is encased in carefully faired fiberglass to ensure the most efficient hydrodynamic shape possible. The 13.98's hull is laminated in vinyl ester with unidirectional and biaxial E-glass and a PVC core. Italia also incorporated a system of carbon frames and stringers, which are both glued and laminated to the inside of the hull to ensure maximum rigidity. The cored E-glass deck is not just glued to an Inward-turning flange on the hull, but entirely laminated from stem to stern, to ensure an exceptionally robust and leak-proof assembly.
Sails and Hardware