“Atali” might look like a 1950’s wooden cruiser, and her retro style is legit. But she’s a thoroughly modern yacht that has traveled the world.
You almost expect to see Italian screen siren Sophia Loren sashaying around the elegant teak decks, all flowing kaftan and over-size shades. Or a bronzed and buff Giorgio Armani piloting from the flybridge helm.
When it comes to classic Italian yacht design, nothing screams bella macchina more than this 97-foot fast navetta from the famed Cantiere De Cesari shipyard south of Ravenna on Italy’s Adriatic coast.
Built in 2006 for well-known Italian jeweler Carlo Traglio—he owns the Vhernier chain of jewelry boutiques—the yacht took an incredible 19,000 hours to construct using De Cesari’s famed cold-molded mahogany boat-building techniques.
The lower salon is pure ’50s retro, all the way to the painted white ceilings and wood pilothouse forward. Courtesy Denison Yachting
Today she’s owned by a Swedish wooden-boat-loving family who bought the formerly named Ardis II in 2017, renamed her Atali and have spent the past four summers cruising every corner of the Mediterranean and the Bahamas, clocking up over 14,000 miles.
“She’s been a true labor love for us. Nothing has been overlooked to keep her in this remarkable condition,” Atali’s 29-year-old skipper, Captain Omar Lambroni told Nautic Magazine during an exclusive tour at last month’s Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. Just before the show, the yacht had spent five months out of the water having her brightwork professionally re-varnished, her engines and generators serviced and bottom painted.
Designed in-house at Cantiere De Cesari, Atali is the second-largest yacht the Italian yard has built in its half-century history. In contrast to today’s typical fiberglass construction, De Cesari uses a crossed laminate structure comprising layers of mahogany planking impregnated with West System epoxy resin.
Flybridge helm. Note the retro windshield that folds down to protect the electronics when the boat is not running. Courtesy Denison Yachting
“The hull is roughly two inches thick, immensely strong, impervious to moisture and rot, and is virtually indestructible,” said Lambroni. “We have taken her everywhere in the Med, in some of the most challenging seas, yet she always feels safe.”
She’s fast too. Powered by twin German-made MTU turbo-diesels packing around 1,500-horsepower apiece, Atali has a screaming top speed of 30 mph and cruises effortlessly at 22 mph. Throttle back to a relaxed 15 mph and her 5,500-gallon tanks will give her a range of 1,000 nautical miles.
Swedish Humphree zero-speed electric fin stabilizers and trim tabs give a soft ride in rough seas. “For a photo shoot just before the show, we were out in six- to eight-foot Atlantic swells doing 20 knots, and she just brushed them off,” says Lambroni.
The forward VIP, like the rest of the interior, is clad in wood. Courtesy Denison Yachting
While Atali may look old-school traditional, especially with her upright, mirror-varnished stern transom, she has a secret feature to increase her flexibility. At the press of a button, a section of the transom folds down to create a large swim platform and tender dock. Steps inside lead up to the boat’s back deck.
From that teak-covered stern deck there’s a large U-shaped covered outdoor dining area, with double doors leading into the spacious salon.
“What I’ve always loved about Atali is her high ceilings throughout the boat, and especially in the salon. My wife and I are pretty tall so having seven-foot headroom in most cabins makes a difference,” says the boat’s owner, who on average, spent four months a year cruising the yacht.
The working foredeck. Courtesy Denison Yachting
The boat has a well-equipped galley with recently-added Italian dusty-pink marble countertops from Sardinia, professional-grade fridge-freezers and appliances. Huge, stainless-steel-framed windows flood the galley with natural light.
Below decks is an elegant master suite with varnished woodwork, a spacious bathroom and second toilet/washroom. There’s also an equally spacious, full-beam VIP suite, along with two, twin-bed cabins with drop-down pullman bunks.
“She really is a work of art and we’ll be sad to see her go,” says the owner. “She’s not for everyone, and she needs constant love and attention. But the rewards of cruising aboard such a beautiful-looking, beautifully built yacht are immense.”
A beautiful, classic profile, with a top speed of 30 mph.