Dan Lenard, the designer that crossed the Ocean alone without electronics


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Dan Lenard

Far from the spotlight, superyacht king Dan Lenard crossed the Atlantic Ocean without tools. Not on a motorboat, but the feat of a designer of motorboats known throughout the world as he is the co-founder, together with Carlo Nuvolari, of the naval design studio Nuvolari Lenard. That great Italian excellence that has put its signature on the most avant-garde megayachts, from Perini to Oceanco, from Palmer Johnson to Ferretti.

dan lenard barche
Dan Lenard, designer di barche

Sailing alone without a motor, instrument, compass or sextant (just like the ancient navigators) from Cadiz, where he left on January 20 2019, to Antigua (where he arrived yesterday), almost 4,000 miles following the route of Christopher Columbus’ second voyage to the Indies.

“You will know where I will be, I will not”, he had joked before setting sail, having at his disposal just a transponder to send his position to those who followed him. Then only his sight, the sun, the stars, and the clock.

“Who knows what space boat the king of superyachts will have designed to attempt this venture,” someone asked himself. No, they didn’t. Lenard left the moorings on board of Scia, a 33 footer (10 meters) that we called “Frankenstein boat” because it was made by recycling the pieces of other boats.

He described it to us as follows: “A patchwork of pieces of previous boats, the ‘newest’ one being eight years old, we have recycled parts of boats in different stages of construction, we have coupled the hull and deck of different boats 10 years old.


His goal was to reach the coast of Florida for the Miami Boat Show (February 14-18), but because of the light winds, he didn’t make it for a few days (now he’s stopped in Antigua and we don’t know when he’ll resume sailing). He certainly wasn’t looking for any records: he didn’t communicate anything to anyone, he left quietly, shut up. He did so to promote the beauty of sailing as a way of traveling “eco” with zero impact, as well as drawing attention to the need for immediate and concrete action to protect the sea.


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