While Italy celebrates having seven shipyards among the top fifteen in the world, particularly in the sector of mega yachts, there is a pillar of its history that lies abandoned. It is Destriero, one of the most daring projects ever undertaken by the Italian boating industry.
In cinema, such a project would be a colossal with everything magnified from the length, 220 feet, to the power, over 60,000 HP. This is the Italian boat that has enchanted and made people talk about her all over the world, but which is now in serious danger of being forgotten forever. The memories of those who lived through those moments are indelible, but the boat has been abandoned in Germany for many years. It would be a shame not to preserve such an important piece of history, especially in a country that suffers from a chronic lack of nautical culture.
But there is someone trying to prevent this unjust end. Alberto Scuro, newly-appointed chairman of the Historic Motoring Commission of the States General of Italian Heritage, has just launched an appeal to the Aga Khan: support the recovery of the Destriero.
It was Prince Karim Aga Khan himself who promoted the project thirty years ago, with the support of the industrial elite of the time. This glorious project set a record in the Atlantic Ocean, covering over 3,000 nautical miles without refuelling and averaging over 50 knots.
The Commissione Motorismo Storico considers the Destriero an element of Italian heritage and would like to launch an initiative to restore her and make her accessible to new generations. To achieve this, the commission is also ready to request the declaration of cultural heritage by the Italian Minister of Culture, Dario Franceschini.
As mentioned above, for now Alberto Scuro has sent a request addressed to Prince Karim Aga Khan, in his capacity as president of the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda. The motivation is to receive information on the ship Destriero and above all to make the Prince aware of the need to support a salvage initiative.
It has been known for years that the Destriero is in a state of disrepair in Germany, near Bremen, in the area of the Lürssen shipyards. Now, after yet another report, the Historic Motoring Commission wants to take action to try and save it.
Almost 60 meters long, Destriero was designed by Donald Lee Blount and built in early 90’s by Fincantieri and Pininfarina. At the time of her creation (early 1990s) she was the largest aluminium vessel ever built, 223.7 feet (68.19 metres) and 13 metres wide, about 43 feet.
In 1992, just one year after her launch, she sailed in the record time of 58 hours, 43 minutes and 5 seconds over 3,100 miles at an average speed of 53 knots, crossing the Atlantic at a maximum speed of 67 knots.
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