“So I go around the whole Mediterranean on a 13-meter motor boat.”

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We often read about sailors going around the sea in their own boats, but motoring is also possible. Edmondo Colliva, a sailor, fisherman, gastronome and above all a lover of travel , tells us about it.

With his wife he left last April 1 from the port of La Spezia and has already covered more than 3,000 miles aboard a beautiful motor boat, a Sasga Menorquín 42 HT that fills him with satisfaction.

The whole Mediterranean on a 13-meter motor yacht

Mediterranean boaters are privileged people who can enjoy one of the most beautiful seas in the world. A seemingly contained basin compared to other seas or even oceans, but one that holds wonderful scenery and also lends itself to long cruises because the places, ports of call, bays, and seaside villages rich in beauty, history, and diverse cultures are almost endless for those willing to explore and experience them fully.

Edmondo Colliva, who has always been passionate about boating and sea travel, is one such explorer of the Mediterranean planet. A sea that he loves deeply, because in general he loves life, has many passions and is driven by genuine, visceral spirit, which also leads him to move away from it knowingly, only to return to it even more in love with its scents, its sweetnesses, its timeless moments that only a sailor can experience.

Edmondo Colliva, when did your passion for boating and boat travel start?

“The passion for boating was born with me. I lived my childhood in Bonassola (Sp), where my father was mayor of the town and used to take me on boat trips with local fishermen who would go out with tremaglia, palamiti, etc. The one for boat trips, on the other hand, was passed on to me by a friend who used to take me with him to long-range regattas. It was there that I developed a deep passion for going to sea, a place to experience by all kinds of nautical means, sailing as well as motor, but also with a skate.”

What kind of boats have you had and what is your current model?

“When I was a boy in the 1970s, I had a 20-hp Boston Whaler with which I used to frolic far and wide along the coast. Then as an adult I bought a Menorquín 120 to do long sailing, but also a Dufour 455 Grand Large to go sailing. I also had boats specifically for fishing, my other great passion. Today I instead own a Sasga Menorquín 42 HT purchased in 2021 that is just another planet in terms of marine quality, comfort, fittings and materials, a fantastic boat that has never given me a problem. I christened it “Mira,” after the maritime term used for making alignments along the coast to find the ship’s point.”

Edmondo Colliva, what does the perfect boat look like for the sailing you do?

“I chose a Hart Top model without a flying bridge for two reasons. The first is functional. In fact, I am of the idea that the less dead work I have, the more ‘bad’ the boat is, i.e., performing. Secondly, I am a lover of Italian and Mediterranean style, and shapes are important to me. I like the clean lines, and the flying bridge is an Americanate that I leave to others. Not to mention that the superstructure, as for space, takes away a good portion of the cockpit that I didn’t want to give up. Otherwise I have a long-cruise setup, so 8 kW generator set, desalinizer, hot/cold air conditioner, two 320 hp Volvo standard engines. No overly high-tech installations, but instead I had a number of small practical modifications made, such as long handrails, a quick-connect sea socket on the stern platform, 12 V sockets in the cockpit, integrated stainless rod holders on the sides of the hatch, and rings, also in stainless, to install additional crossbars at the mooring.”

Edmondo Colliva
Edmondo Colliva

Is such a boat suitable for long cruising?

“I call it the ‘4×4 of the sea.’ A long voyage boat, safe, seaworthy, able to take even the most formed sea, as happened to me in the Gulf of Lion. Other boats are “floating bowls.” This one doesn’t. I could tell you that it is beautifully built, with fantastic finishes and first-rate electrical systems and wiring. But its real strength is the hull designed, according to me, by a genius, naval architect Inigo Toledo, whom I personally contacted to compliment him. Let me give you an example: route from Cittadella (Menorca) to Palamos (Spain), 150 miles, with a violent port sea coming from Alboran. Well, the autopilot never disconnected once. The bow is pure goiter, but in the stern it is as if it has a “keel” that together with the two large rudders keeps the boat steady and balanced in all conditions.”

Edmund Colliva

Why does he love sailing in the Mediterranean?

“Of the Mediterranean I love everything, especially the Tyrrhenian. To my taste there is none. The seabed, the fishing, the islands, the people and their history. Sailing around the Mediterranean you take a tour through the beauty of the scenery and find mixes of cultures thousands of years old, Greeks, Arabs, Romans. Go to Sardinia and you enter the Bronze Age, go to Sicily and you breathe in Magna Graecia. Then for me gastronomy is an indispensable element in my cruises. I go ashore I visit local places, farms, fishing families, I taste everything among the local products and exchange recipes, share cooking techniques. When I cruise along the coast I use the spyglass I see vines, I get off and go taste that wine. I do very interesting gastronomy and nautical tours. Because these waters and coasts have extraordinary riches in this aspect as well.”

What are the most beautiful and congenial ports of call for this type of cruise?

“I would say Capraia in the Tuscan Archipelago, with which I have a special relationship, Marina del Circeo, the Roman port of Ventotene, Ponza, Castel Sant’Angelo in Ischia, Castel dell’Ovo, Agropoli, Paestum, Marina di Camerota, all of Cilento, And then Tropea, a springboard to the Aeolian Islands, from Panarea to Vulcano, from Stromboli to Salina. Then Sicily with Cefalù, Castellammare del Golfo, the Zingaro Reserve, San Vito lo Capo, the beautiful Egadi Islands. In Sardinia I recommend the island of Carloforte with its strong ties to the Genoese.”

Edmund Colliva
Edmondo Colliva

What are the needs and critical issues in motor cruising?

“As far as I am concerned, the only real critical issue is the crowding, the rudeness, the lack of respect for others and for the maritime code found at sea, especially in the summertime. For years now from mid-June until August I run away from incivility, disposable boating, and assault tourism, and retreat to the countryside. Because otherwise you have to fight or otherwise ruin your days, as well as expose yourself to unnecessary anxiety and danger.”

What are your plans for the future?

“Continuing to travel by Mediterranean with ‘Mira’ of course. For next year, the idea is to bring the boat to Monfalcone with an exceptional transport and then do the whole Croatian coast, Ionian Greece and go all the way to Turkey.”

Any advice for a new owner who wants to make similar trips?

“Definitely use a comfortable and safe boat because the Mediterranean is a sea that should not be underestimated, especially in recent years with the various climate changes. Always check the forecast and the situation of ports and moorings. I use two great Apps Windy and Navily. Then in my opinion you have to travel with the right spirit, gedering experiences, studying and getting to know places and communities, respecting them, exchanging culture and knowledge. Fully experience the sea above and below, learn how to fish, learn about fish, marine life. The real enemy of sea travel is not time, as many believe, but superficiality, rushing at all costs, disregard and carelessness, living nature only as a playground.”

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