From an article published on 23 Oct, 2020 in Barche a Motore
30 years ago the first issue of Barche a Motore came out. Enrico Conta has been cruising for 30 years with an almost indestructible Swedish boat. It was 1987 when, as a sailor, he switched to motorboats, choosing a boatyard that was almost unknown in Italy but that in northern Europe has a reputation for building the Rolls Royces of the sea. The boat? A Storebro Royal Cruiser 31 Adriatic. Here is its story:
Enrico Conta’s letter
“A sailor since I was a boy, finally at the age of 33 I managed to buy an Alb Sail 35, an excellent flush deck sloop, rigged for cruising: goodbye racing! But for 10 years I had wonderful holidays in the Mediterranean, but as a hospital doctor my work commitments were becoming more and more “demanding” and the need to keep watch did not allow me to manage my holidays with ease. That’s how I decided to switch to the “motor”: for easier holiday management, but still by sea.
October 1987 – It wasn’t easy to find a truly “seaworthy” boat that gave me the safety of sailing and the versatility of a powerboat, but in the end there it was: the Storebro Royal Cruiser 31 Adriatic displayed with a real model, but cut in half lengthwise. You could see the thickness of the hull, deep-V bow with tapering towards the stern, propeller shafts, Volvo Penta turbo diesel engines, mahogany interior, semi-planing hull, the same hull commissioned from Storebro by the Swedish Coast Guard for short-range salvage: she was perfect!
30 years of hussle-free holidays at sea
28 October 2018 – The sea storm that destroyed the Carlo Riva harbour in Rapallo damaged the Storebro which, together with a few other boats, did not sink, but was nevertheless destined for disposal: they were unable to destroy it, the mechanical clamp had to give up, they had to finish it off with a huge hose because the hull is one-piece.
Fortunately I found another Storebro, a Royal Cruiser 340 Adriatic, which I immediately bought. Only 22 units were built, 5 of which were sold in Italy (a small curiosity: one was bought by the King of Norway).
They’re powerful, indestructible, safe boats, and in Northern Europe they call them the Rolls Royces of the sea. It’s a pity the Italians don’t know them, or maybe it was better for me: I got a great deal!”
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