Itama 38 (11.6 m), this Italian-style sport powerboat is still a legend today


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Itama 38'
Itama 38′ – 1980

Cantieri di Roma – Itama 38′

They were called Play-Run-Cruisers or Fast Commuters, and they fell into that category of “quasi-offshore” boats then so much in vogue in the 1980s. The first one to really get into the genre, to trigger this passion, we saw, was the
Magnum 53
, immediately followed by many. These include the legendary Itama 38′, a highly successful 11-meter reiterated for years and years by Cantieri Navali di Roma. And the Itama 38′ we will discuss in this article, an excellent 38-footer, capable of over 40 knots and comfortable beyond the weekend, thanks to its 2/4 berths. A no small gem, a local icon of the late 1970s/early 1980s.

Itama 38'
Itama 38′ – 1978

Cantieri di Roma – Itama 38′ – Exterior

As an exterior, very few comments are needed to describe the Itama 38: essential, clean lines, bold and aggressive design, but without going to excess. The deep progressive V is evident and the hint of a bowhorse equally so. Overall, a sporty but, in its own way, unobtrusive runabout, made complete by a comfortable and well-finished deck.

Itama 38'
Itama 38′ – 1983

Over the years, exterior designs change from version to version, but without losing their essential elements, which simply differ in shape and design. Aft, then, one is often and willingly greeted by a large sundeck, capable of both filling the entire beam and leaving an easy passage to the center of the cockpit. Here, they then find space for sofas and seating, to better accommodate both while sailing and during stops.

The wheelhouse, also on the port side walls, is instead served by a single elevated seat, which allows a comfortable view over the bow, as well as easy access to all elements on the bridge. All, protected by a full-beam windshield, a component whose design varies from year to year. Finally, the deck ends with abundant forward momentum; about half the boat is in fact flat and clear, making the bow an ideal and enormous sun deck.

Itama 38′ – 1987


Cantieri di Roma – Itama 38′ – Interior

Returning to the bridge, just to starboard of this one, is access to the interior of the Itama 38′, available mainly in 2 versions: Standard & Special, both exquisitely finished, with lacquers lining the furnishings and plenty of natural light. The difference between the two? The layout and sleeping accommodations. In the Special version, just at the entrance is a large dinette living area, served by a private bathroom and an open kitchen. In the bow, space is reserved for a large double cabin, with built-in closets and a central XL bed, allowing 2 people to stay overnight on board.

Itama 38′ – Intenri “Standard” 1980

Perhaps the most interesting version, however, is the one defined as Standard, where the approach is very reminiscent of its contemporary sailboats, with a more sacrificed forward cabin, but balanced by clever solutions to maximize space in every room. Here, as soon as you enter you are greeted by an almost open plan environment, with a large open living room complete with dinette with sofas and table and, on the opposite walls, the kitchen.

To the left of the access remains the private toilet, but the dinette layout here offers two optional sleeping berths, which can be obtained via the center table and sofa cushions. In the bow, the master cabin remains, reduced in depth compared to its special counterpart, and then fitted with a V-bed to gain space. However, the number of overnight guests has increased, allowing an additional couple to spend the night on board.

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Cantieri di Roma – Itama 38′ – Motorization and performance

Speaking of motorization, the choice was never particularly limited, starting with as many as 4 engine options on the first models, later increased to 5 with the early 1980s, where the most powerful pair of engines provided on the 38′ made its appearance, two 450-hp Isotta Fraschini, capable of bringing top speeds in excess of 45 knots, previously barely attainable with the 435-hp General Motors pair.

As an alternative to these, there were also twin-engine options consisting of 2 Isotta Fraschini 350 hp, 2 Isotta Fraschini ID32 SS 6M 398 hp, and finally, 2 General Motors 280 hp. The fuel tank, unchanged, has a capacity of 1,300 liters.

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Cantieri di Roma – Itama 38′ – Data Sheet

Length Over All (LOA) 11.68 m
Baglio Massimo (Bmax) 3.75 m
Dive 0.80 m
Original Engines 2x Isotta Fraschini 350 hp

2x Isotta Fraschini ID32 SS 6M 398 hp

2x Isotta Fraschini 450 hp (1983 >)

General Motors 280 hp

General Motors 2x 435 hp

Cruising Speed* with 2x I.F. 398 hp 35 knots
Maximum Speed* with 2x I.F. 398 hp 40 knots
Cruising Speed* with 2x GM 435 hp 40 knots
Maximum Speed* with 2x GM 435 hp 44 knots
Speed* *variable by year
Fuel Tank 1,300 lt.
Fresh Water Tank 550 lt.
Construction VTR
Project Rome Shipyards
Construction site Rome Shipyards


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