It was the boat that made generations dream, the record-breaking speedboat, an all-Italian unicum, and a milestone not only in our shipbuilding industry, but in motor boating in general. Presented in Genoa in 1972, it was a masterpiece of Italcraft Shipyards, a tamed monster, the first capable of breaking through 50 knots of speed, reaching 55, the first to mount surface propellers: it is theItalcraft Drago, a
cult boat, signed Renato “Sonny” Levi.
Thirteen meters long and strong with 55 knots of top speed, the Dragon was an incredible boat, nothing ever seen before. A pleasure boat powered by two diesel engines and capable of exceeding 50 knots… It was a complete success, making it the progenitor of a successful series of boats. A success previously set by the shipyard, sure, with the
, but now destined for the highest heights, as the near-contemporary
, the 8.5-meter, 47-knot speed version.
Italcraft Drago – Historical Background
By the 1960s, buoyed by the success of their boats, Italcraft Shipyards began their rise to the top of the power boating industry, reaching the heights of pleasure boating, a position then destined only for the biggest brands. During this “happy” period, with the growing success of Offshore racing, the Sonnino brothers (founders of the shipyard), approached the brilliant Renato “Sonny” Levi with one goal in mind, to make a revolutionary boat, the first production and recreational boat capable of reaching fifty knots with a diesel engine.
In short, an unprecedented challenge, resulting in a resounding success that will revolutionize boating forever. In fact, Levi will find the solution in a more than novel innovation with surface propellers and “Step Drive” configuration.
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Italcraft Drago – Project
Several innovative attentions were applied to the construction of the Drago, starting with the new surface propeller propulsion system-introduced for the first time in 1969 by the Aeromarina Division of Italcraft Shipyards, precisely for the development of the Drago project-with a step-drive hull. A small revolution capable of reducing all friction in the water, improving speed by 20 percent compared to another configuration with the same power-to-weight ratio. To this was added an excellent hull in terms of construction techniques as well.
Indeed, typical marine plywood was abandoned and replaced by careful construction of mahogany laminated wood reinforced with epoxy resins. A solution that managed to keep the weight within only 5,500 pounds. The result, more than evident, earned the dragon immediate success, so much so that it remained in production from 1972 to 1987, also serving several military applications, including as a fast patrol boat with the Guardia di Finanza.
Italcraft Dragon – Spaces
In addition to her unparalleled speed, the Dragon also surprised with its man-high interior spaciousness, which was not compromised by the hull’s sleek and streamlined lines, and the comfort of the cockpit and aft sundeck.
Indeed, the Dragon was surprisingly adept at combining its performance qualities with the habitability of its interior spaces, strong with as many as 4 beds, separate toilet room and kitchen.
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Italcraft Drago – Data Sheet
|Length Over All (LOA)||13.00 m|
|Length at Waterline (LWL)||9.90 m|
|Baglio Massimo||2.62 m|
|Displacement||5,500 / 6000 kg|
|Diesel Engines||2x D Cummins VT8 370 hp
2x Isotta Fraschini 350 hp
|Maximum Speed||55 knots|
|Fuel Tank||900 lt|
|Fresh Water Tank||200L|
|Building Materials||laminated mahogany reinforced GRP|
|Fairing||Renato “Sonny” Levi|
Discover Classic Boats from previous articles
Here are all the other big boats:
- Baglietto Elba, the dawn of the Italian series motoryacht (11.3m)
- Riva 25 Sport Fisherman, history of an Italian-American classic (7.5m)
- Boston Whaler Outrage 21, the Classic Boat that conquered Italy (6.5m)
- Grand Banks 42, from fishing boat to cruiser par excellence (12.7m)
- Italcraft X-44, the elegant cult fisherman of ’68 (14m)
- Mochi Craft Super 8M, the Italian way to sport cruising (8.4m)
- Italcantieri Bora 103, when the Italian state built pleasure boats (10m)
- Concorde 27 Spot Fisherman, the weekender for all that conquered Italy (8.2 m)