August 19, 2008

Boat Review: Itama Forty

Classics of the classics. This is how I always described, the glorious boat builder Itama and it's range of boats. Founded 1969 in close premises to Italy's capital city Rome by Mario Amati, Itama was among the first answer to the legend that Teodoli's Magnum was creating in the States. The Itama 38 presented in 1979 was the first reply from Amati, creating with this new model also the first underwater exhaust system. Fast forward to 2004 and here comes the acquisition of Ferretti Group, with the Pershing holding of Itama. The Forty designed by Marco Casali replacing the 40 as reinterpreted by Amati, was the first reply from the new owners and it was already a shining star of better things to come for this legendary brand of timeless Power Yachts.
When launched in the fall of 2005 the Itama Forty surprised everyone in the accommodation fronts. First thanks to the cockpit layout with a big sun lounger, c-shaped settee to starboard, helm station to port and a wetbar just behind it. Second to a very smart 2 cabin interior something always missing from the old 38 which at the time was conceived by Amati more as a weekender for a young couple.
The new forty reversed this trend with a two cabin interior giving impressive accommodation while still keeping with the Itama legendary clean lines. For the nostalgic Itama also offered a single cabin version with two L-shaped saloon settees and a spacious galley to starboard taking the place of the second cabin.

Itama has always been a follower of pure deep vee hull design with the renowned 22 degrees angle aft of its hulls. The Forty follow the rules it's founder created, and differs from previous Itamas by taking advantage of modern vee drive solutions, which loose nil performance as it was in the past but adds space for comfort below. The Itama Forty thanks to the study of Ferretti Engineering keeps the wonderful weight balance the white blue hulls have a fame for, with an overall improvement. If taking out at sea with a reassuring boat is your thing, the Itama want disappoint your expectations thanks to a perfect balanced hull and a classic deep vee that slices the water in perfect manner.
Two cabin interior version
Cockpit space layout
Bathing platform functionality
Timeless lines
No railing to go forward, but I would not want one on this boat
A lot of competition for Itama, mostly coming also from Central South Italy, like renowned builder Baia, but also some new comers offering the closest threat like XL Marine with there 43 offering a very similar concept to the Forty. Other choices include the 44 Rivarama a modern interpretation, but with the Riva classic flare going into it, with the same idea going behind the Sarnico Spider. Modern looking but what could not be missing here is the Magnum 44 Banzai which offers tremendous performance. As a wild card we choose a lobster boat from USA builder Hinckley for those who still want a classic line but may may be with something more over there heads.
Baia 43 One - loft style single cabin IPS or surface drives, alternative cockpit
Magnum 44 Banzai - single cabin, aggressive modern Pininfarina lines, surface drives
Riva 44 Rivarama - a pure open from Riva, more modern style, 2 cabins
Sarnico 43 Spider - same theme to Riva, invisible second cabin with head, IPS
Unica 42 - classic lines modern windshield, various options inside and propulsion
XL Marine 43 - from the people created the previous 40, similar but 2 cabin heads option
WILD CARD: Hinckley 44 Talaria - lobster classic lines, full weather protection, 2 cabins
If you want a classic no frills design, strong build and a good sea keeper there is not much looking then the Itama Forty. She is undoubtedly the classic of classics, and the improvements made, make sure she will last for an other decade and more. Compared to the previous 38 and 40 models, the new interior layout, cockpit and bathing platform arrangement give the Forty the extra step ahead offering much greater volume for owners who want to use there Itama not only for fast hops between a marina and an island, but also for an extended Summer cruise. The latest Itama Forty completes the cycle thanks to it's modern interior, good accommodation and the handling performance that only a boat that is built around balance and followed by accommodation can give, but most of all outside it remains clean and unchanged as the Itamas have been since eighties.
Technical Data
LOA. 13.36 metres (43.8ft)
Hull Length. 12.25 metres
Beam. 3.95 metres
Draft. 1.22 metres
Displacement. 13.7 t loaded, 10.7 t empty with standard equipment
Fuel Capacity. 1130 litres
Water Capacity. 330 litres
Max Persons. 12
Accommodation. 2 cabins or single cabin version with single head
Engines. 2 x MAN CR 450hp
Propulsion. Shaft Drive Speed. 35 knots max, 30 knots cruising
Project. Marco Casali, Itama
Certification. CE 94/25 A
Picture Copyright Itama. Data Itama.


  1. Itama 40, and the new 45 (from 2012) have a fantastic and strong hull, great sea keeping, high quality components (Koheler, Mastervolt, Bosh, Vitifrigo) but unfortunately all is ruined by low assembling quality, low quality blu gel coat that quickly turns from dark blu to light blu, low quality cushions and bimini that need to be replaced with better ones after one year, a huge sum of little mistakes never fixed by Ferretti. An advice : if you buy a new Itama be ready to have a lot of headaches for at least 2 years in fixing all the problems the boat has. If you buy an used one, check that the first owner did the fixing, otherwise you will face some nice extraordinary expenses. How to know if the previous owner fixed the problems? Check the hours on engines : if a boat of 2007-2008 has very few hours (something like 300/400) then 99% you will face problems, because the previous owner used the boat just to go swimming out of the port.In any case avoid all the Itama built close to Naples.

    1. Thanks for your comment. In South Italy it is a known occurrence that the Amati / Bulgari Itama's are the ones to go for in the used market, till year 2005. They are considered bullet proof, and you can see this even if you go in Capri. After that some suggest to go for XL Marine from 2006 onward which is what the stuff of Itama where building after the take over of the Ferretti Group. Itama was a small sought after brand from special unique clients who wanted a distinctive product with a strong build. When big corporations enter these brands it is difficult to deliver the same quality and presence together with the customer relation someone like Amati created.

  2. XL Marine has even minor quality than Itama, as well as Tornado, Unica and Baia (and beside Tornado, that now has a new property, all the others ended with a bankrupcy. Simply the Ferretti Group now has no clue how to build boats (the situation, in term of quality, was much better when Norberto Ferretti was still the head of the Group).The sad thing is that Magazines live on advertising, and since Ferretti (and obviously other big groups) pays a lot for advertising and, doing so, brings profits to the magazines, no one journalist will ever write that the product lack in quality. Most of the people who buy a boat have no clue about how a boat should be made. The buy the boat because it looks good, because has nice sofas, or maybe a nice kitchen, or cool tv. No one checks how an engine room is made before buying, and this is why Riva is still selling a lot of boats for example, and the same is for othery yards, like Azimut.
    On the short term, this way of making boats will just make boat owners unhappy, but on long term will kill the market, because people will see the boats as something that always breaks, and will stop buying them. The story that does not exist boat which does not break is pure fantasy. If a boat is properly built, the owner will not face problems for years and if he keeps the boat properly maintened, he will probably never face problems. And the only way to force the yards in building the boats properly is to write in the reviews what is wrong, which unfortunately magazines never do! A clear example is "The Boat Show". What they do is pure advertising, but they pretend instead to make sea tests of boats. I never ever heard to speak bad about something......a real review should tell the good things and the bad things of a boat, otherwise not only it is useless but will bring buyers in taking a wrong decision about the boat to buy.

  3. Thanks for your comment. Your opinion is all very interesting. For your information XL Marine and Unica are not actually bankrupt but have sort of close doors and directed energy to repairing boats. If you want a boat from them they build it to you. Never sea trial an XL Marine but I inspected a couple of used three to six year old models and liked what I see. They might not be as good as the old Itamas (till Bulgari era) but are pretty close IMO.