November 12, 2016

Renato Sonny Levi 1926 - 2016

Certainly one of the pioneering boat designers ever to exist Renato "Sonny" Levi has died on Saturday 12 November 2016 at his home in the Isle of Wight.  Born in 1926 in Karachi, India, it is hard to find the right way to describe Renato Sonny Levi: designer, brilliant mind, certainly the father of modern fast boats. During the course of his long and prolific career, he has developed a wide range of innovations for the world of nautical engineering and naval architecture.  Among the most important are his planing deep Vee hulls, the "Delta" variable Vee hulls, surface drive propulsion, and tunnel for the propellers.  From the point of view of design, his boats are recognised as a functional elegance, innovation and sophistication. Levi is in this sense a figure able to manage the project as a whole, from its engineering aspects to the stylistic and aesthetic.  After more than sixty years since his early work, his contribution is a reference point from which all the boating industry continually draws inspiration for innovation and design. Important is also the publication of his two books; Dhows To Deltas and Milestones In My Design, and through numerous articles that have appeared in the most important industry publications.  The University of Genoa had recently awarded Renato Sonny Levi the Honorary Degree in Yacht Design Class LM34.  His known works are still as at today considered as a reference points in nautical design for comfort and rough sea conditions handling at high speeds. Among his production boats is the Italcraft where he developed a lot of his most extreme innovations in production and semi-production as the Drago series, Riva and the 2000 model which is possibly the most innovative model every made by the Sarnico boat builder where he developed the propulsion, the Alfamarine 40 Bronte what is a co-development with his friend Franco Harrauer, and a lot of the models he developed for the yards of Fiumicino in Rome Delta, and Canav.  His latest work is the Levi Boat 30'6 Corsair Classic, for the newly founded company of his son Martin Levi and Antonello Villa.  Obviously there is a long list of competing winning boats in Renato Levi's career and also some special custom projects for special clients as the Count of Agusta, Giovanni Agnelli, Roberto Olivetti, and last but not least the Virgin Atlantic Challenger for Richard Branson. 

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