Italian quality in Dubai with Portofino Marine Services
Raffaele Rognoni tells us about his state of the art catamaran
Raffaele is a 3000 Ton IMO Master (International Maritime Organization) with more than 40 years experience on the sea and over and 3,500 scuba dives. Several number of ocean crossings. In other words, a true sea wolf. This is Cesena (Emilia Romagna) native and grown up in Sicily, Tuscany and Liguria, Captain Raffaele Rognoni, who after thirty years sailing the world’s seas, decided to move to Dubai. Here in 2008 he founded Portofino Marine Services, which offers a wide range of services for yachts and leading nautical industry brands, and is a reference point for customisation of sail and motor yachts. He’s now puts its name into a spectacular state of the art catamaran. It is designed and built in collaboration with the University of Genoa Team of Naval engineers and Architects. Zero13 is the company for the structural design and Satura Studio the exterior and interiors. Portofino’s catamaran - a fusion of functionality and aesthetics - is available in two models, Cat 47 Sport and Cat 67 Villa, soon to be joined by Cat 57 and Explorer 60. Waiting times are at least 2 years, since Raffaele and his team work as if building a Formula 1 car.
What are the salient points of the design?
It is a 47-foot (about 15 meters) catamaran in latest generation 5083 aluminium. An integrated system of automotive-derived lithium batteries, solar panels and a super-innovative storage system guarantees extended autonomy: what today’s boats do by keeping the diesel generators running 24 hours a day, here is possible with 4/5 hours of ignition. In short, you can sleep with the air conditioning on all night without using the generator. Another distinctive feature, as well as an unprecedented design formula, is the engine positioned at the center of the catamaran instead of the stern: in addition to providing better weight distribution, it allows direct access to the sea from the aft, or main, cabins. You can wakes up in the morning and dive straight into the sea.
Where do you love to go sailing in Dubai?
The season here is very long, from October to May, and the breeze generated by the difference in temperature between the sea and the desert create very favourable conditions for peaceful sailing anywhere. One destination I love is The World Islands.
Recommendations for an itinerary from someone like you who has lived in Dubai for many years and feels at home?
My life is divided between yachts, family and friends. When I feel like a weekend out of town, I go off-road to the beautiful rocky mountains on the border between the Emirates of Dubai and Sharjah, and go paragliding to enjoy spectacular views of the desert. For those, who like me, are diving aficionados, I recommend the northern part of the Gulf of Oman with its fantastic diving spot.