Think of yachting in Liguria and thoughts turn to sun-drenched lazy lunches in Portofino and afternoons spent cooling off in various coves along the Italian Riviera. This is all quite accurate, of course, but for Stefano Cazzaniga, owner of a Sunseeker Predator 57, the joy of sailing in Italy doesn’t have to end with the summer. “We actually spent New Year’s Eve on board this year,” he says. “It was the first time we’ve enjoyed the boat during the winter and we liked it a lot. I never imagined that would be the case.”
It might be the first time Cazzaniga tried out a winter sail, but he’s had plenty of experience when it comes to yachting. Starting out with a Boston Whaler, he eventually progressed to Sunseekers back in 2015. “Our first proper yacht was the Sunseeker Portofino 40,” he recalls. “It was a big change as before that we we’d just used our boats to get out on the water and have a nice swim.” Once the cruising bug bit on the couple’s first Sunseeker, the decision was made to go a little bigger, and the Predator 57, named D/ema (after the initials of his mother, wife and son) was delivered last summer.
Cazzaniga keeps the new boat at Porto Mirabello in La Spezia, although he lives just outside of Milan with his family. Work commitments keep him away from the water more often than he’d like, with both him and his wife frequently working weekends, but when they do get on board, they make the most of it. “Usually it’s just me and my wife,” he says.
Cazzaniga’s 21 year old son still loves to join them but more often than not the couple have an extra guest on board – a small dog by the name of Carlotta. “She really enjoys the boat!” jokes Cazzaniga. Trips are largely taken near Italy – with Elba and Sardinia both popular destinations for thecouple, although there was one memorable sail over from France. “The boat was delivered to Beaulieu,” recalls Cazzaniga, “so we had the opportunity to sail from there to Italy ourselves with a Sunseeker captain, which was really nice.” Since then the pair have opted to stay more local.
“We have a lot of friends cruising around Italy so it makes sense,” he explains.
Elba, off the coast of Tuscany, and the third largest island in Italy after Sicily and Sardinia, is a favourite destination of theirs. “Both my family and my wife’s family have summer houses there, so all our brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews come together,” he says. On board their previous Sunseeker, the family kept jet skis, but with D/ema, they have opted for a Williams tender – this means days are spent banana boarding or waterskiing with relatives.
When time is short, the couple are more than happy to cruise nearby – and with the likes of Cinque Terre, Portovenere, Portofino and Rapallo all within easy reach, who can blame them? Indeed, the Ligurian coast is considered so remarkable that a stretch of it (between Cinque Terre and Portovenere) has UNESCO World Heritage Site status. Porto Mirabello, D/ema’s home port, sits in the heart of all of this beauty. Opened back in 2010, Mirabello is one of Italy’s most exclusive marinas, with excellent facilities for yacht owners and crew, and of course an enviable location on the edge of La Spezia, a gorgeous town in its own right. It’s the perfect home for D/ema, a boat that Cazzaniga has clearly put a lot of love into.
“I have always liked the lines of Sunseeker – they look sporty and they have special design touches which I appreciate,” he says. As a trained architect and the head of two of the country’s leading furniture brands, it’s little wonder he had high standards when it came to the yacht’s design.
The Predator 57 felt like an obvious choice – and after that decision was made, the interior design was up for discussion. “The boat was built on demand,” explains Cazzaniga, “so we were able to specify what we wanted when it came to the interiors. It is done exactly as we wanted – from the materials to the finishes. On top of that we also added some outdoor furniture from my company.” The result is a yacht that feels perfectly tailored to the couple’s discerning tastes; no wonder they wish they could spend more time on board.
For now, they are content with their new toy – but Cazzaniga does not rule out another upgrade in the future. “We might go bigger again,” he admits, “particularly if we want to have crew on board.”
Time will tell, but for the moment, the Predator 57 is keeping this couple very happy.