New to the Fleet: Italia Yachts 12.98

Available in racing and cruising versions, this sultry performance cruiser offers options for different types of sailors.
Italia Yachts 12.98
The Italia 12.98 is a surprisingly fast, easily maneuverable boat that provides safe, comfortable living space for all on board. Courtesy Italia Yachts

A pair of silky new boats were tied up along the pink-carpeted docks at the most recent Cannes Yachting Festival. One was the Italia 14.98, an elegant crossover performer that, one month later, would sail its way to Annapolis, Maryland, and win Cruising World’s 2024 Boat of the Year award for Best Performance Cruiser. The other was the slightly more compact Italia 12.98, which would not reach the United States in time to compete, but which was clearly cut from the same cloth of the model that took home the hardware. 

The Italia 12.98 is a collaboration between the Italia Yachts Design Team, Cossutti Yacht Design, and Arbore and Partners Design. The yacht strikes a nice blend of speed, grace and comfort. Borrowing similar concepts from the Italia 9.98, the 12.98’s streamlined hull hints at a sexy sailing experience, with a dynamic waterline length that adjusts with speed, mitigating pitching for enhanced comfort. The maximum beam was reduced to minimize hydrodynamic resistance. The result is a hull that sails smoothly in medium- to light-air conditions and that notches improved speeds in sustained winds. 

Available in Sport and Bellissima versions, the yacht caters to race enthusiasts and comfort-seekers alike. 

The Sport version is lighter and more race-oriented. The number and positioning of the winches are functionally optimized for racing, and the deck-equipment layout can be customized according to the owner’s preference. 

The Bellissima version has an optional teak deck and a layout more suited to cruising, making navigation easier and comfortable for a family or a smaller crew, while retaining similar speed and handling characteristics. An ergonomic cockpit design elevates the comfort factor while maintaining optimal boathandling capabilities, whether cruising or racing.

Inside, the Bellissima’s interior takes a slightly more lavish tack, with fine wood finishes and upholstery, providing an essence of Italian luxury. The Sport version conveys a more race-oriented ambience with lightened interiors, yet with equal attention to contemporary style and craftsmanship.

Already seen popping up in US waters, the Italia Yachts 12.98 should be making its rounds on this year’s boat-show circuit. Fans of Italian style and exhilarating sailing should hop aboard the first chance they get.