OWNER PIERVITTORIO and the RESURRECTION OF CATAMARAN SAGITTARIUS
When Sagittarius Owner, Piervittorio Trebucchi, casually mentioned to us that he found his stunning Privilege 65 abandoned in the waters of Civitaveccia for 15 years, we knew the story of this refit would be a good one.
The owner who originally purchased the luxury yacht had connections to the infamous Medellín Cartel. Despite the death of the Cartel’s drug lord, Pablo Escobar, in 1993, the Cartel still maintained a global, if deteriorating reach, a decade later. Cartel associates continued to be tracked, and their assets seized, throughout Europe.
The catamaran’s first Captain never met the original Owner. He received telephone instructions to move the yacht from place to place. “Go, go with the yacht, I will come,” the Owner kept saying, but he never did. Interpol followed the yacht, so the continuous repositioning was simply a ruse, but it worked. Agents never managed to board the vessel. However, the authorities eventually seized it, after the Captain abandoned the yacht in Civitaveccia, fled to Rome, got married, had a family, and never looked back.
Meanwhile, Piervittorio concluded that his two kids and pregnant wife were a family better suited to a beamy catamaran than his 54-foot monohull. He recalls, “At the time I liked the Lagoon 620, which had just been presented, the Sunreef 62, and the Privilege brand, which are very well built, but very expensive. My Deckhand told me to go look at this Privilege 65 lying in Civitaveccia. There are very few of these yachts in the world. I thought, if it is really in Civitaveccia I’d know about it. Yet it was true, I found it lying under everything, with birds nesting in the boom, totally abandoned.”
Because the yacht was the property of the Italian court, Piervittorio endured an entanglement of bureaucratic procedures regarding ownership. Many people commanded to appear at hearings never showed, probably because they used aliases and could not be traced. Piervittorio, not seeing an end to the process, made a public offer in August 2011, which thankfully was accepted by the court.
The yacht was almost brand new when it was abandoned, with just 300 hours on the engine and 45 hours on the watermakers. However, 15 years in the water meant that the refit involved changing almost everything out. In addition, since the build, Italy had imposed strict environmental regulations, black water and so on, which had to be accommodated.
“When you buy from the court, you buy as-is, at your own risk. Even though the boat was lying in the water for 15 years I was not really worried. I know that Privilege builds extremely sturdy boats, I only hoped there would be no osmosis. Yet even after such a long time underwater the yacht was perfect.”
The catamaran remained in Civitavecchia for four months, while new documents were procured, and sufficient repairs made to sail to Sicily. Piervittorio’s electronics waste plant in Siracusa (Syracuse) was conveniently just behind a shipyard. “In the morning I would work in my company, and then cross the road in the afternoon to work on the yacht.”
The refit began in January 2012 and was completed in just eight months. Even though the engine had hardly been used it had to be completely overhauled. Rather than refurbish, it was more economical to install new generators, watermakers, electronics, mechanical, plumbing, and WiFi. The interior was outdated, of course, white Corian table and countertops with a black border. So everything was updated.
“Once the yacht was ready, we put her in the water and sailed around Sicily for a couple of months. Then we made the ARC transatlantic crossing in November. We changed the original sail plan, from a triangle to a square, which is much more powerful. It is 27.5 meters high from the waterline. We used three spinnakers; we had four but made a mistake and blew one out, which cost us three positions and a day. We still won in Open Class and placed sixth overall time, with a top speed of 23.1 knots. We sailed 3,300 miles in 12 days, about 270 miles per day.”
Although Piervittorio is back in Italy, charter catamaran Sagittarius has remained in the Caribbean. Captain Enrico sails her effortlessly through the islands, a testament to a legendary brand, and a passionate, dedicated Owner.
Contact Select Yachts for special rates and to book your charter on Sagittarius.