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Article selected from thousand boat trials performed by Nautica in nearly 50 years

Navigation trials

Please remember that the boat model described in this article could be no more available and its price, if indicated, could be outdated as it refers to the Nautica Magazine paper issue

For possible updated information on the model tested in this article and on all other models builded by this shipyard please search our YACHTING CATALOGUE

Donato Conserva C.N. Shipyard

Donato Conserva CD 190 Speedster

The Puglia-based Donato Conserva shipyard initially opened 25 years ago, in a discrete manner, with restoration and repair work. Today it flaunts a considerable experience in shipbuilding, most especially in the production of materials that use classical woods and modern fiberglass combined with tough marine plywood subjected to the resin and epoxy treatment heated at 140 F.

Savvy ancient craftsmanship combined with the marvels of modern chemistry create an "armored" structure that we very much appreciated in the splendid scenery of Brindisi's harbor during the sea trials of Donato Conserva's most recent product: the CD 190 Speedster.

A fresh northerly breeze ripples the stretch of water protected by the long jetty and big dark running clouds hide every now and then the dim winter sun. In this dull setting, the flame-red small boat stands out as a brilliant touch of joy, proudly sailing among the short waves formed by the cold wind. The motorboat cuts small rings in the water; she sails to and fro and waits for a breach of light. A bigger motor yacht nears the small Speedster and from above we can appreciate the excellent seakeeping ability of the American-designer Robert W. Stephens project - he is from Maine and is distinct from the renowned New York Studio.

I take the wheel and I try to do the "worst maneuvers". I suddenly accelerate and stop, do small round turns on opposite sides. The small boat is very agile, amusing and yet very safe. Although she could be fitted with a maximum power of 140 hp, the 90hp engine used during the sea trials is more than excellent. In fact, she reaches planing speed in 10 seconds with four passengers on board. The aft locker port may be opened either totally or partially; if opened halfway, it may be blocked in position with a steel rod. The aft locker is extremely large and it is ideal for the storing of all mooring equipment and eventually, on request, even for the stern drive.

Belowdecks, the two V-berths may be converted into a big double bed by covering the flooring. The hanging locker is fitted forward. This is the ideal boat for a small fast cruise.


Designer-waterlines: Robert W. Stephens (Maine, USA)
Designer- interiors and deck: Donato Conserva
Yard: Donato Conserva Costruzioni Nautiche; C.P. 67; Via Mottola km 2; Zona Industriale; 74015 Marina Franca (Taranto, Italy); tel. +39-80-4304531; fax +39-80-4834915
Italian VAT: 20%
LOA: 18'10"
Beam: 6'2"
Depth: 4'3"
Draft: 2'1"
Gross tonnage: 5,188 lbs.
Light displacement: 817 lbs.
Maximum passengers capacity: 5
Berths: 2
Power: 1 outboard engine, maximum power 140 hp (145hp Volvo Penta or Mercruiser stern drive may be fitted on request)
Test boat power: 87hp Johnson 90 TL
Engine weight (90hp): 303 lbs.
Total weight with 90hp engine: 1,148 lbs.
Maximum declared speed at 5,600 rpm's: 45 knots
Fuel capacity of fixed tank (optional): 24 gallons
Fuel consumption at cruising speed: 5-6 gallons/hr
Road transportation: 1,434 lbs. trailer
Standard fittings - On deck: complete cable connection steering; 4 lifting rings; 3 mooring bitts; navigation lights; forward hatch
Belowdecks: full upholstery, cushioning, mirror, 2 halogen lights, casing for fire extinguishers, electrical switchboard with 4 switches and horn, fuel gage, bilge pump.
Price of boat: Lit. 43,500,000 ex VAT
Price with equipment and test boat power: Lit. 55,000,000 ex VAT
Optional fittings: cover, Lit. 500,000; windshield Lit. 800,000; fixed stainless steel tank Lit. 650,000
Hull color: ice white, golden yellow, gray, dark blue, ochre beige, metal gray (surcharge).


Wind: 15 knots
Sea: slight undertow

Time needed to reach planing speed: 5 seconds
Cruising speed at 4,400 rpm's: 36 knots
Maximum speed at 5,200 rpm's: 42 knots


Hull construction material: 5/6"-thick (on hull) and 1/4"- thick (on topsides) marine plywood that respectively become 7/16" and 5/6" after GRP and epoxy resin stratification; finishing and interiors with polyurethane paint
Lockers - on deck: small forward locker and large aft locker for storage of battery and safety equipment; two oars and one boot hook are stored on aft locker cover. Cockpit sides are fitted with practical object holders and with two recessed casings for fire extinguishers.
Belowdecks: one long locker is fitted between the two V-berths; a 3'3"-high and 1'3"-deep hanging locker is hidden behind the mirror
Helm station: the helm station is fitted to starboard, it includes comfortable cushioned pilot seat, sporty steering wheel, single throttle lever to one side, dashboard with electrical control panel. In front of the passenger's seat there is a grab rail and a practical locker with key. A moving panel is fitted for installation of additional instrumentation. Log and rpm-counter are standard supplied with the engine. Installation of the optional windshield is suggested
Interiors - Characteristics and fittings: cabin access between the two settees is closed by curtains; forward there is a spacious V-berth with headroom for comfortable sitting
Deck - Characteristics and fittings: 1 forward mooring bitt, 2 aft mooring bitts, 1 towing ring on the stempost, 4 lifting rings, anti-slipping material on deck an on the sides of the cockpit.