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that the boat model described in this article could be no more available and its price, if indicated, could be outdated as it refers to the Nautica Magazine paper issue

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Text and photographs by Corradino Corbò

Nautica Magazine
n. 563, march 2009


Salpa 50.5

A highly technological motoryacht which sets a new record in the difficult lightness-solidity ratio.

Salpa 50.5 The umpteenth test of a Salpa motoryacht - this time the new flagship - bears out our impression that there's really something special in engineer Pane's head. Because with this volcanic player on the Italian yachting scene, the love of research and innovation takes on such furious tones as to make the definition "avant-garde" almost insufficient. And if a famous direct competitor tells us that Pane "is at least ten years ahead of our company", it means that the fact is also well known and acknowledged among sector experts. Well, like all her predecessors, the Salpa 50.5 is a cabin motoryacht loaded with promise and therefore more suited to analysis than observation, to study rather than familiarisation. But let's make it clear: the aesthetic impact is powerful, efficacious and convincing. She's been designed by a masterly hand, taking account of current stylistic trends not only in terms of form and volume but also colour.

Salpa 50.5 A keystone of the project was the IPS propulsion which - as is now well known - has to be considered right from the start, avoiding adaptation of hulls and structures conceived for other kinds of transmission. This explains a whole series of important results such as structural rigidity, lightness, correct weight distribution and silence: all certified by the Composite Materials Engineering Department of the Federico II University in Naples which, for no less than six months, subjected the Salpa 50.5 to all kinds of mistreatment (having applied special sensors along the whole length of the hull) and measured the results.

Salpa 50.5 For a for shorter period of time we mistreated her too, and what we discovered was the character of an agile, brilliant, manoeuvrable, safe and ergonomic boat. As regards the latter aspect we point out some significant details such as the shape of the beds (designed not only for comfort but for easy making), the proportions and equipment of the hotel-style wardrobes, the distribution of power sockets (always in the right places)and the sizing of the transit areas (free from treacherous obstacles). And, still on the practical level, we were pleased to note the rapid movement of all the power- assisted elements: windows, hatches and especially the sophisticated sliding roof with a mechanism designed by Pane himself who, great sailor that he is, selected precious Harken sliding gear.


Designer: the yard's technical department
Builder: Nautica Salpa, Via Riviera di Chiaia 287, 80121 Naples; tel. 081 7332386; fax 081 7333065; website; email
EC design category: A
Salpa 50.5 LOA: 16.25 m.
Beam: 4.55 m.
Draught at propellers: 1.25 m.
Light displacement: 13.000 Kg; Full load displacement: 16.500 Kg
Homologated capacity: 12 persons
Total berths: 6+2 (crew)
Engines: 2 x 435 HP Volvo Penta D-6 IPS 600
Overall installed power: 870 HP
Total weight of engines with inverters: 2 x 901 Kg
Ratio of vessel light displacement/installed engine power: 14.94 Kg/HP
Type of transmission: IPS
Declared top speed: 34.5 knots
Cruising speed: 28 knots
Declared fuel consumption at cruising speed: 120 litres/hour
Range calculated at cruising speed: 327 miles
Fuel tanks: 1.400 litres
Water tanks: 550 litres
Road transportability: by truck
Price with standard equipment and engines as in the test: 625.000 euros + VAT, free at shipyard.


Salpa 50.5 Hull: Delta type (19 degrees at transom) with longitudinal skids
Building and structures: quality system certified ISO 9001; precision cutting of the glass fabrics and their positioning in the moulds with orientation of the fibres along the main lines of force; vacuum-bagged infusion (the top is the only element in traditional stratification); high volume resining machines handled by electronic PLCs for correct catalysis; robotized paint shop; calculation of distribution and concentration of weights (including even the electrical system, consisting of more than 100 Kg of cable); automated warehouses serving numerical control work centres for maximum possible customisation in fitting out the hull; interiors in wood selected by the owner (cherry, wenge, zebrawood, teak, oak etc.). Propellers T2-T10; bow thruster
Deck: fibreglass with diamond point non-slip surface; stainless steel handrails and stanchions
Bow area: stainless steel bow roller; Delta type anchor ; 75 m. chain; Quick anchor winch. On deck, sunbathing cushions
Cockpit: Quick kedging winches; sole in teak strips; access to engine room through garage
Stern platform: integrated fixed part linked to the cockpit by two handy side stairways; submergible mobile part projecting.


Salpa 50.5 Subdivision and features: spacious living area with galley and wheelhouse on the starboard side, saloon on the port side. Below deck the owner's cabin is forward with low, central double bed (almost three-quarters of the perimeter), two wardrobes and a large bathroom; VIP cabin amidships with double bed set obliquely, wardrobe and direct access to the shared bathroom on the port side; guest cabin with twin beds and wardrobe; crew cabin (optional) accessible from the mess and including a laundry area and the main electric switchboard.


Standard: engine instrumentation, electronics, fitted galley, boiler
Recommended optionals: variable height stern platform with hydraulic control, crew cabin.


Liquid load: 3/4
Persons aboard: 6
Wind: force 2
Sea state: 1.

Cruising speed: 28 knots
Top speed: 32.7 knots.

Salpa 50.5


Seakeeping: excellent
Response to helm and flap: excellent
Helmsman's seat: extremely comfortable and ergonomic. Electronic Volvo Penta command levers; manoeuvring joystick. Visibility ahead optimal while seated, good while standing; side visibility, excellent seated, very good standing; astern optimal. Mooring manoeuvrability: excellent with joystick; optimal with inverters alone.


Deck: perfectly protected by a solid stainless steel pulpit that runs the whole length of the gangways, and practicable above all on the deckhouse which has a useful recess for the sunbathing cushions
Cockpit: well equipped and ergonomic in every detail, it vastly extends the possibilities of life aboard; handy side links to the stern platform
Interiors: spacious and bright living area with great view outside also when seated; the three cabins are comfortable and of regular shape, with two particularly large bathrooms (especially the owner's private one). Generally high level of finishes
Passenger comfort: very high, also due to the clear separation of the cabins
Galley: developed along a slight L-shape on the starboard side right next to the entrance, with natural lighting and ventilation; optimal storage space
Engine room accessibility and functionality: decidedly good, due above all to the large opening aft of a part of the room (hydraulic control) which is beneath the tender garage; optimal technical room (in our case also fitted out as a crew cabin) beneath the saloon (optional).
Electrical system and switchboard: excellent.