Renato ‘Sonny’ Levi was a true maverick in the sphere of power boating. Having left the RAF after World War II to pursue the design and build of high-speed boats for commercial, military and leisure customers in Anzio, just South of Rome, in 1960 – declaring “I have been very fortunate to have clients who are prepared to take risks”. These fast interceptors used a sharp vee profile, and were the pre-cursors to the deep vee hull – blending rapid offshore performance, dry ride, excellent sea keeping in rougher water, and drop-dead gorgeous lines.
This 2002 Levi Corsair 28 was built at the Levi Boat Company near Venice, and features the classic race-bred deeply vee’d hull which held its rapier shape from the forefoot right aft to the transom, which Renato Levi had drawn in the 1960s. Exhibiting an astonishingly competent gait for a shorter waterline length, she is powered by twin Volvo Penta KAD43P diesels, and has a rated top speed of 47.8 knots (recorded for posterity on a polished stainless bulkhead plate).
She was commissioned in July 2005 and her bewitching looks are as apparent at first glance today, as they ever have been. Her sheerline sweetly arcs to her low-slung quarters, and two pronounced moulded spray rails echo a timber topsides strake – not only reducing spray, but also improving grip and promoting lift and planing.
Accommodation in her cabin is beautifully finished in blond African Walnut, and is both elegant and practical, with light pouring through those signature forward lights, and an understated charm. A neat heads compartment lies to port, again with plenty of light, basin and WC, and the galley area is compact and functional, with a facing dinette to seat four, which is easily dropped into an occasional double for chums. A couple of varnished teak and holly treads lead up to the business end of things in the cockpit, where there is further evidence of this boat having been built for offshore passage-making.
With comfortable helm and nav. seats, this is a true driver’s environment. Sculpted chrome throttles fall easily to the helm’s right hand, an upright hooded dash console sits ahead; a three-spoked sports wheel with varnished timber rim finishes the classic looks off perfectly. Battery boxes to either side are topped with varnished tops and tread-boards/foot supports – it is all simply business-like. Fenders stow in side lockers (with mirror-gloss doors). The fuel tank is directly under the cockpit floor, and there are more lockers aft, before the step up to the aft deck/sunpad, which sits atop the engine bay, and is a great place to enjoy the exhilarating ride from.
She feels fast at anchor, she is fast under way. For provenance and pedigree – they do not get much better than this!
BLUE CORSAIR will be 20 this year! During this period, Natalie and I have been the custodian of her for 17 of those 20. So many exciting adventures and so many happy memories. Lots of places seen and lots of new friends made.
For what is a 30ft boat we have gone away on her for months. Travelling as far south as Southern Brittany, covering over 1,000nm, as well as regular passages to the West Country and Channel Isles.
Despite her size she is a wonderful cruising boat. Her sea keeping abilities thanks to Sonny Levi’s deep “V” hull are quite outstanding. She keeps going in rough weather when many larger boats have given up. A proper “express cruiser” with an extremely soft ride.
Having slipped her moorings on the Hamble river she was gliding over the water with such ease that 5 hours 15 minutes later we arrived in Falmouth. A distance of some 150nm. Averaging over 30 knots. Although capable of 40kts plus, her ever reliable and simple KAD 43s means she is extremely frugal when it comes to diesel consumption.
During our three months in Southern Brittany she looked after us particularly well in some of the notorious Breton waters. Notably the Il-de Batz race, surfing down the Chenal du Four and around Raz de Saine. Never letting us down even when the sea state was far from perfect.
BLUE CORSAIR is well known in the Solent, being admired by both yachties and motorboat owners alike. It has been commented that she looks great from every angle. If you were to put her upside down she would still look good!
After 17 years of great adventures and fun aboard BLUE CORSAIR we have decided to sell her in order to pursue new adventures elsewhere. We are sure that whoever takes on the custodianship of this wonderful boat will have as much joy and fun in a safe and hugely seaworthy boat, as we have.
“The Levi Corsair is a blue blood sports cruiser with a racing lineage second to none.”
“Combining 21st century performance with the finest traditions and craftsmanship creates one of the most beautifully realised boats on the water.”
“On the water the Corsair is low, lithe, simple and effortlessly cool.”
“The boat becomes almost organic, feeling a part of me; as though it responds to thought alone.”
“It is quite simply sensational.”
Nick Burnham – Motor Boats Monthly : December 2013 (soft copy available by request).