Sadly, Covid-19 was fatal also for Tullio Abate, a legend of the motorboating and pleasure-craft racing and development. The businessman and pilot died at the San Raffaele Hospital of Milan, where he was hospitalized a few days ago. Tullio was the elder of three brothers, sons of Guido Abbate, a boat developer.
Passion for boats
He was only 16 years old when he won at Cannes the European Powerboat Championship as copilot, using the number 5 for the racing. Founding his company in Mezzegra (Como) in 1975, he used the same number for the business logo, when he took over the fatherly shipyard. Tullio Abate improved the family’s company, using the best technological resources as the reinforced plastic with fiberglass. After his first racing, he triumphed 11 times at the Centomiglia del Lario with a boat designed and developed by himself.
“I made 8500 boats in 40 years”, Tullio said just some years ago, “and I sold them all around the world. I had the honor to put on that hulls also Ferrari, Porche and Lamborghini engines”.
His first success was the Sea Star, produced in thousands of models, with at least a range of 250 boats of several dimensions. The elegant lines of his hulls were particularly appreciated by VIP customers, because having an Abbate’s boat meaned and means owning an unparalled and luxury product.
The long list his most famous customers is a proof of that: Schumacher, Piquet, Gilles Villeneuve, Keke Rosberg, Maradona, Matthäus, Prost, Pironi, Ayrton Senna, Vialli, Mancini, Giacomo Agostini, Jacky Ickx, Björn Borg, Bruno Giacomelli, Vittorio Emanuele di Savoia, Stefano Casiraghi, the princess Carolina di Monaco, and last but not least Sylvester Stallone, Madonna and the Versace’s family.