A unique opportunity to acquire one of the few remaining ex Barchino Esplosivo MTM WW2 Torpedo boats. "Alfetta" was one of a couple of Barchinos sold after the war to the Riva shipyard in Sarnico and was converted by Carlo Riva in 1947 into a leisure boat.
Originally designed to carry 300lb of explosive at a speed of 33 knots by means of her "state of the art" Alfa Romeo 6 cylinder C62500 engine and "Z - drive" which allowed her to come completely out of the water and skim over torpedo nets.
"Alfetta" has a remarkable provenance dating back to her first owner in February 1947.
Now fully restored to her former glory after 2 years and 2000 hours by a team comprising classic engine and wooden boat specialists who have respected her military WW2 provenance and immediate post war Riva modifications. She was invited to be displayed at the international boat show Salone Nautico in Genova in 2012 in celebration of the 90th anniversary of the birth of Carlos Riva.
Alfetta is a one off opportunity to own an amazing piece of wartime history as well as a beautifully hand crafted post war Riva modification - a "must have" for the serious Riva collector.
We now welcome all serious enquiries and viewing requests.
Wooden hull, originally designed to carry 300kg of explosive forward, balanced by the "pilot" at the very stern. Her displacement was 1.2 tonnes laden.
She is powered by the best Italian engine available at the time - the 6 cylinder twin overhead cam Alfa Romeo C6 2500. This 'state of the art' engine transmitted 90 HP to an almost futuristic Isotta Fraschini developed Z-drive with twin contra-rotation propellors. The engine was tuned to the 2500SS specification by former owner and Alfa Romeo specialist of international fame - Bruno Picco. The 3 carburettor engine then developed 120hp which enabled Alfetta to easily reach speeds of 65/70 kmh.
The boat and engine are now in perfect condition.
The idea to build a small and powerful motorboat which could attack and destroy with explosives enemy vessels at sea came in 1935 from Amedeo, the Italian Duke of Aosta. The Dukes's brother Admiral Aimone and fellow Navy officers developed the concept further which resulted in the production of 6 Barchinos in 1938.
The MTM concept (Motoscafo Turismo Modificato) consisted in a beautifully designed light wooden hull allowing high speed on the water propulsed by the best available Italian engine at that time, the 6 cylinder twin overhead cam Alfa Romeo 6C 2500. This 'state of the art' engine transmitted 90 HP to an almost futuristic Isotta Fraschini developped Z-drive with twin contra-rotation propellors.
Loaded with 300-330 Kg of explosives and 1 pilot these MTM Barchinos were capable of 33 Knots or 61 Km/h. during 3 hours.
The operator was seated in the back and at the distance between 100 and 50 m from the target left the craft by falling backwards. He disposed of a folded floating cushion on which the operator climbed to avoid the consequences of the close explosion.
In the early morning of March the 26-th 1941 3 Barchinos attacked succesfully the cruiser HMS York and the tanker Pericles in the shallow waters of Suda Bay (island of Crete). Later during the war the Italian Decima Flottiglia MAS (Motoscafo Armato Silurante) moved north operating along the coastline of the Provence and Liguria. The most significant action resulted in the heavy damaging of the French destroyer Trombe in mid-April 1945.
The production during the war was in hands of the CABI Cattaneo shipyard in Milano - Italy wich produced Barchinos in small series of 6 or max 12 examples at a time. Some Barchinos were also delivered to German units.
Most of these Barchinos were destroyed and only 5 or 6 have survived to these days. Three are exhibited in the Italian war museums of La Spezia, Milano and Venezia.
According to Ing. Lino Mancini from the still existing CABI Cattaneo works in Milano "Alfetta" must be one of a couple of Barchinos which they sold to the Riva shipyard in Sarnico who transformed them for leisure utility.
The now in speed boat transformed Barchino was imported by a first owner into Switzerland on 12-02-1947 and registered on Zürich See under the name 'Alfetta'.
Next owner was very well known works Alfa Romeo racedriver with Klaussenrennen fame, Willy Daetwyler (° 1919), who later in his life sold this boat to his mechanic Bruno Picco (° 1903), a very well known Alfa Romeo Specialist in Zürich with international fame in Alfa Romeo Bimotore, 6C and 12C racecar tuning for customers from all over the world.
Bruno Picco kept the boat for 25 years in his garage, tuned his water sports Alfa Romeo to 2500SS specification (3 carburettors) and used this motorboat regularly during summer on the Zürich lake. The 6C Alfa Romeo engine developped 120 HP, which enabled 'Alfetta' to reach easily 65/70 Km. per hour. Thanks to the 'state of the art' Z-drive this speedboat comes completely out of the water at top speed.
The last owner bought this boat in 1980 and stored her year after year in a specialized boathouse (every year 1.200 SFr. only for storage charges) until he sold her in 2006 to Alfa Romeo collector Raoul San Giorgi.
Imperial - Overseas