Dean Rubesa, the captain of the new 40-meter Baglietto motor yacht Panam, recalls his earliest memory of boating as a child as “feeling the freedom of sailing on the sea.” Growing up in Opatija, Croatia, his family lived close to the sea and owned a small boat that they used for leisure and fishing. As he got older, Capt. Rubesa chased the alluring sense of freedom he felt when he was on the water by racing in sailing regattas. Eventually, he set his sights on bigger boats as well. “I always wanted to try to work in the yachting industry,” he says.
Capt. Rubesa has held posts on various motor yachts over the course of his career, and in recent years, he began working on the builds of yachts as well, including the 50-meter Rossinavi M/Y Lel and his latest vessel, Panam, which is a fully custom project by Baglietto. Becoming a build captain was another feather in his hat, and a role he has enjoyed.
Panam represents the first custom project for a yacht owner who wanted to combine high-performance, comfortable accommodations, and a close connection to the sea. The yacht is designed by long-time Baglietto collaborator Francesco Paszkowski. The yard and designer are no strangers to designing high-performance planing hull yachts, and Panam certainly fits the bill. “The yacht has stunning performance with three water jet MTU engines with top speed of 30-plus knots,” says Capt. Rubesa. Panam is powered by 3 x MTU 16V2000 M96 L main engines, twin lateral waterjets steering, and one central waterjet booster.
But the brief for Panam presented a challenge for Baglietto. In addition to being fast, Panam’s owner also stipulated that his new yacht should be as comfortable and livable as a displacement vessel. Luckily, the yacht has a roomy 8.4-meter beam, which the design team have maximized to make the most of the available space. Design choices also create an open and airy feel, such as floor-to-ceiling windows in the main salon and dining room, and glass bulwarks that extend the views of the sea from inside.
Baglietto came up with custom solutions to meet the owner’s multi-layered brief, including creating a semi-floodable tender garage that doesn’t require a davit to launch and retrieve the tender, thereby resulting in less weight on board and increased performance of the yacht. Unusual for a yacht of her size, the floodable tender garage is set aft of the engine room. The garage can accommodate a 5.5-meter tender. “It is partially floodable as the lower edge of the garage’s side shell door lies below the waterline,” says Carlo Toracca of Baglietto, who served as Panam’s project manager. “This allows launching and retrieving the tender in a very simple, safe, and fast way since the tender itself enters the garage when still floating and is towed inside by a winch and a balancing cradle.” Baglietto designed the garage so that it can fill with seawater before opening the shell door, and it can be immediately drained when the retrieving operation is completed and the door is closed.
Panam’s engine room was moved forward to accommodate the garage and a large beach club aft. “For this reason, the shaft lines had to be longer than normal ones. This required a special study to avoid noise and vibrations, which is certainly a challenge when it comes to high-performing vessels,” says Toracca. While a triple-waterjet propulsion system made it easier to control noise and vibrations, Panam’s specific layout necessitated the use of long shaft lines (8.5 meters from the transom to the gearbox flange). This required a painstaking design study on the flexural and torsional stability and engine room bulkhead penetration in order to limit the noise and vibration transmission and to comply with the firebreak needs.
Capt. Rubesa might’ve traded his sailing days for a go-fast motor yacht, but he wouldn’t have it any other way. He seems to love his life as a superyacht captain. “Besides the amazing places you get to go, my favorite thing is that we are all here in this hospitality industry to make our guests and owners happy, giving a good service, and getting good feedback is the best thing.”
This article originally ran in the June 2022 issue of Dockwalk.