From one ristobar best known and most appreciated in Genoa, Les Rouges, managed together with the two brothers, to the concrete aspiration of the world tour in sailing and not for sport but to “pursue virtue and knowledge” quoting his father Dante. It is the dream of Benny Abarbanel, 39 years old born in Tel Aviv but in Italy for 35 years before in Milan and now under the Lanterna. A dream that has the flavor of similar fantasies of the ’60s when – almost in hiding – boating for everyone was spreading and the birth of sea gipsy in the wake of the wanderer of the South Seas Bernard Moitessier, but what a fantasy it is not at all given that his boat is already under construction in a metal carpentry yard in Latina and is about to see the hull completed. The construction phases can be followed on his Facebook page.


“For now I have spent 15,000 euros, and a couple of months ago I started a crowdfunding for the set-up – says time.news Benny-, so far I have collected 2,000 euros”. It starts from the symbolic 10 euros “if you like the project, and it seems that you are liking it” as much as you want – but the figure indicated is 300 euros -: for the most generous donors, a passage on board “Timshel” is foreseen, this the name chosen for the boat is taken from Steinbeck’s The Eden Valley. Five days of sailing or even more “if you want and we are happy. I am already making wonderful acquaintances, we can say that the journey has already begun and I am meeting some really interesting people”.

For example, Franco “Ciccio” Manzoli, the first Italian to win an Ostar and who today produces high-performance aluminum masts: one of his old ones stacked behind the shed could go to set up Benny’s boat: “maybe -he says-, for now I will limit myself to considering it a privilege and an honor to have known him and spent hours with him talking about the rigging of the boat, together with Roberto Westermann of Wsail: both of them impressed by my intentions “. .

Because Abarbanel’s intent is not to “get me ‘the boat for free’, but more generally to create involvement between people, to have relationships with interesting people and then also because I don’t have a lot of money, with the pandemic in progress that has work stopped “: not only the Genoa venue opened in 2013 with the brothers Jonatan and Yoel but obviously also the Milan branch. “So I want to go and get to know: to say it with De André a trip whose only reason is to travel. A ‘popular’ trip, you don’t have to be very rich to do it, all in low cost and recovering as much as possible. The other day I found a marine kitchen at a very low price, I will have as much used equipment as possible. And the idea was born before the pandemic but now times are getting longer because if I knew before on what sums I could count on, now it is impossible to know “.

Needless to say, the boat itself is completely out of standard: it comes from a project by Ernesto Tross, a well-known “heretic” of nautical construction, a painter and a craftsman who recently passed away but whom Benny had time to get to know. It is an aluminum hull, with a movable bayonet-type keel, weight in the bilge divided in the old fashioned way into lead blocks and not on the classic bulb, and above all without mainsail but armed only with jibs: “for this a simple aluminum pole is enough. without luff, the boom is not there and this is an additional safety element “, because the sailor who has never taken a boom on the head raises his hand.

As austere as the project is, “the boat, however, is an object that costs and in situations of obvious difficulty in my business I thought of combining useful and enjoyable. But, most important of all, this is creating connections: now I have an increasingly full, I go to meet people live when possible. There is a boy from Turin, a computer engineer, who has offered himself for free to take care of the electronics: a big job and he does it only because he likes the project. I’m building relationships and relationships that will last. Do they give me a freak? Do you feel like it, the insults are there, from beggar onwards. But I spent 20 years in the restaurant business, taking away a lot of satisfaction. I think what I learned doing this job could be useful nice trip that I will do with Timshel. Hospitality, ability to relate to people, spirit of adaptation will be essential for the success of the project “.

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