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Owner's interview: Why John Rosatti is selling “movie star” yacht DB9 at Monaco Yacht Show

17 September 2021• Written by Sophia Wilson


Motor Yacht


Palmer Johnson ·  52.36 m ·  2010

Serial yacht owner John Rosatti is no stranger to the brokerage market. He tells BOAT why the time is right to part with his 52.36 metre DB9 and why Monaco Yacht Show is the place to do it.

“She is like a movie star,” says John Rosatti when describing his Palmer Johnson DB9. “It’s unbelievable the attention you get anywhere you go with her. There are so many white and black boats out there, but she has a Champagne hue with a different shape and we love her.”

DB9 was not what the American businessman initially intended to purchase after selling his previous superyacht, Codecasa Double Down

"My wife and I really admired Palmer Johnson’s Lady M and Bliss and realised we wanted a Palmer Johnson of our own. She is the one that found DB9,” he explains. “DB9 is a 52 metre yacht and considering I had a 65 metre yacht I had a dilemma with downsizing, but when I saw her, she was so beautiful and sexy, the size was no longer an issue.”

The yacht’s impressive speed (she has maximum speed of 32.5 knots) also impressed Rosatti, who is the owner of multiple car dealerships in America. “It’s fast. I come from race boats and from a long line of racing, boating and cars. “I have had a lot of much larger, but slower boats in the past, but she is whole different yacht,” he says. “If I am in Florida and I want to go to Palm Beach I can be there in two hours; in four hours I can go 200 miles.“

The first hull from Palmer Johnson’s PJ 170 SportYacht range, DB9 was launched in 2010 but spent a majority of the first nine years of her life mothballed.  “The boat was really not used at all by the previous owners. “I think she had less than 200 hours on her and that is part of what attracted me to it,” he says. “In fact it was almost like having a brand-new boat, completely untouched.”

After purchasing her in Istanbul, Rosatti set about on a six-month refit at Dunya Yachts, determined to return her to her former glory both inside and out. This included rebuilding all the pumps and the engines and a full system upgrade despite her limited use. “Sometimes not using a boat is as bad as using it too much,” he says.

While Rossati oversaw the technical side of the rebuild, his wife Zuzana, an interior designer, transformed the interior, working closely with Turkish interiors group Ulutaş. “It’s a wow interior, with light wood decor found throughout. She is very impressive,” he enthuses. “We added a bar because she didn’t have one before and the saloon, for example, feels like you are on a 65-metre boat. She feels brand new, not like an 11-year-old boat.”

Despite his obvious affection for DB9, Rosatti has decided it is now time to sell her. "She's a fast boat but what we really want do now is some blue water cruising and go to places we haven’t been,” he says. “I have a large family, and we simply need more cabins and more crew for the long journeys we have planned.”

For those that know Rosatti, whose business assets also include the all-natural burger chain BurgerFi, the fact that the DB9 is now back on the market perhaps won’t come as a huge surprise. “If you look at my past you can see how many boats I have had, I’m up in the twenties. Every three, four, five years I look for a new project,” he says. “I pride myself on taking a boat that's been used and make it like new. I have a very good reputation in boating. People know when I’m selling a boat it will be in a better condition than when I bought it.”

Despite being no stranger to the brokerage market this will be the first time that Rosatti has a yacht at the Monaco Yacht Show and this is for a specific reason. “She is the only Palmer Johnson superyacht built in Europe and therefore does not incur the 25% customs tax that is levied on US built vessels for European ownership. I think this show is the right place to find a European buyer,” he explains.

DB9 being at Monaco will also give Rosatti a chance to start to think about his next “project”. “I've had two and three boats at the same time, and I don't want to be there,” he says. “But I feel like we will sell DB9 at the show and I'm going to look around and be a shopper for the first time at the show. I’m eager to see what’s on display and if we sell her, I will buy another one.”

DB9 is for sale with Yachting Partners International asking €25,000,000.