A passion for boating

A warm July evening, the sea is calm. You step on board, the engine starts up and you set sail on the evening’s adventure. You take in the landscape and smell the sea as the waves glitter in the light of the soon setting sun. At that moment, anything is possible, your worries are gone. It feels like time has stopped. Such dreams and passion for the sea are the lifeblood of Bella boats.

Bella?s story began in 1960, when a 12-year-old boy wanted to go sailing. The boy?s mother gave him 12 Finnish marks, which he used to buy plywood and lath to build a canoe. The craft was finished by the summer of 1960, and the boy?s attraction to water only kept growing. The name of that boy was Raimo Sonninen.

At the end of the 1960s, the Loviisa-based boat builder Carl Olof Wiik ordered a class E racing catamaran from Sonninen. As payment for the work, Sonninen received the Finnspeed 430 T boat?s moulds and basic raw materials. From these, he built a boat with a windshield for water-skiing and other leisure boating. This 430 T fibreglass boat entered production in 1970 and was christened Bella 430 T by Sonninen?s then-girlfriend. Bella Boats had been founded.

The first 23 boats were sold to Iisalmi and Kuopio. Sonninen kept boat number 24 for himself and even had the luxury of piloting it for a week, until studies called at Kuopio Polytechnic.

This is how ?Rami?s? career as a boat builder began. There have been many twists and turns along the road since then. Bella Boats is currently one of the largest boat builders in Finland with three strong model ranges (Bella, Flipper and Aquador).

And the passion is still there. To us, the voyage is still the most important thing, in calm and storm.