ICONIC YACHT | Chiara Melani
Spaces that blend together perfectly and materials of the highest quality create a truly timeless product: this is Ferretti Group. It is the world leader in the design, construction, and marketing of motor yachts and pleasure boats, with a unique portfolio of prestigious and exclusive brands: Ferretti Yachts, Riva, Pershing, Itama, Mochi Craft, CRN and Custom Line.
Led by President Tan Xuguang and CEO Attorney Alberto Galassi, Ferretti Group makes use of modern manufacturing centers all in Italy. It combines the efficiency of industrial production with incomparable attention to detail ensured by Made in Italy craftsmanship, together with centuries-old Italian nautical tradition and heritage.
Riva 56’ Rivale
Excellent sailing performance, one of a kind design on the international nautical stage, cutting-edge project solutions, and a shipyard with great passion for the sea, as attorney and Ferretti Group CEO Alberto Galassi explains in the following interview
GSM: The 40th Cannes Yachting Festival finished this year noted for records and triumph. Ferretti Group is the Shipyard of the Year, and won another four awards at the World Yachts Trophies 2017. How do you become the ultimate “record setter?”
AG: To get far, you need a long running leap. These awards for Best Shipyard and for our brands Ferretti Yachts, Riva, CRN and Custom Line are the result of 3 years of challenges and changes. At the heart of it all, there are no secrets or magic formulas, but a lot, and I mean a lot, of commitment, passion, professionalism, and dedication.
All of these together with the human element, obviously, made this turn-around possible, bringing the Ferretti Group back where it should be: at the top of the nautical world.
GSM: What can you tell us about the three-year investment program in the field of super and mega yachts, also referencing the “Super Yacht Yard” in Ancona?
In terms of numbers, Ferretti Group plans to invest up to 25 million euros through 2019 for the Super Yacht Yard in Ancona. It is an industrial hub with the highest level of innovation, technology, and excellence. After the Custom Line site and Riva Superyachts Division site, it has hosted Pershing’s “official” entrance into the new dimension of super yachts since last August. In 2018, Pershing 140 – the fleet’s new flagship – should be delivered, the first of which will be transferred to Asia. In addition, in 2019 the launch of the new Riva 50 meters is also expected; work on it has been continuing nonstop in Riva Superyachts Division. We can also announce the sale of the first units from the new Custom Line 120’, and flagship Navetta 42, the largest ever built by Custom Line. These orders confirm the growing interest on the part of shipowners for our mega yachts and super yachts.
GSM: Its sailing performance, exclusive design, one of a kind charm that is easily recognizable in the nautical world – who is a typical shipowner of a Ferretti Group product?
We serve shipowners on five continents, and each boat reflects the wishes of those who will experience it together with their friends and family. There are shipowners who love sailing and others who see a boat as a place to welcome guests, favoring a festive aspect.
For example, we made a new layout “Tai He Ban” for Ferretti Yachts, created for shipowners in the Far East, an area where there isn’t yet a strong tradition of going to the sea, and a yacht is designed as a place for informal meetings, business meetings, and entertainment events.
On the other hand, someone who chooses a Pershing wants to pilot it flying over the waves as if it were a jet. Luckily, our Group has a boat for every preference and can be customized to the shipowner’s wishes.
GSM: What are the strengths in Research and Development?
AG: This fundamental area’s strength is, excuse the joke, to invest a lot in this area. I was appointed CEO in 2014. The shareholders immediately asked me just one thing: invest in development and technology.
To build a successful boat, it’s not enough to just work on design, collaborating with internationally renowned architects and companies, but it is crucial to devote considerable resources to Research and Development. Our yachts are packed with technology: from systems that make sailing more comfortable like anti-roll stabilizers already installed in under-40 foot Rivas, to patents such as Convertible Top seen in the first convertible Riva that can switch from open to coupé by simply pressing a button.
This is not to mention integrated connection systems; today surfing the waves and surfing the Internet are two closely related activities!
GSM: Where is the geographic market in Ferretti Group’s near future?
AG: As you know, boating has been complicated for years and only recently we can say that we see a glimpse of light. In addition, ours is the most delicate and interconnected market of all, it takes just a flap of the butterfly’s wings in one part of the world to cause instability and insecurity everywhere, and thus little desire to invest in a luxury item such as a yacht.
As far as we’re concerned, in 2015 Italy accounted for just 3% of our sales, so it was important to focus on other markets. Central Europe and East Africa are the most significant markets with 50% of orders, which is a comforting sign for a market with great tradition in the nautical sector. Year after year, North and South America and above all, Asia Pacific continue to record significant growth. For example, Ferretti Yachts is by far the leading brand for pleasure boats in China, while Riva – this year celebrating its 175th anniversary – is a cult shipyard in places like Singapore, Hong Kong, and Japan.
GSM: Based on your thorough knowledge of the industry, what does 2018 have in store for the nautical sector?
AG: I don’t have the gift of foresight, I can only say that if the international situation remains stable and there are no conflicts or other events that upset the market, I think that things can only improve, including in the Italian market.
Obviously we are already working on 2018: we will be presenting 8 new products, and we will celebrate important events, such as the 50th anniversary of Ferretti Yachts. After the triumphs and awards, we’re back to focusing on this new nautical year and its challenges. Our Group has ambitious goals and clear strategies; we have the people and the economic means to reach them. We will continue to grow.
GSM: Upcoming projects and events?
AG: As I was saying, 2018 will be an important year full of events for Ferretti Group. It is the year that Ferretti Yachts – famous for the Flybridge which has been the object of desire for shipowners all over the world since 1968 – will celebrate its fiftieth anniversary. Many memorable events are in the forecast, continue to follow us!
Riva 100’ Corsaro