Picchiotti, the Perini Navi Group’s motoryacht division, announced two new build contracts last week on the eve of the St Barths Bucket. One 52m steel hull and one aluminium hull of unknown dimensions, the two projects represent a significant addition to the Picchiotti fleet, which is currently made up of 50m M/Y Exuma, 55m M/Y Galileo G and 73m M/Y Grace E.
Since Luca Boldrini joined Picchiotti as sales director in May 2016 from CRN, his strategy has been to create a distinct motoryacht brand. “Perini has always been a sailing boat builder until it took on Exuma, Galileo G and Grace E,” he explains. “But they never truly focused on motoryachts as the whole management team was living and breathing sailing yachts.”
Part of Boldrini’s role was to relaunch the brand to match the concepts and values of Perini Navi. “The beauty of a Perini is that when you see one from a distance, you know it’s a Perini,” he explains. “We wanted to find distinctive lines that will make people recognise a Picchiotti.” As such, the two new projects will follow similar characteristics to the rest of the Picchiotti fleet.
Boldrini adds that the yard is also very focused on innovation and product development, and wants to reflect its expertise in sailing yachts into the motoryacht side. Realising that the type of Perini client is traditionally looking to do extensive long-range navigation, Picchiotti is keen to emphasise this capability of its boats.
The client behind the 52m steel-hulled project is an experienced owner who uses his other boats extensively. “He approached us for this reason,” says Boldrini. “He wants our experience in navigation and in building boats for owners who want to spend a lot of time on board.”
The owner intends to base the yacht in the Asia Pacific region. Having done extensive research on cruising the remote areas in the region, he has decided to build to a volume of no bigger than 600gt, due to his need for space for toys and a spacious living area, but wanting to avoid the restrictions and limitations that a bigger boat would mean for cruising.
As for the other contract, Boldrini is unable to reveal anything in terms of design or dimension, but he does say that the client is a longstanding Perini client. “The family has a big interest in innovation, and they invest a lot of money into saving the environment,” he explains. “They want to try and build a boat that reduces pollution and helps the shipyard push the industry towards more ecological and green solutions.”
While the two new contracts are good news for Perini, which has struggled to secure any new sailing yacht contracts, Boldrini points out that the group is not going to shift its focus away from the sailing yacht sector. “Sailing will always be Perini’s focus,” he concludes. “But now the increased interaction between our sailing yacht and motoryacht divisions can be advantageous to the business due to the cross fertilisation.”