SuperyachtDesign speaks to Federico Fiorentino of the eponymously named design studio about the studio’s form language, its newest concept The Belafonte and why yacht designs don’t need to be revolutionary to be unique.

“The studio has been focusing on yacht design since 2004,” says Federico Fiorentino, founder of Federico Fiorentino Yacht Design in Italy. “In the first years, we focused on small crafts under 24m, with more than 50 designs put on the water, including racing powerboats that have won Union Internationale Motonautique world titles and many yacht tenders. The experience in the yacht tender market brought a good background and in 2013 we decided it was time to move up with dimensions.”

The studio’s debut in the superyacht world came when it signed Eldoris, a 43m all-aluminium motoryacht, in late 2013 with Savona shipyard Eurocraft. The team has since been working the concept for a larger motoryacht, The Belafonte. 

The 43m Eldoris is being built at Eurocraft in Savona.

According to Fiorentino, the studio has tried to create a “modern classic”, something that combines subtly contemporary elements with classic, tried-and-tested design features. A good example of this fusion is the bow area. “The bow is a good example of our style,” says Fiorentino. “It doesn’t break rules, it is a quiet common bow seen on smaller Dutch boats, but integrated on an aggressive yacht like this it creates an original mix and a reinterpretation of traditional forms.” He says that the stainless steel detail on the bow recalls the old Alfa Romeo radiator grill, creating a subtle link with the 1960s and 1970s, giving the classic bow and more aggressive twist.

“In our designs, there is a constant reference to the naval design history,” says Fiorentino. “Futurism is definitely something we don’t like. We believe that the yacht industry is quite a conservative one, the main reason being that functionality always comes first on a yacht.” For his studio, clean and simple lines rein supreme.

The Belafonte concept

Designed around a fast displacement hull with a top speed of 18 to 24 knots (depending on engine configuration), the yacht will be able to accommodate up to 10 guests in five cabins, including an 84sqm owner’s cabin, which the designer claims is one of the biggest in its category. A lot of emphasis has been given to open air spaces. “The kind of client we have in mind is one that really loves life at sea and would not be interested in purchasing a yacht of the same size with an outrageous GT,” says Fiorentino.

“The yacht industry is flooded with yachts that all look the same and this tells us that risk is not something that the majority of clients and yards like,” says the designer. “This bring us to an important conclusion: a yacht doesn’t have to be revolutionary, what is more important for us is that when you see it you know what it is and hopefully who the designer is.”

Fiorentino argues that there are a few designers out there who have a strong personality, whose yachts are instantly recognisable. “They do not necessarily make revolutions, but their style is very distinctive and unique while being mainstream,” he says. “I think that The Belafonte, like our other designs, has this fundamental characteristic. It is not necessarily a revolutionary yacht but it has a strong personality and it is not possible to confuse it with other yachts, in a few words it is unique.”

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Federico Fiorentino Yacht Design