Italian shipyard Fincantieri has a strong heritage in shipbuilding – everything from cruise ships to naval vessels – and has delivered two of the world’s largest motoryachts in the past four years, 134m Serene and 140m Ocean Victory. In the summer of 2014, the yard listed on the Milan Stock Exchange, a move that has seen the group strengthen its position, grow its brand and invest in R&D. The Superyacht Owner talks to CEO Giuseppe Bono and senior executive vice president of Fincantieri’s megayacht business unit, Giovanni Romano, about the company’s strengths and future strategies.

Giuseppe Bono, CEO of Fincantieri

TSO: How have things at the yard changed since its privatisation last year? Has it made the company stronger?

GB: Thanks to the listing we managed to collect 350 million euros in a stage where the company’s economic situation – as well as the one of our industry sector – was far from favourable. As expected, these assets are crucial in supporting our growth and creating value for our historic shareholders as well as for the potential ones. The megayacht business is part of the broader high-end luxury industry. In this context, Fincantieri has become one of the leading operators of vessels over 100m. In 2011, the group delivered 134m M/Y Serene, the 14th largest yacht delivered in the world, and at the end of 2014, we delivered 140m M/Y Ocean Victory, the largest megayacht ever built in Italy. Thanks to these two builds, our group is considered one of the most important players in the megayacht market today, a true niche of luxury and innovation in the shipbuilding industry.

TSO: Does Fincantieri’s experience of building military vessels help with building superyachts?

GR: Fincantieri’s technological excellence is built on the unique know-how developed over more than two centuries of experience in constructing vessels of all kinds, including naval ones, which often are the landmark of technological development in many areas. Therefore, we can state that the cornerstone of our group’s ability to produce high-quality superyachts is its background in shipbuilding design and construction. Fincantieri transfers the advanced technologies from this realm into yachting and adds the elements that make a superyacht.

Our wider shipbuilding experience gives us an undisputed advantage in designing and developing our superyachts with sophisticated technological approaches such as engineering techniques to reduce noise and vibrations for superior onboard comfort – one of the most important technical and quality factors on our vessels – or innovative propulsion systems such as the fuel cells. Furthermore, Fincantieri’s investment into R&D has led to several partnerships with the world’s most prestigious research centres, allowing the company to benefit from a continued transfer of knowledge, techniques and the most innovative applications.

Giovanni Romano, senior executive vice president
of Fincantieri's megayacht division

TSO: Do you expect the size of custom new builds to continue to grow? What is the maximum size Fincantieri can build?

GR: Aiming for bigger and better is part of human nature. We specialise in high-quality superyachts over 70m, however there is no limit to the size or volume of the yachts we can build. Fincantieri Yachts keeps receiving requests from potential owners who want to push the limits of length. Thanks to our know-how in terms of engineering and shipbuilding construction, we are able to match these ‘dreams’, combining luxury and style with advanced technology.

This is an extract of an interview that appears in Issue 17 of The Superyacht Owner. To read the full interview, subscribers can click here. To become a subscriber, click here.

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