In 2019, after a long and careful search for a prime investment vehicle in Italy, a Middle Eastern venture capital company found what it was looking for in Falcon Yachts. Both the strength and history of the brand and the intrinsic value of its facilities and location made Falcon Yachts a very strategic investment. We speak with Valentina Antimi, business development director, about Falcon Yachts’ present and future.
Valentina, can you tell me a bit about the history of Falcon Yachts?
Falcon has always been synonymous with unique yachts. When, after 20 years working in the luxury sector, Edoardo Spreafico founded Cantieri Navali Falcon in Viareggio, Italy, he began building yachts with soul that were manufactured so that owners could enjoy the freedom and joy of a day spent on the water as an exclusive experience. It was 1988 and Cantieri Navali Falcon began by specialising in fibreglass motor yachts in the 15 to 35m range. Hallmarks were classic lines, refined interiors and exceptional performance at sea.
In 1992, Falcon Yachts was founded as a sister company to Cantieri Navali Falcon to respond to the growing demand for larger yachts. After Spreafico sadly passed away in 2018, the shipyard changed hands and subsequently was acquired with the intention to bring back this historical brand in Italian yachting.
Italy’s shipbuilding tradition is well known and the local docks have been the home to some of the most famous and best-loved names in Italian yachting. Can you tell us a bit about Pisa’s Navicelli area?
The Navicelli canal which gives its name to the area was commissioned in the late 1500s by Cosimo I de’Medici to connect Pisa to the bustling port in Livorno. The name originates from the small boats, called navicelli, that were used to transport goods at the time. Changes have been made over the years and now it’s wider and deeper than it used to be. It’s in a truly strategic position right by Pisa’s Galileo Galilei airport, close to the Autostrada and with direct access to the Mediterranean Sea.
The location is a plus for owners coming to check on the progress of the build of their yachts?
Yes, being close by to Pisa, Viareggio and Florence it’s convenient for owners who want to check on their yacht in build while enjoying a Tuscan vacation. Since the Navicelli area is a ship-building hub we can count on a deep pool of talented local artisans and craftsmen who have years of experience in shipbuilding. Our shipyard is exceptional because we have a freehold on the land and 86 metres of frontage on the canal where we have requested permission to build a launching ramp.
How large are the shipyard’s facilities?
We have 11,000 square metres of covered sheds composed of three units, all of which are 13 metres high. Two are 4525 square metres and the other, that we will use for working steel and aluminium and other hot works and for priming before painting, is 1150 square metres. We also have a large dry dock area and the canal front, about 80 meters long, that I mentioned before.
Steel and aluminium – are those new-build materials for Falcon?
Yes, traditionally Falcon Yachts built in fibreglass, but our stakeholders are interested in expanding our production into steel and aluminium. The first yacht that we have sold – a 40m fast displacement model from our Legacy line that is scheduled for delivery in 2022 – is in fibreglass but the next Legacy 40 and 45 models that we have begun to build the nesting structures for will be in aluminium. The 50m full displacement yacht that we will begin constructing next, the first yacht in our Horizon line, will be in steel and aluminium. We also have commissioned projects for a 55m full displacement yacht and a 39m explorer, both of which will be in steel and aluminium. These are the build materials that we will be focusing on in the future.
Can you tell me a bit about the Legacy line?
Sure. Our Legacy 40 and 45m yachts connect our current production to the heritage left to us by Edoardo Spreafico. With exterior design by Quartostile, these models are enjoying an excellent market success. Owners really appreciate the balance between comfort and performance and areas such as the sky lounge and the beach.
But the Legacy is just the beginning?
Yes, when the two yachts in the Legacy line are completed we will begin work on the first yacht in the Horizon line, a 50m full displacement yacht in steel and alluminium that will have strong good looks. We are continuing to invest in structures and talent, in fact we have a tender out for designs for some new projects and are evaluating the entries.
What happens after the yachts are delivered?
Falcon has always maintained a client-centric approach. From the moment our owners close on their contracts we accompany them through the build process working together on everything from selecting features such as spa pools to choosing fabrics and finishes for the interiors. We continue that experience with attentive after-sales and warranty service to ensure that the quality of the Falcon Yachts owner’s experience is as high as our build quality.
So, is it safe to say that Falcon Yachts has spread its wings and is ready to fly high again?
Yes! And we’d like to invite prospect owners to come see our Navicelli facilities to experience first-hand what Falcon Yachts is all about.
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