PMY: How have your customer demands shifted in recent years?
GIOVANNA VITELLI: The concept of luxury has been going through an important process of change. Design (and famous designers) is massively influencing the customers’ choice. Therefore today we are offering luxury yachts providing a sense of sophisticated elegance expressed through a refined and unexpected architecture, with special attention to precious and handcrafted details so to create a unique style. In order to exploit this new sense of luxury, we started working with famous and talented designers coming from luxury real estate who brought to yachts interiors a significant twist with their touch of modernity, freshness and innovation. At the moment, we have an ongoing collaboration with Achille Salvagni and Vincenzo De Cotiis. Salvagni is recognized as one of the most sophisticated and innovative designer. He was selected by the magazine
ADCollector as one of the 100 best designers in the world and is member of ElleDécor’s A List, while De Cotiis proposes an innovative appropriation of salvaged and reclaimed materials, juxtaposed with new, precious materials, thus creating an unique and original style. He recently got wide media coverage in
ADCollector’s Design Issue.
PMY: How important is innovation in the market you compete in?
GIOVANNA VITELLI: Innovation is a more and more crucial topic in the yachting industry. Clients expect to be offered brand new products every year and Azimut Yachts has one of the widest ranges in the market, especially conceived to respond to the fast changing requirements of owners. Yet innovation is not only a matter of design and novelties, but it also concerns the ability to develop a whole set of engineering systems studied to increase the comfort on board: Noiseabsorbent materials, different hull shapes, mirrored glazing on the hulls and spherical glasses, sophisticated systems for on-board monitoring, etc. Furthermore, Azimut yachts are born with a level of certifications that puts them at the top of their respective categories: Starting from the smaller models, our yachts are CE and NMMA, in compliance with the safety regulations issued by the two most important institutions worldwide. For the Grande Collection yachts, customers can request the certification in R.I.N.A. Class.
PMY: Construction methods seem to be improving every year; what is your company doing to improve boat construction?
GIOVANNA VITELLI: Azimut Yachts has played a pioneering role in the use of carbon fiber, which can currently be found in several products in our range, from the brand’s smallest 16 meter yacht to the Grande 35 Metri flagship. The mechanical properties of carbon composites translates into carbon laminated parts that are lighter, allowing the space available to be increased while maintaining the same weight, in such a way as to deliver improved performance at sea combined with unprecedented comfort on board. Depending on the resins used, weight savings range from 20% to 40%, up to nearly 50% in some cases. The lightness of carbon fiber has been exploited to design much bigger volumes and outdoor deck areas, without affecting the length of the yacht and its overall weight. This maintains the correct weight distribution and center of gravity, and therefore the yacht’s static and dynamic stability. Carbon is used most extensively in the boat’s uppermost parts (the superstructure, flybridge and hard top), while in the hull, local reinforcements are applied where necessary. The know-how gained by Azimut Yachts in recent years is a key asset for the company, requiring major investments in design and process engineering.