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Formula 1 Ferrari drivers Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen each wear a small, robin’s egg-colored sticker on their helmets. It reads, simply, “Riva,” as in the iconic Italian boat brand. And it means a great deal more than most casual observers might realize.

Ferretti Group CEO Alberto Galassi is married to Enzo Ferrari’s granddaughter, Antonella, who also is involved in the boatbuilder’s design efforts. And Enzo Ferrari’s son, Piero, is deeply entrenched in Ferretti Group as a significant shareholder and director of the Strategic Product Committee.

As you might imagine, Galassi is a Ferrari fan supreme and a passionate fan of motorsports in general.

“Unfortunately, yes; I am,” he says with a note of sly irony. “We love Formula 1. Ferrari is part of my heart. It’s part of where we come from. It’s part of the family.”

He’s also been a passionate yachtsman and owner since well before he took over Ferretti Group. When it came time for a new boat, Galassi made an obvious choice. Last year, he became the owner of hull number one of the revamped Custom Line Navetta 33, Telli.

NAVETTA 33 2017 NAV-226_web

Being a speed maven, he might have opted for one of the sportier Ferretti Group brands such as Riva or Pershing, but for the limited days his schedule allows him to spend on the water, he prefers a more sedate livery. Unlike Formula 1 cars, which accelerate and stop like F18s on a carrier deck, the semi-displacement Navetta 33 is designed for comfort, safety and range.

The Custom Line fleet has two product lines: a planing range that includes the 108 and the 120, with a 106 due at the end of this year; and a semi-displacement range that comprises the Navetta 28, 33, 37 and 42. As the name implies, Custom Line models offer owners a wide berth when it comes to amenities and arrangements. According to a representative, about the only elements of the Navetta 33 that are set in stone are the position of the spa pool, the central staircase and the technical platform. The yacht’s furniture can be arranged most any way an owner wants.

Galassi chose a five-stateroom arrangement for 10 guests. Crew quarters accommodate six. Telli houses her guests in four VIP staterooms on the lower deck, which, far from being a claustrophobic cavern, has broad, tall panels of glazing linking it visually to the outdoors. Those staterooms, as with most areas on the boat, are finished in an open, contemporary style with shades of cream and white, and with a grainy, milk-chocolate-colored walnut veneer. Contemporary paintings are hung tastefully throughout.

While Studio Zuccon International Project styled the yacht’s exterior, interior aesthetics are the owner’s choice with execution by Ferretti Group’s in-house teams.

“We wanted to do everything possible better than the former Navetta 33 Crescendo, which was a good ship,” Galassi says. (He owned a Crescendo before Telli.)

Changes in the latest Navetta 33 include greater attention to minimizing sound and vibration through floating soles and bulkhead insulation; a larger upper deck; an improved sound system; greater attention to lighting; and a new hull with a bulbous bow, aimed at better efficiency and seakeeping.

Uppeck deck al fresco dining_D1A6145_web

Galassi takes some credit for the updates, but he lavishes praise on Ferretti designers and craftsmen, and on his wife, who had a strong hand in process.

And as an owner, he appreciates the changes from a different perspective. The windows-on-the-world theme extends to all three of Telli’s decks. Panes on the main and upper decks open, should guests decide filtered, artificially cooled air isn’t their thing. Galassi says his favorite space on the boat is in that fresh air.

“I’m mostly a sun guy, so anywhere the sun is is where I’d like to be,” Galassi says. “My favorite is the upper deck because it is very silent and because the windows can open so you can have fresh air, even if you close the door.”

For someone so attuned to the shrill wail of Formula 1 and MotoGP engines, that love of silence might seem paradoxical, but he appears to relish it, as do many super-busy owners of large cruising yachts. Another of his favorite spaces is the master suite.

Master suite NAVETTA 33 2017-140_web

“I love the master cabin because it’s completely silent and I love to sleep,” he says.

In addition to the upper deck, Telli has multiple places for Galassi to indulge his need for sunshine and fresh air. The folding balcony off the main salon is one. The foredeck with its lounges is another. For more intimate contact with the water and the sun, he might spend time on the sundeck with its spa pool, or in the beach club.

The latest Custom Line models employ a versatile stern arrangement that the company calls a Dual Mode Transom. When deploying the yacht’s tender and PWC, the transom opens as a door from hinges at the top, the swim platform lowers into the water, the garage floods and the boats float out. In the other mode, the transom folds down flat from the bottom to create a 172-square-foot (16-square-meter) teak-sole platform.

Sun deck_D1A6200_web

Additional creature comforts start with the yacht’s hull and equipment. In addition to her soft-chine hull and bulbous bow, Telli has ABT-Trac fin stabilizers with zero-speed mode, and Seakeeper gyros. She has Tier III-certified, 1,400-horsepower MAN diesels, which provide a top speed of 15 knots and a cruising speed of 12. At 12 knots, Telli has a range of 1,540 nautical miles, according to Custom Line. More powerful engines from MAN and Caterpillar are available for a marginal increase in speed and range.

As much as Galassi loves the yacht, he has a few things he’d change. He says he wishes the spa pool drained quicker, the integrated electronics on the bridge had self-updating software, and the TVs were bigger, especially for the Asian market. It’s probably safe to assume the Ferretti Group designers and engineers might lend an ear to the CEO on those points.


Formula 1 drivers put everything they have into reaching the finish line as quickly as they can. With his purchase of Telli, it’s clear Galassi prefers a more laid-back method of getting where he’s going—at least on the water.

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