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Looking to the Future with Giovanni Costantino, Founder and CEO of The Italian Sea Group

A conversation with Kenny Wooton, Editor-in-Chief of Yachts International

About Giovanni Costantino:

Accustomed to setting big goals, Giovanni Costantino, Founder and CEO of The Italian Sea Group (TISG), based in Marina di Carrara, on the Tuscan coast and listed on the Milan Stock Exchange, leads the Company with vision. With the acquisition of Perini Navi and Picchiotti, Costantino took over the two iconic Made in Italy brands and expanded its product line, which already included Admiral, Tecnomar, and NCA Refit.

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Costantino takes great pride in the further expansion of the Group’s fleet and continues to bring to the market large size motor and sailing yachts with extreme attention to detail, innovation, and unmistakable design.

Kenny Wooton: In 2021, you acquired Perini Navi and Picchiotti. Perini Navi is a brand that is much loved by American shipowners. What is the current state of Perini Navi and what are your plans to bring the historic brand back?

Giovanni Costantino: The acquisition of Perini Navi in 2021 was a very important operation and the reasons that drove me to want it are many, such as the strong presence of American shipowners in the “customer package,” the strategy of development and expansion of the market in the U.S. territory, confirmed by the summer opening of our first flagship store in East Hampton, Long Island, and the first Tecnomar for Lamborghini 63 delivered in Miami in the early fall.

Perini Navi 47M

Perini Navi 47M

Such a brand had to go to those who were able to guarantee a very high design capacity and very high-quality production, without compromise, as is the case with Tecnomar and Admiral, our motoryacht ranges. The plans for the re-launch of Perini Navi are very clear: First of all, the brand will remain tied exclusively to large sailing vessels that, while respecting tradition and historical lines, will be innovative in design and in sailing and propulsion solutions. There are in fact five sailing yachts that The Italian Sea Group currently has in its order book: one sloop of 47 meters; one ketch of 60 meters; 2 ketches of 56 meters and one catamaran of 47 meters (“reserved project”). All these are already in the production plan. They will still have metal hulls, but the masts will be exclusively in carbon.

Just to make it clear, the new 47-meter sloop presented over the summer has a more decisive style and a clear innovation in its aesthetic and functional choices, for example: the adoption of carbon, not only for the imposing 62.5-meter mast and boom, but also for the diagonals. For the stays, there is a combination of carbon and Kevlar. Carbon and lighter materials will also be used for the details, covering accessories and finishing. The hull will be in aluminum. In addition, the new flying bridge will be even wider and the two control and maneuvering stations on the side will reiterate the much more dynamic spirit of the new Perini yachts.

Perini Navi 47M

Perini Navi 47M

But that's not all. We are working tirelessly on a 90-meter project that will be as innovative as the Maltese Falcon, the most iconic sailboat built in modern times, 15 years ago. It’s certainly not an easy undertaking, but we want to get back on that course, return to the DNA of the brand and realize a project of great emotion and technical value.

KW: Although there have been important American owners, Picchiotti is less well known in the U.S. Same question: What are your plans to revitalize Picchiotti? Will its profile in the U.S. grow over time?

GC: Picchiotti is a brand with a great historical background, so great that I couldn’t even imagine it. Its history has its roots in the Florence of the Medicis, specifically in 1575 with the construction of navicelli, boats used in river transport, passing through the MAS/VAS vedette cars of World War I and II, and the modern Vitruvius, to the present day.

In the last 10 years, it has suffered a bit of stylistic confusion also due to the change of ownership. It has developed some interesting products, but one cannot say that they were in keeping with the history of the brand.

When I discovered the Picchiotti story, my enthusiasm was kindled and I decided in parallel with Perini to invest heavily in the rebirth of this wonderful brand. And that is how, with my dear friend Luca Dini, we developed the “Gentleman Yacht” project in detail—started it in communication, launched it commercially, and the first 24-meter has already seen the laying of the keel. The project sees a fleet of four sizes: 24 meters, 33 meters, 44 meters, up to 55 meters. The logic is that of serial production. Only a few minor layout changes can be made, such as changing the interior trim or the exterior color.

Picchiotti "Gentleman Yacht"

Picchiotti "Gentleman Yacht"

The line is the product of vintage memory seasoned with the masterful pencilwork of Luca Dini, together with Kurt Lehmann and his Yacht Moments, who interpreted the historical line in a modern key, inspired by the old American yachts.

It is a product that echoes American culture, not least by the fact that the deckhouse and the inside of the deckhouses are clad in mahogany. Mahogany is a material that originated in American culture. Cots, houses and bars in America, are made of mahogany. The interior and exterior details, as well as the line, are all American style.

Furthermore, as a matter of corporate policy of sustainability, the 24-meter will be in aluminum. We have entered the U.S. market with great vigor in the last 12 months, consolidating our positioning, first with the sale of the first 82-meter Galileo-branded Admiral, then with the opening of the first flagship store in East Hampton, concluding with the delivery of the first Tecnomar for Lamborghini 63 in Miami in September. I am sure that Picchiotti will give us great results in this geographical area.

K.W.: Last year, TISG announced a partnership with Lamborghini. This led to the creation of the new luxury sports yacht called Tecnomar for Lamborghini 63. We saw several hulls being fitted out when we visited the Marina di Carrara yard earlier this year and reacted in the same way most people react when they see the Lamborghini Sian FKP 37 car with which it shares DNA: “Wow.” What prompted Tecnomar to enter into this partnership? This type of yacht is very popular in the U.S., especially in the important South Florida market among owners who enjoy fast transfers to the Bahamas. What are your plans to raise the brand’s profile in this important market?

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GC: The shared DNA, without a shadow of a doubt, incorporates Lamborghini brand values and Tecnomar's yachting background into a unique yacht. The Tecnomar for Lamborghini 63 is a motoryacht conceived out of the box, which leaves its marks: performance, quality and attention to detail, emotion and driving pleasure are the experiences on board, thanks to innovative engineering solutions and a unique and distinctive design combined with Italian tradition and style. It is an avant-garde speed boat whose design concept moves between speed and absolute lightness, thus integrating the soul of the two brands that gave it life.

The Lamborghini is a product with American DNA in terms of performance and style—a day boat with comfortable spaces to spend time and days at sea in conviviality, even being able to spend the night on board. It’s perfect for American customers who want to go from Miami to the first island of the Bahamas in a day. Moreover, the Tecnomar for Lamborghini 63 has a very shallow draft so that it can be easily moored in front of the villa docks.

It is a worldwide success. The first Lamborghini arrived in the U.S.A. at the end of the summer, and by the end of 2022, we will deliver two more to the territory.

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KW: The readers of Yachts International are mainly Americans. Americans constitute a significant customer base for shipyards around the world. In general, what are your plans to increase the perception of TISG brands in this key (yacht-buying) market?

GC: The only way to enter any market in a solid way is to do it humbly and do it well. In two years, we will arrive in America with a wonderful 82-meter that is in production. This together with Lamborghini and Picchiotti, will determine the Group’s best development and success in the various brands.

KW: During our visit to the shipyard last summer, we also got to see the spectacular M/Y Kenshō in the final stages of outfitting before delivery. What is Admiral planning now?

GC: Admiral has 15 ships in production from 55 to 100 meters, all very challenging and innovative projects designed toward eco-sustainability. Among them is the sailing catamaran, one of the largest in the world and a stylistic iconicity.

In addition, we have just announced the Panorama project, the new 50-meter superyacht in the Admiral fleet, the result of TISG's collaboration with Piredda & Partners, which took care of the exterior and interior design. A masterpiece made in Italy in terms of shape, lines and stylistic solutions.

The 50-meter Panorama project

The 50-meter Panorama project

KW: What is the direction of the new Perini Navi fleet? Cruising? Regattas? Will there be design changes?

GC: Everything will be unveiled in January when the new Perini fleet will be unveiled with the new innovative design, respecting history, but with an eye toward the future.

KW: Finally, do you think there is anything else our American readers should know about the projects of The Italian Sea Group or its individual brands?

GC: We are a Group, a hub, which, with great commitment, efficiency, care and the highest quality carries out every decision.

For more information: theitalianseagroup.com

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