Meet Federico Rossi, the unabashedly Italian COO of the Viareggio-based mega yacht builder, Rossinavi. While you may know the brand from their 2008 53.3m debut M/Y Syna (formerly called Rarity), you may be surprised to know that Rossinavi has built their superyacht-building pedigree over a four-decade period.
Following the spectacular launch of the 50m Flying Dagger at Monaco and the debut of the 63m Utopia IV at last year’s Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (FLIBS), Rossi talks to Haute Time about what makes the US market so attractive.
Dellvin Roshon Williams (DRW): What prompted you to expand into the US. Why Miami?
Federico Rossi (FR): The United States has been a Rossinavi target since 2014. In 2011, we delivered a large 70m boat for an American client who had also sailed in the United States and the Caribbean. The shipyard, however, was not ready, at that time, to maintain relationships and, for us, a stable market in an area. In 2014, we decided to focus on that area and following it in the first person—thanks to the fact that we are a large family and we can also spread out in different areas of development.
DRW: Tell us a little about Rossinavi design philosophy?
FR: The Miami area is the marine capital of the Caribbean and a great hub for the Bahamas because there is an international airport in close proximity and a reduced draft. As a full custom mega yacht builder, we thought it important to develop mega yachts with a draft suitable to these areas. This was our vision based on territory.
Of course, we are Italians. We are proud of our manufacture and proud of our style. So, we have transported our know-how and style, but we really can’t think about a yacht without thinking of hotel space—and the way of living on a boat and its interiors in an American key. We also wanted to follow a strategy of building yachts in Italy and made with Italy quality, while buying strategic components in the United States to ensure the user the possibility of being able to maintain the boat more easily.
DRW: Give us more of an idea about the process for potential buyers.
FR: The process for buyers is above all a relationship of absolute trust. The relationship of absolute trust means the will to abandon oneself to our world. So in the first interview that is done with the client, we try to identify what could be his style of reference, where one or more designers are identified, where proposals are made.
According to the favorite proposal, we begin to develop a product that is in a double vision: double vision because in the world of full custom vessels the attention must always be to generate something of course supporting the expectations of the client but at the same time not extremely personalized because of the risk of being left out of the market.
DRW: How do innovative materials push Rossinavi technological design forward?
If the innovative material existed already I would be the most innovative man in the world. The fact is that is a study that leads you to innovation, a balance of reliable existing technologies. Take M/Y Utopia as an example: to ensure Utopia the performance of 33 knots and a draft of 2.10 meters we had to build a very light boat. There is no material that has solved this problem, but there was the will to build it in aluminum and the accurate engineering has allowed us to save material.
We used on some parts, especially the mechanical parts, an aluminum called Ergal, that comes from aeronautical industry and has the characteristic of conserving the lightness of aluminum but with a strength almost close to stainless steel. We intervened also building different parts in carbon fiber, to manage the weight of the kinematic devices.
For example, the whole stern hatch is made in carbon fiber: by lightening the hatch we have not lightened only this part but also all the mechanisms that are involved in moving it. Even the roll-bar is entirely in carbon fiber, to lower the vertical weight and thus increase in some way the perceived stability. So it is a recipe of different materials that have led us to build one of the lightest yachts in its category.
Utopia IV. Photo credit: Rossinavi
DRW: How does Rossinavi envision its engagement with potential buyers in the US market?
FR: As a full custom builder, many of the clients that want to build a special boat often approach us. We develop some that will be presented in the upcoming boat shows. There will certainly be contemporary projects, as is our habit to do, but they will be contemporary for the expected delivery date.
What does this mean? It means that we feel the responsibility not to present concepts that are in vogue this year but if they are yachts even 60-65 meters in lengths that will be ready in 4 years, our vision must be focused on yachts that will be contemporary in 4 years. And this is our job.