After a record year of sales in 2021, ordered boats are finishing up at the factories, ready to ship to the USA, and get delivered to many excited new owners now part of our SI Yachts family. One of those members of the ever-growing family joined VP Jay Hendrix and myself, Yacht Sales Professional Forest Anderson, on a trip to Italy in order to see the factory.
Similar to our company, there is an obvious feeling of pride and enthusiasm that is exhibited no matter where you step foot inside the Absolute Yachts shipyard in Podenzano. The first smiling face behind the welcome desk when we arrived was the president of Absolute, Cesare Mastroianni, several member of the in-house carpentry team, the marketing team, electricians, and everyone in between to greet us as we arrived. The feeling of love and excitement that every member of the Absolute team feels for their product is what makes this an outstanding yacht builder.
(Seen below: While on our visit to Absolute, Jay got to see a new model through virtual reality.)
To say that the Absolute factory is run like a well-oiled machine would be an understatement as it is truly a masterpiece of manufacturing. Automation allows the Absolute factory to operate nearly 24/7 even while the 250+/- employees are home. C&C machines perfectly cut all subframes for the interior of the boat, while the parts are loaded bin by bin through a computer attached to a gigantic vending machine for everything from screws and bolts, to hinges and doorknobs, to refrigerators and dishwashers. Attention to detail is noticed from all the craftsmen that share the pride of building Absolute Yachts. Separate climate controlled buildings for laying fiberglass and spraying gelcoat, which have industrial exhausts that pull all dust, humidity and particles from the air, keep the conditions exactly the same in the snowiest winter and hottest summer. This level of efficiency along with the pride and knowledge held by all craftsmen leave your Absolute Yacht standing tall at the end of the line.
After finishing up at Absolute, it was time to head east towards the Adriatic Sea to Cantiere Del Pardo in Forli. About two and a half hours later, Jay and I arrived at the shipyard to go through the impressive factory. With over 50 years experience, this factory is responsible for producing three different top-of-the-line brands including Grand Soleil, Van Dutch, and Pardo.
Outboard-powered luxury day yachts have exploded in the U.S. market, and Pardo's walk-around design, combined with their opulent Italian style, has drawn attention and praise. The sailing heritage at Cantiere Del Pardo is very apparent and its influence is seen in the use of space and overall build process. You'll find that the cabins are more functional on a Pardo than other day boats in the same class. The company understands the growth trajectory they are on and have heavily invested in new technology and equipment to continue to innovate their product.
On the back side of the factory stood the framework of a massive building designed for an exciting brand new model that we are not yet able to announce. This will be a flagship boat for Pardo and already over a dozen hulls have been sold. That is a true testament to the faith clients have in the Pardo line and the team at the factory, thanks to excellent ownership experience that is facilitated through personal shipyard and dealer support.
Examples of their innovative thinking were found at nearly every turn in the Pardo Factory. For example, the teak on the swim platforms have zero fasteners in it as they are vacuum-bagged and chemically adhered. Cantiere del Pardo has also benefitted immensely from the use of modular models which allows for unique solutions when maximing space during the construction process. For example, the Pardo GT52 is offered with the galley in different areas of the yacht so each new owner has a choice in the design.
In summary, the trip to Italy was not just an outstanding cultural experience but also an invaluable learning opportunity to see the pride, knowledge, and skill that goes into just two of the many premier lines carried by SI Yachts. When you purchase a new yacht with us, you can sleep soundly knowing your masterpiece comes from countless hours and immeasurable effort perfecting their craft.
A few more photos from our trip:
Below: Absolute has their shipyard streamlined for efficiency and quality control.
Below: A new 60 FLY is assembled.
Below: Tank testing each yacht is done to ensure a perfect ride.
Below: A look inside the Pardo factory.
Below: Forest enjoying Italy!