Though the superyacht business is a relatively small industry, it is packed with international professionals from all walks of life, and it can certainly be easy to get lost in the sea of faces we're presented with at boat shows, yachting events and beyond. In this series of articles, we take a step back from rushed business meetings and hurried networking and sit down with professionals from across the wide spectrum of the superyacht business to learn more about who they are and what they do for the industry. I met up with Perini Navi’s Vittorio Blengini, Sales Manager – Sailing Yachts, during last week’s Palm Beach International Boat Show to get to know this young industry professional.
Blengini joined the famed Italian shipyard in 2008 right after leaving university and spent the first 4 and a half years working in the production department as a project manager taking care of the outfitting processes of sailing gear on their yachts. An opportunity came in 2012 to join the company’s sales team and currently works as sales manager after a decade at Perini Navi.
Does Perini receive a lot of interest from the American market?
The majority of our clients are European but the States will always represent a very interesting market and one we’re following closely. It is a healthy market at the moment. We attend the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show each year and this is the first time we are here in Palm Beach representing our sailing background but also the new Perini Navi with a line of exciting motor and sailing products to match the future of the brand.
Talking about the new line; you are working with Reichel/Pugh on the new 42-metre modern sailing project. How did that partnership come about?
The reason we chose Reichel/Pugh for the naval architecture of the project is that they are a very well known, San Diego-based studio with good contacts in the racing scene not only in Europe but also here in America. This is their first aluminium project on this size so it’s a challenge for them but also for us as the project is designed to appeal to clients looking to step up from their current carbon yacht of 80-100 feet. We’re aiming for the best compromise possible: performance and comfort.
Do you think to survive that other sailing yacht builders would also have to enter the motor yacht scene as Perini Navi recently have done with the merging of the Picchiotti brand into the company?
I can’t speak for other companies but the reason we have done so is quite simple. Our brand is very strong and we wanted to use that market power to also create new line of motor yachts that our clients can associate with. This simplifies communication to the market and finally gives us the chance to satisfy the needs of certain clients who have been requesting such a product in the past.
What do you currently have in build at the Perini Shipyard?
Right now we have two 60-metre projects under construction; one ready for delivery soon and another which will be ready end of 2019. We also recently signed an LOI for the first 42-metre project which will get underway soon and we are also working hard on the development of a new 47-metre model which is essentially a larger version of the 42-metre. On the motor yacht side, we have a 53-metre and a 56-metre motor yacht under construction as well as the 25-metre Eco Tender.Photo: Nathan Plumb
The 2018 St Barths Bucket took place last week and Perini Navi was once again attending in full force. How important is the event to you as a sailing custodian?
Although this year was a different Bucket due to the recent hurricane that hit the region, we wanted to be present this year in support of the local community but also to present a new type of Perini Navi. We saw a reduced fleet this year compared to previous editions, but something very special still happened in the Corinthian class this year in which six yachts raced this year. We feel that this perfectly embodies the Perini Navi spirit that Mr Fabio Perini set out to create from the beginning which is all about the owner’s pure enjoyment on the water in one of the world’s most beautiful destinations.Photo: Jeff Brown / Breed Media