Departure of Christiana Longarina triggers need for new investment

VSY (Viareggio Superyachts) is on the hunt for new investors and/or strategic alliances following the departure of Christiana Longarina last month for unspecified personal reasons.

First made known through the Italian marine industry publication Press Mare Italia, the departure of Longarini had possibly been on the cards for a while. Last October she received a Life Achievement Award as part of the I-M Formidable Women Awards.

In an article associated with that award she wrote about VSY: “Strategic partnerships are the key to success and to create the future of our industrial sector. We have been able to make theory and practice meet, creating that special chemistry that blends the high-tech product with the immaterial content it contains and its respect for the common natural heritage.”

She added: “But above all, it has allowed us to embrace a path towards a horizon where global challenges are asking for real changes – even if that means taking completely different routes based on consciousness, intelligence and charted by the heart. These are the only routes that provide a real meaning to our actions and leave a powerful legacy for our future.”

At this stage it is not known what interest has been shown by potential investors/strategic partners. The company is currently engaged completing a 63.84m (209.6ft) superyacht designed by Espen Oeino and with naval architecture by Laurent Giles which is set to be delivered later this year.

In the article related to her award, Longarina also commented: “For us at VSY, to exercise this responsibility (maintaining the environment) means to put sustainability at the very centre of our corporate culture. Thus, many important collaborations have been focused on environmental responsibility, the promotion of cultural heritage and the rapid transfer of knowledge as strategic factors of development.”

“This is the mindset that has allowed us to take a fresh look at the ocean and our industry,” she explained. “It has allowed us to accelerate changes in translating shared models on a larger scale and has made possible our contribution to the Blue Solutions. Last year (2017) was fundamental for us to the accreditation at the international level. Water evolution is now a Blue Solutions, a United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP), International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) global platform. This year we’re going to share the model within the industry. SYBAss and the Mare Forum marine and maritime leaders as a first step.”

One partnership which VSY formed last year was with Siemens and Lloyd’s Register sharing in the presentation of a 65m superyacht concept called Waterecho that featured hydrogen fuel technology. This concept was also an Oeino exterior design plus an interior by Dante O Benini. VSY’s role involved carrying out a technical and commercial feasibility study of the hydrogen fuel cells and the success of their installation on board.

The yacht would be fitted with the latest electric generators in the hope they might enable a dramatic reduction in consumption. Exhaust gas treatment systems will be implemented on the main engines while more ecological materials will be generally adopted across the boat. Waterecho would be able to accommodate 12 guests in six cabins.