There’s nothing Alberto Galassi likes more than spending time at sea. It’s something he’s enjoyed ever since he was a child, when his father purchased a 1974 Riva Rudy. Although he was only 10 years old at the time, he clearly remembers the day the classic speedboat was delivered to the family’s waterfront summer home on Italy’s Adriatic Coast, describing it as “magical”. More than 45 years later, Galassi can still recall the fun, freedom and exhilaration of being aboard that boat.
Galassi’s love of boats has continued throughout his adult life, although it’s now much more than a hobby. In 2014, he was appointed CEO of the Ferretti Group, a world leader in the design, construction and sale of motor yachts and pleasure craft.
“The quality of the time that I spend at sea cannot be compared to any other moment of daily life. It is my good fortune to be able to sail on vessels, like those of the Ferretti Group, that offer an unparalleled sailing experience thanks to advanced technology, comfort and design,” he says.
For Galassi, the best part of his job is seeing the pure joy that yachting brings to Ferretti Group’s customers. “I love the excitement I see in the eyes of those who sail with our yachts and the pleasure of being part of a fantastic group that brings the beauty of yachting and ‘made in Italy’ production expertise to the world,” he enthuses.
This is why Galassi is so excited about the launch of the Ferretti Group’s newest masterpiece, the Riva 50 Meters. The first flagship of the Riva Superyachts Division, Race, made its debut during an exclusive event in June at the historic Arsenale of Venice.
Described as a ‘dream come true’, the majestic and elegant superyacht is reminiscent of the famous motor yacht series Caravelle and Atlantic, which were built during the 1960s and 1970s by the visionary and ambitious Carlo Riva.
“The brand value of Riva is timeless,” Galassi says. “Craftsmanship, unmatchable quality and innovative but always functional design has always been Riva’s hallmark and is a true testament to its success for the past 177 years.”
Shipowners from all over the world attended the highly anticipated unveiling of the majestic Riva 50 Meters. According to Galassi, Venice was the perfect location to showcase the elegant yacht.
“Venice is known for its sumptuous and challenging splendour and the Riva 50 Meters fits perfectly in this unique scenario; the Arsenale’s incomparable architectural and natural setting paired with the artistic flair of surrounding buildings. Embarking on building the largest superyacht to date, Riva knew this once-in-a-lifetime launch location had to be a dreamlike place that celebrated the inspirational design, immense beauty and historical significance of this moment in time. Venice undoubtedly was the place to be,” he says.
Combining Italian craftsmanship with an innovative design, the Riva 50 Meters is the brand’s first superyacht made from steel. “The style is unique; it stands out thanks to the choice of refined materials, the management of surfaces and the harmonised lines and volumes,” Galassi notes.
“It genuinely matches the timeless and traditional lines of Riva with a larger hull, offering a custom layout and interiors across all four decks. It perfectly resumes our sense of beauty thanks to its clean and elegant profile, taking inspiration from pure, aesthetic art research.”
Customisation is becoming a big drawcard for superyacht customers, who are seeking more innovative features to suit their needs. “Clients are craving a tailor-made offering that brings added value to the yacht in case of future resale or valuation in years to come,” Galassi says.
“The Riva Superyachts Division is fully customisable. Owners have the opportunity to make all the choices when it comes to the layout outfitting and interior decor of the yacht, which can become one of the most enjoyable parts of the design and building process. Riva wants its owners to feel their personal needs and preferences are taken into account, but also enhanced by cutting-edge design, incorporating the most innovative technological solutions with an unparalleled sense of elegance and style. If you can dream it, we will do our best to make it happen.”
When it comes to his own dream vessel, Galassi is reluctant to pick a favourite among the Ferretti Group’s luxury fleet. “As the CEO of Ferretti Group, I have eight brands, which are like my children, and I do not want to do injustice to any of them. Enzo Ferrari once said that the best car is always the next one. For me, the vessel of my dreams is always under construction in our shipyards,” he smiles.
Galassi reveals he is inspired by the “genius and dedication” of Carlo Riva. He believes the late shipbuilder would be thrilled by the latest addition to the Riva collection.
“Carlo Riva and the owner of the Race megayacht had something in common: they wanted to build the largest Riva yacht to date. Even though Mr Riva passed away before the first Riva Superyachts Division project could reach completion, Race was a dream come true for both the Riva family and the boat owner, because it is a story based on continuous reinvention with a long Italian history. Some say that Race was the perfect name, as it encompassed memories of his father’s love for racing and fast cars, his desire for continuous innovation and the “race” to be the first one of its kind in the world. Nevertheless, it is a true marvel.”
“Riva wants its owners to feel their personal needs and preferences are taken into account… If you can dream it, we will do our best to make it happen,” – Alberto Galassi
During the past five years, Galassi has worked hard to refresh and revive the Ferretti Group’s brands. He’s credited with being the guiding force that pulled the Italian consortium out of bankruptcy. In the past three years alone, the group has produced more than 30 new models across its prestigious brands, Ferretti Yachts, Riva, Pershing, Itama, Mochi Craft, CRN, Custom Line and Wally.
“In the past several years, we have had a great deal of satisfaction. I recall the moment when our competitors understood that we were coming back strong and they began to view us with the respect reserved for a major shipbuilding group,” Galassi reflects.
While he admits his role as CEO can be demanding at times, Galassi doesn’t have to try too hard to keep his stress levels down when he’s so passionate about his work. “A high-pressure job brings lots of highly satisfactory results, so a certain level of stress is to be expected,” he concedes.
“But I always try to hold a straight course, as they say in our industry. Fortunately, we build the most beautiful yachts in the world and I only need to look at them to be sure that everything will work out for the best.”