The motorboat according to Swan. Interview with Leonardo Ferragamo


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Swan Shadow a Scarlino – Photo Courtesy: Nautor’s Swan

THERE ARE THREE DATES THAT BEST SUMMARIZE the history of Nautor’s Swan. 1966 was the year when Tarantella, the first 36-foot sailboat designed by Sparkman & Stephens, was launched. Then, 1998 marked the entry of Leonardo Ferragamo who led the shipyard towards a new path of development and success. Lastly, 2021. More specifically, January 15th, a date that will go down in history because it marks the debut of Nautor’s Swan in the motorboat segment. The choice is not dictated by chance or by a sudden change of strategy since the core business will always be represented by sailing models. Indeed, it was precisely the wealth of knowledge combined with the nautical culture that has always been a distinctive feature of the shipyard that convinced Leonardo Ferragamo to conceive not so much a new range of motor boats but a new way to experience the pleasure of the sea and navigation as he told us during our latest interview.

Leonardo Ferragamo


Does your entry in the motorboat market mark a pivotal moment in the history of Nautor’s Swan?
Sure. However, it is important to clarify that Nautor’s Swan, even before being a shipyard, is a brand and, as such, it embodies a complex of values and skills. This choice can be defined as a natural evolution and transfers the vision, culture, and tradition that is the basis of the success of our brand in the world of sailing to the motor one.

What prompted you to design a motorboat?
We had been considering the hypothesis of entering this market for years. But we resisted the temptation until we were sure we were proposing something totally innovative. It all started with the idea of conceiving a support boat to complete the Nautor’s sailing offer. Later, the more the project went on, the more we realized that this boat could have intercepted the interest not only of an audience made up of Swan sailboat owners but of a much wider clientele looking for something unique.

What are the main characteristics of this project and how do they distinguish it from the rest of the market?

Primarily, the approach. Culture, elegance, innovation. We wanted to use what has always been the hallmarks of the Swan sailing range. The result is a boat that combines a stylistic and aesthetic language of refined elegance with many functional aspects.

Can you give us some examples?
The profile is well proportioned and balanced with the vertical bow and stern section that accentuate its elegance. Furthermore, the deck walk-around layout, spread on one level and without steps, ensures good practicality in terms of life on board. We have also found a way to refine the transom, hiding from view the bulky presence of the outboards inserted inside a platform which, depending on needs, can be raised or lowered in order to facilitate access to the water or the quay. And these are just a few examples.

How has the issue of functionality been thoroughly investigated in order to meet the demands of such a large audience of boaters?
The trump card of this project lies precisely in having conceived a boat whose use can be declined in various ways. Starting, for example, with the possibility of having a Long Top which, thanks to the presence of telescopic poles combined with mobile glass panels, creates a large space protected and sheltered from external elements such as to make it the ideal chase boat for larger yachts. On the other hand, the need to house diving, windsurfing, sport fishing, and kite surfing equipment is met thanks to a larger stern space. All this is the result of a great design and creative effort whose purpose is to offer a new type of life experience on board.

What kind of welcome do you think a boat conceived and built by a shipyard boasting a long tradition in sailing but at its first experience in the motor segment can have?
The values in terms of seriousness, quality, and competence on which the brand has built its reputation in sailing are the same that we have borrowed from the motor segment. Moreover, the new Nautor motorized range introduces contents that derive from the great wealth of knowledge gained in the sailing sector. If we look at the stern profile of this model, the thickness of the sides, the assortment in terms of the range of colors, we see a strong connection with the world of the Club Swan 50 (one-design sailing hulls ed).

Why does not the new model have the so highly popular foldable bulwarks?
In this first phase, we preferred to keep faith with the concept and philosophy of a shadow/chase boat, intended precisely as a support boat. We do not exclude this solution in the future.

In the sailing field, the shipyard has always made use of some of the most prestigious names in yacht design. This project brings the signature of Jarkko Jämsén. A world premiere for him with Nautor’s Swan. What are the reasons behind this choice?

It all happened randomly. We recently got to know each other and start a shared journey. Planning and design have always fascinated me a lot. During the lockdown period, I had the opportunity to explore all aspects related to the project with Jarkko in a completely new way. Among the strengths of the studio was the possibility of using cutting-edge technology thanks to which I could grasp, almost in real-time, every change, every modification required while working remotely and remotely. But it’s not just a matter of tools. Jarkko, in addition to having shown great professionalism, paid particular attention to receiving my requests and, at times, even my provocations.

How important is your influence in this project?
As previously mentioned, the idea of entering the motor market had been brewing for some time. In many years I have had the opportunity to experiment with many solutions but I had never found, even as a user of sailing boats, anything that fully meets my needs. I didn’t want to get caught up in the frenzy. Only when I was sure to submit. something really new I decided to embark on this new venture.

Matteo Zaccagnino




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