Ferretti Group’s CEO Knows What His Yacht-Obsessed Customers Want—Because He Was One

Takes one to know one.

The morning after the world debut of the Riva Argo 90 in Miami, we sat with parent-company Ferretti Group CEO Alberto Galassi on board the new yacht to discuss changing things up and presenting a yacht in Miami, boating in general and how people around the world use their Rivas.

So why the decision to do the premiere in Miami?

Firstly, America is a very important market for us. Secondly, because it’s a good idea to present our boats in the best places in the world, and differently so. One is presented in the Mediterranean, which is the 110 Dolce Vita in Monte-Carlo. One, the Corsaro in Hong Kong, and the 90-foot sister Argo. We decided Miami was the right location. For us, this is the most important part of our American market.

So the move was to be global, and we are global, Riva is a global brand with 170 years of history. It’s the only brand, I think, where you don’t have to say that you have a boat. You actually say that you have a Riva. Everybody understands what you own. So, I think the US deserves a world premiere of this class.

So how do most of your clients use their boats?

Listen, we can write a book on this. The Italians like to cruise together. It’s a villa on the sea. And they cruise with family and friends. They would stay out three months if possible. The Greeks, even more. The French, even more. Spanish and the Baleares, party boat.

China or Hong Kong, they don’t sleep on board, hardly swim and don’t like to tan, so it’s a place for fun entertainment, karaoke parties and business meetings.

In America, the East Coast, it’s the Bahamas, full speed and back, for day use. Or cruise in the Caribbean, it all depends on the size of the vessel.

On the West Coast, it’s Newport Beach to Catalina. That’s a barbecue in Catalina and back.

And the Middle East, they pack the boat for parties and cruising. Everything is indoors and air-conditioned because they like being on the sea, but not the sun, not the heat.

Ferretti Group CEO Alberto Galassi

What about Northern Europe?

Trust me, we sold Rivas in Finland—roundabouts. We sold Rivas in Denmark, and in Oslo. My Riva Rivamare 48 was sold to a gentleman in St. Petersburg [Russia]. I’m still asking myself why he bought a runabout.

Famous folks?

Rock stars never go out, they just stay in, because they don’t like to tan. Or movie stars, they always suntan and like to be seen.

Football legends, we have a very famous football [soccer] player, Zlatan Ibrahimovic. He plays on the Los Angeles Galaxy. He has a Riva 100. He likes to swim, spend the whole day with the family, with no paparazzi and a lot of privacy, which is something else that the boat gives you. Privacy. No matter what, the most expensive resort cannot grant you privacy. The boat, yes, because there’s nobody around.

But I can write a book: 100 customers, 100 different ways of using a Riva.

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