Being in business for a decade is cause for celebration. Being in business 160 years after your doors first open is extraordinary. Baglietto is marking this milestone with a book, titled Baglietto: 160 Years of Italian Boatbuilding.
Baglietto: 160 Years of Italian Boatbuilding includes abundant images and takes the reader from the early days of the Italian yard to the present. It was established in 1854 by Pietro Baglietto in, of all places, a vegetable garden a few hundred feet from the water in Varazze, Italy. He built dinghies at first, gradually turning his eye toward yachts. Baglietto built its first racing yacht in the 1880s, for example. When motorboats became the fashion in the early 1900s, Baglietto added them to the mix. Young Pietro made history in 1906 by launching Giuseppina, then the largest cruising yacht built with a combustion engine on Italian soil. Her LOA: 74 feet (22.6 meters).
Hydrofoils, naval ships, yachts for international royalty, musicians, and entrepreneurs… these and more are detailed in Baglietto: 160 Years of Italian Boatbuilding. It wasn’t always smooth sailing, of course. Two world wars and the recent global recession all had an impact on Baglietto. The yard even filed for bankruptcy in March 2010, in the midst of the recession. It emerged from bankruptcy in February 2012 thanks to the Gavio Group, the current owner, and has seen both new contracts get signed as well as an investment in its facilities, the latter including an expansion.
In fact, Gavio Group commissioned Baglietto: 160 Years of Italian Boatbuilding. At a presentation of the book to yard VIPs earlier this month, Beniamino Gavio, head of the yard, explains why in the book’s introduction:
Baglietto is a name of the yachting world that has always fulfilled powerful emotions, it is a heritage that belongs to everyone. At the root there is the love and the passion for sea; I myself have always been a ship owner. This passion led me to achieve this important brand that was on the brink to disappear. … To ensure the survival of this heritage, today we are building modern yachts based on a new design that revisit and refresh the concepts of the past that are inextricably tied to our traditions and memories of the past 160 years.
Three journalists are the authors of Baglietto: 160 Years of Italian Boatbuilding. They are Roberto Franzoni, a contributor to a number of magazines in Europe and a consultant to two Italy-based show organizers; Dominique Gabirault, a book author and magazine contributor; and Justin Ratcliffe, another contributor to a number of magazines around the world and the editor of The Superyacht Owner.