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Old 02-19-2019, 10:16 AM  
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City: Fort Lauderdale
Country: USA
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 16,338
Originally Posted by markajh View Post
I'm looking at the Absolute Navetta. They have a very cutting edge, new, high-tech factory. Their boats, all 19 of them, from yachts to trawlers have solid fiberglass hulls.

Additionally, they hand glass in a computer-designed stringer system, then the bulkheads as well.
That reads like their marketing materials. There is nothing any more cutting edge about their factory that the dozens of others near them. Everyone is using computer designed systems and what many would label as traditional with hand glass and solid fiberglass is one of the least high tech approaches. On the other hand, it's a good, solid approach to boat building. It's a very good approach for those who aren't cutting edge.

Infusion and carbon fiber and Kevlar and "space age foams" and all the other things you see tossed around, especially in high performance boats, is more cutting edge in some ways but also more dependent on perfect execution and, if not done right, a more risky and perilous route to take. There are builders who have been doing many of these things well for decades, but their investment and commitment to technology is extensive. For those not in that position, and those not dependent on maximizing speed or performance, using what you call "old school" or what I label "traditional" methods makes sense.

They're a very interesting builder with a modern facility, interestingly enough located nearly 100 miles from the coast which is blanketed with Italian builders. However, Italy has builders throughout. Riva, for instance, is located on Lake Iseo in Sarnico and is far from the coast and their boats are very traditional in build methods. Meanwhile they also build in La Spezia in a huge Ferretti yard located on the coast now.

As it happens, we're going to Italy for a brief stay of 9 days in a couple of weeks and while most of the trip is going to be seeing Rome, Florence, Milan and Venice, we do have a day devoted to Viareggio, the epicenter of Italian boat building. While our primary emphasis is AB, we may also visit Sanlorenzo while there. In addition to Maiora/AB/CB Navi and Sanlorenzo, there are many other yards in the same port including Cantiere Navale Francesco Del Carlo, Azimut Benetti, Perini Navi, Mangusta, Rossinavi, VSY, Gianetti, Rossi Navi, Fipa, Codecasa, and

It was interesting that the Turkey press referred to the Absolute yard as "German disciplined." I interpreted that as being meant as a very fine compliment to the yard. Photos I've seen have certainly supported that. I compare to some yards I've seen elsewhere that look completely void of any discipline and organization. I applaud smaller independent builders such as Absolute, especially in Italy where everyone is owned by someone else it seems and a few huge builders predominate.
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