Interview with GCC Yacht designer Salvatore Sorrentino

From Milan to Dubai, here’s  everything you need to know about our face of the month: Salvatore Sorrentino is one of the leading Italian yacht designer on the international scene, since 2005.

His training started at the Federico II of Naples and in 1998 he became one of the youngest engineer in Italy.  Mostly of his naval experience come from large ships by participating in numerous research and sea trials projects at CETENA in Genoa at the age of 23.

He, therefore, followed various consultations for Fincantieri, the University of Naples and signed numerous scientific publications in the hydrodynamic and structural field for then moving to the Ferretti Group where he was responsible for numerous projects related to brands such as Riva, Pershing, Bertram, Customline, Ferretti among others.

His international career as a freelance designer begins from there. After spending many years with Ferretti Group, he decided to take his career into the next level in 2003 and team up with Ali Al Qama (former Victory Team offshore world champion) to design Qama,s dream boat. On the strength of his experience gain from the Brightwell Corporation in Turkey , Salvador was named by the local authority to present projects for the construction of water taxi and water bus lines in Dubai.

Palm Marine 60

Salvatore Sorrentino has broken many records, among them he designed the biggest number of rib projects from 6 to 24m with speeds of up to 60 knots. He’s currently working for AL Shaali Group and other collaborations with private and military fields.

Back in 2009 Joker Boat was the biggest European Rib manufacturer
AS Eagle 45

Q: After working in Europe and the Middle East, can you tell us what are the differences between these two continents when it comes to boat production?

R: I believe that the Gulf has completely different needs and habits from Europe. There are some fundamental points that in a boat built for the Gulf are indispensable and that in Europe instead can be marginal, such as the size of the cockpit, the ergonomics of the salons, the visibility of the sea, the combined use of the yacht for pleasure boating and fishing and the speed.

Q: The boats produced in UAE and in the Gulf in general are usually much cheaper than Western competitors: what is your opinion about?

R: My opinion has always been that the GCC Yards have a great but yet untapped opportunity : with the right indications, they could increase their sales and obtain the right positioning also at an international level. Italian design combined with the love of the sea typical of the people of the Gulf and the right guide in construction can be a formidable cocktail for obtaining innovative products with the best value for money on the market.

AS 40 launched at Abu Dhabi boat show 2019

Q: Do you think there is room for improvement for local boat builders? If yes, what would you advise him to look at?

R: The room for improvement is enormous if the vision expands. I would advise local builders to look further. Many times I have noticed the construction of new models that are suitable for the local market and poorly engineered. I believe that an excellent advice is to engineer the new models making them ready with the right precautions on the international market .

Q: Which GCC experience marked you the most in your life / career?

R: The experiences are different, all important to me on a human and professional level. In the Gulf I have matured that the every work relation first becomes a relationship between people and friendship: going to the shipyard with the offshore world champion who asks you for advice on how to modify his boat to make it go faster, receive compliments for the boat delivered to the Prime Minister of Kuwait, the numerous messages of thanks and friendship with royal family members, are experiences that are priceless. The Gulf and UAE in particular has given me many beautiful experiences from 2003 to today and I consider it my second home.

AS Magellan 45

Q: What would be your biggest advice to Shipyards that wants to improve their businesses?

I would say that too many times I have seen shipyards lose money for projects or wrong choices, too many molds used for a couple of units. The right design and the right vision of the product must be well discussed between the management and the designer in order to calibrate the resources and the investment. I understand that some builders view design as a cost because they have had bad experiences and have relied badly. This often happens because most of the designers are pure designers who do not have a real marine background and are not familiar with the product and the market to which it is addressed. Our team carries out the design with an engineering approach and knows the product very well. 22 years of experience at the highest levels have always led our customers to make excellent profits from products that have remained in production until they have to remake the same molds for wear after hundreds of boats sold.

To have more info about Salvatore you can visit his website

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