Please select your home edition
Marina Exchange 728x90 1

Tommaso Spadolini talks about four exciting refitting projects

by Tommaso Spadolini 23 Feb 08:59 PST
Gigagi - a Magnum 70 © Tommaso Spadolini

With four decades of experience behind him, Tommaso Spadolini is best known for his iconic yacht designs for high profile clients such as the King of Spain or fashion designer Roberto Cavalli. But there is another side to his work which is not less challenging or rewarding: designing for refits.

"The refit market has steadily grown in importance and most years we have at least one major refit project, in addition to a lot of smaller jobs," says the designer. "A successful refit obviously requires understanding what the owner wants. But it also involves appreciation of what the original designer was trying to achieve. More than a science, it's an art that demands knowledge, experience and respect for the heritage of yacht design."

Four significant projects by Tommaso Spadolini, all carried out by Cantieri C.A.R.M. in Lavagna, Italy, reveal something of the art of refitting.

Out with the old, in with the new

Gigagi- a Magnum 70 with beautiful lines penned by Pininfarina - was built in the mid-90s and was looking tired when her owners, a young couple with three children who used her as a day boat in the Cote d'Azur, approached Spadolini with a view to refitting her.

Very little was saved from the old boat beyond the hull and Arneson drives, which were both stripped down and refurbished. But the biggest changes took place on the inside:

"The original layout had three smallish cabins and a décor that had not aged well, so I proposed a complete redesign of the interior," says Spadolini. "We enlarged the salon and moved the owner's suite forward to provide space for a bigger bathroom. This meant moving bulkheads and redesigning the portholes in the hull. Close attention was also paid to the lighting with a sophisticated home automation system."

The redesign provided a fresh feeling of volume and light, which was highlighted by the introduction of contrasting materials such as white-painted brushed oak, glossy mahogany macassar and polished nickel details.

Keeping it in the family

Cujo is a 20m classic Baglietto constructed from wood, which her owners keep in Sardinia and has been in the same family for close to 30 years.

"The challenge here was that Cujo is almost a family heirloom," says Spadolini. "The original boat had no sunbeds, awnings and other features that are considered essential on a yacht today, so we had to make quite substantial modifications to her exterior and interior without losing her classic Baglietto charm."

As well as sensitively adding new exterior features, including a carbon fibre swim platform that could carry the tender, Spadolini refreshed the exterior décor to bring it up to date, while retaining some of the original fittings such as the aluminium detailing.

Classic made comfortable

Designed by Franco Anselmi Boretti, one of the grand masters of classic design, Virginian (now Lady Stella) is a 20m sailing yacht was built in Holland. Between 2015-2016 she underwent a refit in two different stages, mechanical and aesthetic, so that her owners wouldn't have to miss a summer season.

"One issue was that the owner's cabin had quite a small bed up against the side of the hull, which was inconvenient for a couple," says Spadolini. "Her young owners wanted something more modern and comfortable, so we moved the bulkheads around and introduced a full double bed that you could walk around."

The yacht was sold at the end of 2016 and her new owner is so pleased with the quality of the refit work that he is planning to make further modifications next winter.

Let there be light

A2 (ex-Madhuri) is a 38m motoryacht built by Eurocraft in 2008. She was a challenging project as her owner wanted to make significant changes to the exterior and interior and gave the refit team just six months to complete the job.

"Although he had chartered a lot, this was the first yacht the client had owned," says Spadolini. "His brief centred on light and space, but the original boat had no hull windows and was built on a very traditional layout."

Windows were opened up in the hull (requiring new certification) and the layout was completely revised with a big open-space lounge on the main deck and three comfortable cabins. A captain's cabin, dedicated laundry and two whisper-quiet Seakeeper stabilisers were also added.

For the interior, Spadolini worked closely with Peter Marino, the famous New York architect, who had previously collaborated with the owners.

"While Peter chose all the materials and fabrics, fixtures and fittings, we made sure his proposals could be integrated into the yacht," says Spadolini. "After taking delivery and spending three weeks on board last August, the owners said it was the best family holiday they had ever had, which is music to a designer's ears!"

Related Articles

The world's most incredible yacht
A ship capable of exploration and entertainment, as being "less a Bentley than a Range Rover" If you are a fighting ship aficionado, you probably also have at least a tangential interest in big yachts. Sometimes the line between the two categories of vessels blurs to the point of near indistinguishability. Posted on 14 Sep
New Prestige X-Line range unveiled
The X70 redefines space, light and luxury The new Prestige X-Line range has been unveiled at the Cannes Yachting Festival. The first boat to be produced in the range will be the X70," says Nick Hatfield, Ancasta Prestige Brand Manager. Posted on 13 Sep
Three new solar electric catamarans at CYF 2019
Silent-Yachts' catamarans are self-sufficient with unlimited range without burning fuel Silent-Yachts, the innovative Austrian company that produces the first and only oceangoing solar-electric production catamarans in the world, has announced the expansion of its range at the Cannes Yachting Festival 2019. Posted on 13 Sep
Sirena 88 world debut at Cannes
The largest yacht ever built by the yard Sirena Yachts launched the first Sirena 88 last June in Turkey. The brand new model, its largest project to date at 26.81 metres in length overall with accommodation for up to 10 guests, now making her international debut in Cannes. Posted on 12 Sep
GT50 Open Europe debut at Cannes Yachting Festival
Embracing the sea with simplicity so owners can enjoy more time on water Following on the heels of successful world debut at the Miami Yacht Show, the GT50 Open has an open main-deck arrangement that deepens the connection with the sea for her owners and guests, and combines it with the well-matched hull and propulsion package Posted on 12 Sep
Princess Yachts' F Class and S Class at Cannes
Elegant design and innovative use of space Princess Yachts, the UK's leading luxury yacht manufacturer, is launching two exciting new yachts at the Cannes Yachting Festival that reinforce the British brand's focus on elegant and beautiful design, and attention to detail across its core F Class Posted on 12 Sep
F50 completes all-new line-up of classic F Class
Brand-new F50 flybridge from Princess Yachts The brand-new F50 flybridge from Princess Yachts completes the rapid and dramatic overhaul of the F Class range that combines classic Princess flybridge qualities of innovative use of space Posted on 12 Sep
Day 25 - West Side of Vancouver Island Flotilla
Bamfield to Effingham Bay (and a whale rescue!) This morning, en route from Bamfield to Effingham Bay, Airship and Dog Star had just entered Imperial Channel near Diana Island, when Dog Star radioed to tell us (on Airship) there were whales off their port side. Posted on 11 Sep
Tiara Sport unveils a new outboard package
The result is an unprecedented inboard experience with high-powered outboard engines. Tiara Sport is the first boatbuilder to bring to market this complete helm-to-prop solution that combines Volvo Penta's Electronic Vessel Control (EVC) and Seven Marine's outboards. Posted on 8 Sep
Hylas Yachts presents M58 with ZYD
M58 blends traditional elements of classic commuter yachts with all the modern cruising amenities. The standard twin Volvo Penta IPS 950 propulsion will produce a cruising speed of 23 knots and top speed of 27 knots, with a range of 800 nautical miles. other engine options are available. Posted on 8 Sep
Marine Resources 2019 - FooterMarina Exchange FOOTER 1Nanni Diesel 2019 Footer