Piero Cesana has more than fifty years of experience. The business has reallytaken off again over the last couple of years with three new brands: Sealine, Princess and Fjord
by Niccolò Volpati – photo by Andrea Muscatello
«IF WE START FROM THE BEGINNING, I’LL STILL BE HERE THIS EVENING», Piero Cesana tells us. He has more than 50 years of experience in the boating field and he’s been importing and selling boats for forty-three years and has seen a lot of water pass under the bridge. Ok, I tell him, let’s concentrate on the last year.
«The signs are more than positive and they’re not just sensations, but actual figures. After more than forty years with British boats, we now offer German boats too».In fact, Blu Service, which is part of the Cesana family in Sanremo, is the exclusive Italian importer for Sealine, and more. It also distributes Fjord, albeit not on an exclusive basis, and is the sole importer of Princess Yachts through the company Marine Group, which is also based in Portosole.
«It’s important to have a comprehensive selection», he says, «because you have to be able to offer a vast range of boats to your clients. Now thatwe have these brands, our range goes from the smallest boat measuring nine metres all the way up to forty metres». A couple of years on from starting this new venture, the time has come to assess the situation.
«I’m happy because I can see lots of enthusiasm all around. Some want to start again, perhaps with a smaller boat that is easier to run; others want to change their boat after many years of travelling around very little or not at all. The boat shows we attended last year, in Genoa and Cannes, produced to some important contacts that then led to new owners buying from us. We hope the same thing will happen in September this year».
In Genoa too, he tells me, he saw a lot of interested people and only a few who were simply curious. Piero Cesana doesn’t give the impression of being one of those sellers who has to be optimistic for the sake of it. He really knows his business. «Italy’s coastline is over 8,000 kilometres long, so you’re bound to encounter the sea sooner or later». This simple statement tells us that there will always be enthusiasts. You have to adapt to the times and new owners.
«What really makes me hopeful is that we’re witnessing a generational turnover. We don’t just have ‘old’ owners, but young ones too. Some are the children of those who have always had a boat, while others are people who are approaching the world of yachting for the first time».
He has been impressed by the corporate organisation and production quality of the brands he deals with. «Although they’re really big companies, they still listen to you».And they have to do so. Dealers are the ones in contact with owners, the ones who really know the situation on the ground. Dealers like Piero Cesana understand their clients’ needs and their experience is invaluable to yards.
Advice from dealers helps them not to produce the wrong thing, instead building boats that owners want to buy. «Little has changed over forty years. The level of enthusiasm is still the same. The approach is what’s different. Today, particularly thanks to the internet, clients are much better informed and more competent».It’s not true that the sea is full of unprepared people, quite the opposite in fact according to the Cesana family’s experience.
It’s essential to offer all owners a quality service. This is why Blu Service has focused heavily on after-sales assistance and service. It works on the basis that «prevention is better than a cure». At the end of the season, they check the boat over and tell the owners about any maintenance that needs doing. Piero Cesana knows exactly whom to contact for a professional job and his clients trust him and his family.
However, in the case of unexpected issues, Blu Service can also count on a team of people able to step in on the day to repair faults, even covering Sardinia. Piero Cesana relies on his entire family to help him continue working in this sector. His wife Marina, his daughters Barbara and Carolina and his two sons-in-law Carlo Piatti and Giuseppe Arturi all work with him in the offices in Sanremo.
(Piero Cesana, my first fifty years – Barchemagazine.com – August 2019)