Matteo Cervasi, a young entrepreneur from Marche, tells us about how he came to the nautical industry in 2004 from the world of refitting, where craftsmanship is key and the respect and love for outstanding Made in Italy quality are the indispensable pieces of a perfect puzzle
by Francesca Portoghese – photo by Andrea Muscatello
AN HEIR OF HIMSELF, MATTEO CERVASI AND HIS CMM YACHT SERVICE can guarantee clients the right know-how and experience that distinguishes those who have made their passion into their profession. He started at a very young age at Pershing, where he dedicated himself to on-board refitting operations thus building up a castle of experience that earned him the trust of the Ferretti Group which decided to entrust him with refits for all brands in the future, acknowledging his company as an exclusive Master Service Point.
Matteo, how important is refitting in the nautical industry?
The choice of refitting translates into the owner’s will to recover a good with an intrinsic value that resides in its exclusive design made by specialised architects. A boat is a bit like a house: it has its layout and structures and an important purchasing value that necessarily impacts the decision about a refitting operation. Refitting revolves around 30% of the overall value of the good. Consequently, already from the second year, the expense is entirely amortized concerning the purchase of a new good that has just been launched on the market. And refit certainly also includes a romantic aspect that is part of our emotional sphere: often boats are baptised with the name of a family member, families grow up together on the boat, and the boat safeguards their holiday memories.
CMM Yacht Service has 27 employees. In the case of on-site interventions, outside the premises in Mondolfo, the team can reach more than 50 employees.
What are your strengths?
One of our strengths is no doubt the guarantee we give our clients since they can count on our skilled workers ranging from the mechanic to the coachbuilder, from the electrician to the painter. Having one single interlocutor is a fundamental service: the client immediately feels protected in the solution to the problem, in all its aspects.
Matteo Cervasi, class of 1979, is a lover of vintage objects. In reality, this is not a passion, as he says, but an actual attraction that is triggered by a sudden glance. There’s no need for him to know the object’s story or for it to be of value: if the object inspires him, it’s the right one.
How is your company evolving today?
The company never stopped growing, even during periods of crisis. We have been present in the Côte d’Azur for twelve years, which is one of the most prestigious and important markets of the Mediterranean. We are based in Antibes, which allows us to manage all refitting operations directly on-site, from Menton to Marseille. We can operate all over the world and move our teams anywhere as they are equipped with our technical devices for specific operations that require an extreme level of expertise and the use of materials that are always top of the range. We worked in Indonesia for six months to paint a boat, but before we could proceed, we had to build a paint booth to avoid that the constant temperature of 44 °C and high level of humidity, always around 90%, ruin the work. We lowered the temperature to 20 °C and took humidity down to 30% to comply with the specifications of the paint we were using. Then we created an air conditioning and de-humidification system and provided a complex fume extraction system and were finally able to reach our result effectively. As always, all the materials, which are stocked in large quantities in our warehouses, were shipped by air before the operation and even before our team left to proceed with the work. In Qatar, on the other hand, we operated on a 37-meter boat for as much as two years. Our refit not only guarantees the client lower prices compared to the purchase of a new boat but also gives him a boat that is completely new in all its technical characteristics with the possibility of customizing it to meet the owner’s tastes. This is an important detail for a buyer, which is more difficult to find in new boats in stock or for immediate delivery. So I would say that even the creative part is one of the strengths of our work, as it derives from a collaboration between our office of Project Managers and the architectural firm ITA31, which has always guaranteed great success.
How has the scenario of a pandemic changed your needs and those of the industry?
The pandemic has created problems in terms of time management in our work. In the past, twenty people would board the ship at the same time, while during the lockdown only two people could be present at once. Also, the supply of devices became very complicated, both in terms of time and cost. However, the dedication to work shown by the entire team, which I consider as an actual family, allowed us to finish all the works we had scheduled and respect the deadlines. With cohesion, passion, and team spirit, which are the drivers of our work, we had already faced and overcome the crisis that had struck the nautical industry some years ago.
For more than 17 years it has been the Master Service Point for all models of the Ferretti Group, Ferretti Yachts, Pershing, Itama, Riva, Mochi Craft, Custom Line.
How much does the Made in Italy element influence your work? The Made in Italy aspect is all in our mentality and even if the majority of our craftsmen are not Italian, we have succeeded in passing on know-how and mastery to them that have an entirely Italian taste. Today, each one of them has embraced CMM Yacht Service’s cause and recognises its value. We have invested a lot in training, which has always gone hand in hand with the decision to prioritise Made in Italy excellence even in the choice of raw materials and operation techniques. By way of example: when a paint job is needed, we never suggest the client choose a Wrap. A good paint job, executed knowingly by those who have worked in this industry for years, is the only possibility not only to recover a piece of the boat but also to give it the value it deserves. To ensure the best possible result, we almost always use ceramic paints, a very hard material that gives the job a longer life.
CMM Yacht Service signed a collaboration agreement with the Italian Yacht Store, dealer of y Ferretti Yachts, Pershing, and Itama brands, thus becoming the official agent for the region of Marche.
Is this constant striving for excellence the reason why an owner should choose CMM Yacht Service?
An owner should choose CMM to protect the value of his good, as he will be certain to find competent people at his service who know how to work in line with the quality and excellence of his boat. Our skills have proven themselves in the nautical industry to the point that word about us even spread overseas and convinced an owner from Boston to trust us with the refitting of his boat. This will be a radical intervention which we will perform on our premises and which will involve the installations, engines, propulsion, and internal and external layout. The final product will be a new and entirely personalised vessel, which will require about one year of work.
With locations in Italy and Côte d’Azur, CMM operates on the entire Italian and French territory. Furthermore, thanks to its organisational and logistic capacity, it can operate anywhere in the world.
What are your projects for the company’s future development?
The core business of my company is assistance, performed on-site, with workshop-vans and highly skilled personnel. Then there is refitting, which is the part I am mainly involved in and which I like most because it allows me to express myself fully. I study to connect with the owner, I learn to get to know his desires and those needs that even he often doesn’t know he has. It is not an easy task, but it is the most important thing that allows me to do my job as a consultant well to help make the client’s life on board as pleasant and easy as possible. However, for about two years now, in addition to our core business, we have also been doing intermediation and have become sub-agents of the Italian dealer, Italian Yacht Store. I am supported by a large administrative team, which assists me very solidly in every project. The next step will be to create sites close to the sea and expand our activity by opening new shipyards to guarantee our presence on a wider range. We are thinking about Liguria and other locations around Europe.
Matteo Cervasi, who defines himself as his first client, told us about a line of work made of meticulous precision, know-how, and passion: an essential triad for anyone who needs to guarantee excellence.
(CMM Yacht Service, Precision and Know-how – Barchemagazine.com – September 2021)