Maurizio Fabiani has a very precise idea of what yachting should be. The cornerstones of his philosophy as a yacht builder are: respect for the environment, cutting-edge technology, and usability even for people with disabilities
by Carla Pagani
WHEN THE SUN COMES DOWN ON THE WATER-FILLED CANALS OF LIVORNO AND THE BUILDINGS LIGHT UP IN THE WARM HUES OF THE EVENING, it feels like you are in the city of the most famous lagoon in the world. It is no surprise that the area that encloses the intricate waterways that branch out among the historic buildings goes by the name of “New Venice”.
This is where Maurizio Fabiani, now at the helm of Fabiani Yacht, raced through the waters with his little three-meter boat when he was a child. The open sea, on the other hand, introduced him to another great passion of his, underwater fishing, in summer and winter, by day and by night, at a time when wet suits did not protect against the cold like they do today. Maurizio Fabiani is a natural-born entrepreneur carrying out an ambitious, revolutionary project: hybrid yachts that can be entirely powered by solar energy and easily accessed by people with disabilities. An unprecedented project on the nautical scene.
The story begins a long time ago. «Sometimes fate plays strange tricks on us. I was born on a shipyard. My father was in charge of the logistics of a large nautical company in Livorno», says engineer Fabiani. «As a child, I played with the workers. I still remember when they once dismantled a big engine and made me climb astride the piston lifting me up and down like on a swing».
Fabiani’s memories are not just fragments of the past that reflect on his entrepreneurial present. They are the living material that feeds a multifaceted personality made of great sensitivity and humanity, but also visionary ideas and courage. «I approached boating after many experiences in large multinational companies in the petrochemical and pharmaceutical sector», and not only. «Then came the engineering company that I built from scratch and sold to a Swiss giant after expanding it to a hundred employees, which is currently growing strongly even abroad».
I pannelli solari a scomparsa sfruttano l’energia ottenuta dal sole consentendo un’importante economia di esercizio. Ci sono varie possibilità di adozione di soluzioni innovative per la propulsione e l’uso di energie alternative, ecologiche e rinnovabili.
«Our yachts can sail with totally electric propulsion for many hours and can even access protected marine areasin absolute silence, and without any fuel costs». Maurizio Fabiani
And then came the turning point. The desire to do something new that had never been done. «We know that it is difficult to stay on the market and compete with the giants of the nautical industry, but we put everything into proposing a product that no one else can offer today. We are ready to launch one of our projects designed for those who want to navigate while respecting the environment». And for those who want to allow people with disabilities to go on board with the greatest possible comfort. Fabiani also drew inspiration from his own family experience. «A person who is very dear to me is currently in a wheelchair. So, this situation, which has always been a source of concern and pain to me, gave rise to an idea that I hope will offer a solution for many others». How to get the best out of what seemed to be a pure limitation. This is also how inventions are born: from individual sensitivity and from the ability to listen to others. Getting on and off a boat has never been easier for wheelchair users. «The mobile platform that goes down below sea level and then goes up to the fly is an absolute novelty», explains Fabiani. As is the large retractable photovoltaic sail or solar panels that open sideways.
The innovative mobile platform patented by Fabiani allows you to load and unload materials and supplies, lift tenders and jet skis from below sea level to the flybridge, and approach the dock with ample maneuvering space.
The much-acclaimed engineer Mario Grasso made a fundamental contribution to the development of Fabiani Yacht’s projects.
When you look at it from this perspective, engineer Fabiani’s yachts seem to be designed for the storyboard of a science fiction film. And yet, they are absolutely real. It all began in 2013 when Fabiani decided to take over the nautical company Intermare and change its company name. What followed were years of study. Then came the projects and the company’s participation in the most important boat shows: from Düsseldorf to Genoa, from Dubai to Cannes. «We started with the design of a 70-foot yacht, first in a classic and then in a hybrid version. Then we moved on to 77 feet. And finally, we moved on to the 100, always in two versions. Lately, we have been working on an even more ambitious project, a classic and hybrid 101, where we have adopted a different retractable solar panel system».
Despite his courage and desire to look ahead, Fabiani is a person with both his feet planted solidly on the ground. He knows that talking about hybrid boats is not easy. «Naturally, our yachts, when powered exclusively by solar energy, cannot go too fast», he says without any reserve. Fabiani believes in an attentive customer, who is more concerned with the environment than with getting amazing performances from his yacht. A way of experiencing the sea which is certainly in line with our time and which requires more courage and determination than ever to throw oneself head over heels into the ruthless countdown to save the planet. «Of course, the diesel engines are always ready to kick in. But when they’re off, our yachts only move with clean energy». Zero CO2 emissions. «This is not the case with most hybrid yachts currently in circulation, where the electricity reserve is still produced by traditional diesel engines», as the engineer explains.
Fabiani Yacht has won the 2019 edition of the “Le Fonti Awards” in the category Innovation and Leadership in Luxury Boating.
In short, these are boats made for those who want to sail in full respect of the environment and have a comfortable space for disabled people, but also for strollers, or simply for owners who want to take advantage of an avant-garde loading and unloading system from the dock to the boat and back. «I know this is a fight against giants. I know it’s not easy, but we want to do everything we can to get our project going», says Fabiani enthusiastically. Yes: an innovator and a visionary. But with his feet firmly on the ground, and his heart fully at sea.
(Maurizio Fabiani, ahead of the game – Barchemagazine.com – April 2021)