INTERVIEW Cossutti Yacht Design, behind the scenes of the design studio “on the crest of a wave”


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cossutti yacht design
Maurizio Cossutti, 63, founder of Cossutti Yacht Design with Alessandro Ganz, 36, the other soul of the firm as well as a partner since 2013 in what has become “Cossutti Yacht Design – Cossutti & Ganz Partners.”

With Maurizio Cossutti and Alessandro Ganz, we discover the secrets of what that is the design studio on the crest of a wave in Italy and abroad

Cossutti Yacht Design, the New Era

Il Cossutti Yacht Design is one of the Italian design studios on the crest of a wave. Bavaria, Italia Yachts, work on Nautor Swan, new powerboat projects-the reality of the Udine studio has changed and grown dramatically in recent years. At one time, it was regarded as the ro design studio of racing boats and of the “wizard” of optimizations, Maurizio Cossutti, assigning it a perhaps somewhat “niche” dimension.

This is no longer the case today. Cossutti Yacht Design is no longer a “one man band” but a true team, with several internal and external collaborators, with Alessandro Ganz, a talented young engineer, joining the “maestro” Cossutti at the helm of the firm.

And Cossutti Yacht Design has plenty of projects on the fire, not least because of the expansion that has taken place through collaborations with large-scale shipyards, which has been a real shift in gear. The firm currently offers a very wide range of services, with yacht design being the key part, to which are added applications related to the design of hulls, water lines, as well as engineering.

Alessandro Ganz (left) and Maurizio Cossutti with the firm’s team.

Thus posing itself as a perfect interlocutor even for large construction sites, which work as if they were real industries, to which it offers an all-round service. A development that has not led to reneging on the firm’s DNA, which remains focused on the pursuit of good design, lightness, and performance aimed at creating boats that sail well, whether racing or cruising.

How did Maurizio Cossutti and Alessandro Ganz meet each other?

Cossutti: This was quite random. The first time we met was at his family’s Grand Soleil 40 tonnage in the early 2000s; senior engineer Ganz was there, accompanied by Alessandro, then a boy, who helped us out.

Ganz: My idea was to go to study yacht design in Southampton. Due to bureaucratic issues, I enrolled in Naval Engineering in Trieste where I graduated and then completed the course of study in the UK with a Master’s degree. It was the year 2009, and back home I started sending resumes, without receiving many responses.

In the meantime, I also thought of attending a Master’s program at the Milan Polytechnic University that offered a work period in the company. Just at that time I went to visit Maurizio in the office-I wanted to learn the trade and practice. Those were the years of the boating crisis and it was not easy to find space. After some time I got the call from the Polytechnic: I had entered the Master’s program, and the same day, a couple of hours later, I got the call from Maurizio offering to go to him and help him! At that point I had to choose. I thanked the Polytechnic and decided that this was my path.

Cossutti: With Alexander we “clicked” well right away. What has been built from then on we have done together, it has always been an equal relationship. If we want to believe in destiny… well it was meant to be! We started a business that today is no longer a small studio, led by a single designer, but an engineering and design firm.

The Bavaria C38 is the latest of the hulls designed by Studio Cossutti for the German giant.

What does Mauritius and Alexander do within the study?

Cossutti: Teamwork in the studio is an established reality. If we want to single out specializations, sometimes I take care more of the naval architecture part and Alessandro instead is mainly in charge of the exterior design of the boats; in addition, the 3D development part with the modern software we have available is coordinated by Alessandro and the other young engineers in the Studio.

Ganz: Maurizio takes special care of the fairings, although I’ve done some myself. Then it depends a lot on the workload of the firm, how many orders we have up. We often have several projects at once, at different stages of development, and this forces us to divide and coordinate work. In any case, Mauritius and I are quite complementary.

Is Studio Cossutti more Italian or international today?

Cossutti: Looking at labor rates we are about 60-40 in favor of foreign for several years now. The first was Salona, for whom we first developed special versions of their boats, then the new 380. Soon after, the collaboration with More Yachts began, with the 55-footer, the 40, and the new 50 that is on the way. Then came Bavaria Yachts, with the development of the 5 models in the new “C” line and other collaborations such as the Ridas shipyard in Estonia or the work overseen for Nautor Swan in Finland. In Italy today, the main customer is Italia Yachts with whom we started off strongly from 14.98 onward.

The CYD-designed Bavaria C42 won the 2021 European Yacht of the Year award in the Family Cruisers category.

How has the practice changed by starting to collaborate with large-scale construction sites?

Cossutti: When I went to Germany from Bavaria, for the contact taking. with their reality, it was a shock. For the first time we were entrusted with a large series project, a cruising boat where we could transfer our DNA related to Italian style design and performance. This assignment marked a fundamental change in the vision of our work, allowing us to interface with large realities and different process methodologies than our own. We realized that we had to do an integrated work, considering all aspects of the boat. It was the quantum leap we needed, which led us to significantly develop design-ship architecture integration with more engineering parts.

Somehow we were forced to complete the romantic vision of the naval architect who wakes up at night with an idea in his head and “throws down” a pencil sketch, pandering to the need to be interfaced and collaborate with all internal departments, from project managers, to sales, to marketing, to production. This approach has now become practice. Starting with a new design, we work from the beginning on weights, structures and internal layout, investing time to work on the integrated design in its various parts right away.

Ganz: We have increased our professionalism. Comparing ourselves with industrial production, we needed a methodology that would lead us to be credible and reliable. Forceful play was an adaptation and an investment, an effort to position oneself and move forward in that direction. But, for example, let’s not forget the optimization work we do for several private clients, an activity that is still important to us. Working for shipyards like Bavaria, Nautor Swan, Italia Yachts, presupposes a working methodology, a professionalism, that is different and more specific. This means having internally a division of roles optimized to timely management of orders. Coordination takes place through careful project management work, which allows for optimization of the work of the internal team, currently consisting of 7 people, as well as external collaborators. In fact, we have developed a network of high-level professionals who collaborate with us, including Andrea Canciani, one of Luna Rossa’s structural engineers.

The schizzp of the Italia Yachts 14.98
The Italia Yachts 14.98 under sail

Someone “provoking” you would say that you have softened a bit and now like cruising boats….

Cossutti: It is part of our DNA to design marine and good performance boats, and that will never change. This approach is transferred to all of our projects, whether more or less sporty or more cruise-like. As an example, the new IY 12.98 will be a boat that in the “Out-of-Series” version wants to compete at the highest level. But the same boat, in the “Bellissima” version will be characterized by the use in fast cruising and at maximum sailing comfort. At the same time, one of the qualities that made the Bavaria C42 stand out from its competitors during sailing tests was precisely its brilliant sailing qualities, which went on to win it several awards in addition to European Yacht of the Year earlier this year. So over time we have expanded our vision, seeking high quality standards for both cruising and racing boats.

Ganz: We are lovers of boats and good design. Whether racing, cruising, or motoring, designing and drawing is the sum total of what we have built over the years.

The new More 50, one of the newest performance cruisers designed by Studio Cossutti.

Inside Studio Cossutti, however, there are no longer just drawings and water lines being made…

Cossutti: As mentioned, over the years we have gradually expanded the range of services we offer and developed in-house know-how. Currently we can control the entire project phase, starting from the exterior design to the end of the project. This enlarged vision allows us a multidisciplinary design, in which the various parts merge and reinforce each other. For example, defining the structures of our boats connects to the design of the layout of the rigging, which to be efficient must be supported by the structural part, elegantly and in turn integrated into the design. This approach was also appreciated by Nautor, which entrusted us with the engineering of the Swan 48, 58 and 55.

Ganz: We do (almost) everything in the studio. To give an example, in working on a deck we start from the design, then take care of the arrangement of rigging, deck equipment, reinforcements, openings, but at the same time keeping in mind the problems of construction and decomposition of the mold. Sometimes some parts of the design are little seen when the boat is finished, but they are essential to make the boat work well and ultimately look good as well. However, the creative phase related to exterior design is one of the parts of the work we have developed the most in recent years, and it is also the most recognizable, signature expression of the Studio.

The NM38S, a 2011 project, was the first boat designed together by Maurizio Cossutti
and Alessandro Ganz. 38 has won numerous Italian and world titles.

And for some time now you have also opened up to motor boats.

Ganz: Yes, we have collaborated with shipyards and powerboat designers, developing various parts of designs. A new opportunity recently arrived as part of the project developed together with Venice-based Venmar Shipyard and Yamaha Marine. Those who know Venice also know the problem of wave motion raised by small boats in the canals. Therefore, the shipyard wanted to create a hybrid-powered speedboat that would lift little wave. Analyzing typical Venetian boats, we thought of developing displacement or/ semi-displacement hulls that would generate little wave motion. With the project underway, Yamaha stepped in, looking for a boat on which to mount a revolutionary new electric motor.It materialized and “Respiro,” the world’s first boat to mount Yamaha’s new “Harmo” motor, was born, recently unveiled at the Genoa Boat Show.

Cossutti: Here, too, we asked the shipyard for meticulous weight control, lightness being one of the essential points for the efficiency of an electrically powered powerboat. The result was exhilarating. In fact, the boat turned out to be lighter than the design specifications.

The Respiro, from the Venmar shipyard, is the motorboat designed by Cossutti Yacht Design with Yamaha electric motor.

What is your dream project or ideal boat?

anz: While I love fast boats, I must confess that I have always had a soft spot for the Hallberg Rassy philosophy. My “dream boat” must be able to sail safely and anywhere, but with a “little horsepower” in the hull and a good sail plan. So I envision a boat that starts from that concept but actualized in our style, basically a blue water in “Cossutti Style.”

Cossutti: I would like to start racing again. If I had time I would get an old boat IOR, the kind that won “Ton Cups” in the 1980s, and I would refit it for use today. The ideal boat, on the other hand, I see more among the projects we have on the table. The recent experience with the electric speedboat has fascinated me a lot. I remember when we tried it out in Venice: as a sailor, which I think I am, sailing with this boat that doesn’t move waves in complete silence made me think… The ideal boat of the Mauritius sailor could then be, (smiles ed.), a motor boat like this one.

Mauro Giuffrè



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