Vismara was founded in 1984 by AlessandroVismara, naval architect graduated in YachtDesign from the Southampton College of HigherEducation, in England, with a post graduationin Applied Aerodynamics and Sailing BoatPerformance Prediction.Vismara has always invested and believed inresearch and technology as tools to express its designphilosophy, aiming to lightness and performances asmuch for cruiser-racers as for luxury-cruisers.Research and technology found application ininterior design, to affirm the concept of aestheticarchitectural ambivalence of materials. As a matterof fact, the great part of Vismara’s projects presentsinteriors and structural decors, as well as exposedmaterials and architectural components.Also in the use of informatics tools and programs,from those for prediction to those for 3D simulation,the Vismara is at the forefront and it collaborateswith the research consortium ICAD of FlorenceUniversity, of which it has been founder member.The scientific approach to planning has alwaysallowed Vismara’s boats to be innovative andprovided with technological solutions never endingin themselves, but rather aimed at security at seaand comfort.Vismara has for instance been amongst the firstboatyard to have in view canting keels and rotatingwing masts on cruiser yachts.

The practical experience is another key elementof Vismara. Outings at sea, races, visits on boardrepresent a non-stop data and observationscollection for the Vismara Team, made up entirelyof passionate yachtsmen. Nonetheless, being a truedesigner-constructor, Vismara sets its work on aconstant and direct relationship with the boat yards,in order to acquire the planning practical senseon-the-job.Vismara believes in team work and collaborateswith the best experts in the field since forever, beingthese planners of international reputation such asBruce Farr, Reichel/Pugh, Judel/Vrolijk, Bill TrippJr, or structural engineers, mast builders, interiordesigners, ERS and, last but not least, boat yardsof the calibre of Baltic Yachts, Marten Yachts,Hodgon, Mas, Marine Services.The abilities to relate to others’ ideas andexperiences then find extended application in thetypology of boats designed, mainly Custom orSemi-Custom, for which it is fundamental to know,to listen and to understand the ship owner’s needs.The Vismara activity ranges from 25ft small raceboats to the technological oceanic 100ft Maxy forrecord or for fast cruising, providing not only theproject but all the realization consulting, up to theconstruction project management.Furthermore, Vismara has internally developed adepartment entirely dedicated to optimization andupdate of appendices, sail plans and deck on racingboats and cruiser-racers from 30ft to 100ft.


Sailing and building

 The very first element on which I have alwaysthought our work should be based on is the sea,not for the dreams it creates, but simply for thewater it moves.It may be strange to think about the sea limitingit to water, to the wave and its motion.To think about a boat we have to dive in the seaand move water, move it and understand it.To design a boat means, above all, to understandwater.Surely sailing and racing for so many years andon so many boats has helped us to “start fromscratch”, but it is just the correct knowledge ofthe laws that rule over the motion of submergedbodies that helps us to “feel” how a boat behavesand to perceive how it should be.Design intuition is none other than a “symbiosis”with the element and a global vision of thelaws that rule over it and that have to be“acknowledged” by the project.In order to understand, to grow and to designbetter, we have to be able to listen to the boatmotion when it sails and to know which arethe elements and the forces that interactwith one another.In addiction to the natural element, the other basicingredient for a good outcome of the project is theboat yard, “the manual arts workshop”, the abilityto create and build.


The creation of a boat is the most complexthing in the world, a jumble of specializationsthat goes from materials science, to aeronauticalmanufacturing processes, from electronics, tocraftsmanship. The “arts and crafts” of man are allinvolved and the important thing to understand isthat they do not live separated, but they all belongtogether, just like a ship, if the quality level is veryhigh, it is a pulsing organism where every elementworks together with the others.The designer must seek this if he wants to aim atexcellence and it is for this reason that we cannoteven remotely think that a good designer wouldnot be a good builder before anything else,well rounded.Up to the most remote details, boat buildingtraining guides us in our projects. To know how apiece is going to be built and what issues a simplefilter could be giving to a system, are not just thebasis of a good project, but also the outcome andreliability guarantees.For this “belief ” I have worked so much in theyard and in 1989 with Marine Services we gavelife to the first “planning-boat yard”, an advancedstructure, that has allowed all of us to growprofessionally and to realize many innovativeprojects as well as research, with our own hands.The designer job is slowly changing andincreasingly turning into a supplier, not only of“geometries” but also of architectural processesof installation, material technique, electronics,etc… Future is tied to the abilities of providingan “executive” design, complete at all levels.We talk about “integrated” design, that couldlead the production phase to become a simpleand efficient executive process.


A path towards excellence

This is a route mapped out by our designer, AlessandroVismara. Vismara work starts in 1984 designing with LucaTaddei 3/4 Ton winner “Lace Wing”. Follows in 1985with Perini Navi and fortifies in 1990 with Baltic Yachts,for which it is still the reference point when it comes toconceptualisation and assistance in the Mediterranean.From the early international successes of vessels byVismara Yacht Design, to the prestige of designs, fittingsand renovations and refits by Marine Services, thecompany has never stopped growing in terms of qualityservice and the rationalisation of boat building activities.A company with the ability to interpret ideas and pointchoices in the direction of coherence, a principle that hasalways been a feature of Vismara Style.The growth continued, in July 2014, Cose Belle d’ItaliaS.p.A., a company wholly-owned by Europa Investimenti,signed a multi-year partnership agreement with architectAlessandro Vismara. Cose Belle d’Italia will act as financialpartner, reinforcing the central role of the entrepreneurin the management of the company, and supporting himin the realisation of an ambitious development plan thataims to introduce, alongside the ‘made-to-measure’ projectsthat has made Vismara famous, a new line of pret-a-porterboats that will concentrate the best custom solutions in alimited series of boats.


User-friendly technology, experienceand people, these are fundamentallyimportant aspects in designing andbuilding a Vismara yacht.Starting from a shared dream toevaluating the heart of the materialand turn a design into a unique craft.

 Research that starts out from a meeting ofdifferent personalities, choosing each other basedon affinity and not convenience. Our philosophyis to take you by the hand and accompany youthroughout, helping and advising you about thebest possible use of your boat- your companionon the sea.From the start, the boatyard and the designfirm shared the same ethos and the same style:to make top-quality craft featuring high levelsof customisation and cutting-edge constructiontechniques. Craft where performance and easeof handling are enhanced, but in a setting ofabsolute excellence. The result was a style, whichtoday is recognised as Vismara Style.A single interlocutor simplifies the relationsbetween boatyard and owner, giving rise togenuine interaction, one that can better interpretthe personality and wishes of the client, pointingthem towards coherent choices or, in a term moresuited to the world of Vismara, consistent ones.


Vismara has always invested in and believed inresearch and technology as means of expressinga design philosophy that looks at lightness andperformance as goals that are achievable by all,whether regatta craft or ocean cruising vessels.And therefore even in interior design, researchand technology intervene to establish an originalconcept that blurs the boundaries betweenaesthetics and architecture. A large part ofVismara’s vessels have structural interiors, fixturesand decors, as well as construction materials andcomponents left in view. When it comes to theuse of computerised means and software, frompredictive programs to 3D simulation, Vismara isalways on the cutting edge.From the earliest designs, we have always thoughtthat out work should be regulated by scientificbases. There must be total respect for the Law ofNumbers. In other words, every choice needs tobe dictated by solid technical reasoning, nothingto do with the empiricism that dominated thedesign world until the early 1980s. And of course,nothing dictated by business or economic choicesbeforehand. On the other hand, the world ofsailing boats is the home of compromise: it is aworld in which the interface is between air andwater, between wind and waves, varying in amatrix of infinite combinations.

This matrix is made even more complex byaesthetic requirements and also for the need forspace, the construction process, costs… To coverall of this, we have coined our own referenceparameter, which we term “Consistency”: arational attempt to align all of our choices on thesame level, in the form of an overall plan.At this point, all that is left is to decide, togetherwith the owner, where to set this level or in otherwords, to identify the aim of the design projectand the use of the vessel.So, what is a consistent project? It is a scientificproject, where the choices all have the sameautonomous, independent value and contribute tobuilding a whole of parts that, like an extremelywell amalgamated team, contribute to providingexcellent results without creating imbalances.To follow this set up, Vismara maintains totalcreative and design independence. Parts suppliersand construction processes are the building brickswe choose, one by one, on the basis of the specificdesign project.Vismara works with advantage-disadvantageproposals, weights-costs, to achieve the mostConsistent result, a result that needs to besought not just in terms of fittings, materials andtechnologies, but also in terms of hydrodynamicand design choices in general.


Of course, consistency is not enough on its own. We havealways believed that the best design product is one thatnot only brings together form and function, but which alsointegrates form and material.The first step is to enter the order of ideas that a vessel is notand does not have to be a shell that takes furniture, systems,machinery and equipment to sea. To work as well as possible,it needs to be a single thing, an organic body in which nothingcan be termed parasitic, but where everything contributesto the end result. That is why we at Vismara wanted tostimulate an evolution in structures, to make hull and decka single monocoque and like an egg shell, creating a rigid,homogeneous covering.We have created it with a host of different materials: from theglu-lam wood on Asia to monolithic glass fibre on Queridaand carbon and nomex of MisterA 65’ and Mas 78. But theintegration of architecture-function has also been moved intothe fittings. With Pistrice in 1989, Vismara made the firstcruiser-regatta craft where the fittings also formed the structureof the boat, eliminating secondary structures which meantsignificant weight savings.This philosophy has become more refined on the KoalaHi-Tech, Kirribilli, Mister A and Beauceant. Fittings whichare also structure have reached a more complete form inmultipurpose furnishings, where a cabin door can also be adoor on a wardrobe. The multipurpose areas on Mon-Ami,Magic Touch, and QQ7 are like this, where the layout offurnishings is in symbiosis with the deck and deckhouse andthe structures and furnishings are symmetrical. This is alimitless, boundless evolution. Vismara is capitalising on itsexperiences to transform reinforcements such as planking orthe longitudinal tube elements of the ventilation pipes; thestairs in the bulkheads, the bed surfaces in the water tanks.In short, no element is distinctive from the whole. Everythingruns into everything else, combining in multiple functions thatenhance integration. If we think, for example, of the structurethat becomes finish. This can be seen in the aesthetic functionof the composite materials left exposed on Koala Hi-Tech,or in the coverings eliminated on the hull and ceilings, thanksto specific painting and construction techniques. The sameconcept applies on the equipment and installations, which runinside the thickness of the sandwich structure, right into thecore, like arteries under the craft’s skin. The result? No needfor protection for cables and pipes. Lower weight. More order,rationality, cleanness.This is a design and construction process that overturnsclassical methods but which is slowly transforming Vismaracraft into organic bodies that live better in their environmentbecause they form a complete whole with each of theircomponent parts.


If it is true that boats have a soul, Vismara boats must havetwo: the soul of the boatyard, which deeply believes in thedesign project being created, and that of the client. And itis this dual soul that at Vismara defines the unique, specialrelationship that is created between the project and its owner.Because we at Vismara have never accepted a job that was notfully approved by all concerned and in which we did not see anopportunity to create, reinvent and develop a concept.The boat owner is seen by Vismara as its greatest value.Vismara works with the owner as a consultant, proposingdesign solutions without imposing its ideas and concepts.Together, company and owner work to define the needs of theuser and their entourage of co-users, analysing the sensationsand tastes, taking on board their doubts and uncertainties tobuild a craft that truly the reflects the desires of the user.This would seem to be an easy symbiosis, when in actual fact,it is not. Above all for a company such as Vismara, whichnever wants to miss out on a chance to evolve and to innovate.Therefore, what is needed is a constant exchange of ideasand a mutual cultural commitment to develop the differentpoints of view and be sure of serenity behind every decision.It is Vismara’s firm conviction that the success of a projectis directly proportionate to the owner’s investment: not ineconomic terms, but in terms of time.Time to look carefully at their choices; time to understandthe technical implications. The more time that the ownerdedicates to looking closer at technical themes, the more theywill make them their own, arriving even at switching the rolesso that the owner becomes the true project manager, absolutemaster of a boat that they know right down to the smallestdetail. This is a cultural set up that has allowed Vismara tohave as clients people such as the most famous architects,important tech entrepreneurs and professionals who might notalways be experts, but who are certainly motivated by a greatdesire to understand. And it is thanks to them that Vismarahas been able to travel this path and it is to these people thatVismara owes the opportunities to innovate that have been socharacteristic of the company’s work over the last few years.



“By doing its work conscientiously, Vismara hasalways followed this simple axiom: there is nodesign without innovation, and innovation is a riskif there are no solid technical foundations.This is why the company is so committed toresearch and technology: the foundations of designdevelopment and, even more importantly,the source of our enthusiasm.”

Scientific research in the dual setting ofhydrodynamics and aerodynamics has allowedVismara to develop hull shapes, sail plans andkeels. This is because research brings us toawareness of the factors governing performance.VPP programs, tests in tanks, and systematichulls have supported the development of thecompany since its inception, supplying thenecessary support to design decisions. Today, tocontinue with development, we need increasinglyadvanced programs, derived from industrial oraeronautical sectors.This is the reasoning behind our decision,in 1998, to create the ICAD (InternationalConsortium for Advanced Design) of which theUniversity of Florence and its Energy Faculty isa fundamental part.The purpose of this consortium is to promotethe exchange of information and experiencebetween industries, research centres andacademic institutions. At the base of it all,powerful Computational Fluid dynamics (CFD)software to analyse hulls, keels, wing profiles andsail plans in experimental configurations. Thismeans tank tests or wind tunnel testing can besimulated on a computer.

Keels, profiles, optimised sails and throughto cutting-edge wing masts: in Vismara thework of the research division together with theconsortium is of fundamental importance.Starting with the assumption that a sail yachtis a unit comprised of forms and structures,research has allowed Vismara to look better atthe relationship between shapes, structures andconstruction materials.And so, over the years, Vismara has alwayscarried out pioneering activities: from thebonded monolithic structure to vacuum prepregs, baked in the oven, to the latest vacuuminfusion systems. Structural analysis uses finiteelement modelling from the aerospace andaeronautical industries to optimise laminates andto increasingly integrate structures with fittingsand installations.However, it doesn’t end here: research isconstant, for example in the design area too.In ergonomics, space division, movementelements and on to the use of new finishingmaterials.It is a whole comprised of factors, whichhas led Vismara to create craft that combinegreat usability with advanced structural andhydrodynamic optimisation concepts.

In short, another boost for the concept of fastcruising yachts with the same basic design as aregatta craft.For many years, Vismara has been working topass on to the cruiser the conviction, or betterstill, claim, that their vessel can hold the sea,while moving like a modern racer.This is true to the point that, with the restrictiveregatta rules, modern high-tech fast cruisershave now exceeded the performance of regattavessels.If we add a better construction and more carefulfinishes, then it is possible to understand the leapforward made by the entire industry.


In doing our job with conscience we have alwaysfollowed this axiom: planning is unproductivewithout innovation and innovation without solidtechnical bases is risky.From this premiss has logically originated a bigcommitment of the Vismara towards researchand technology, basis upon which to build theplanning development, but very often also themain driving force of our enthusiasm.The scientific research, in both hydrodynamicsand aerodynamic scopes, has allowed us to evolvethe shapes of hulls, sail plans, keels, because it hasallowed us to have a better understanding of thefactors that rule over these performances.From the beginning, Vismara has founded itsplanning decisions on research tools such asVPP programs or tank tests and systematic hulls.The need to examine in depth the researchconcerning all the aspects of the project has thenhelped the Vismara to open up to collaborationswith international designers and consultants, inan open dialogue aimed to foster a continuousexchange of information and experiences.In this respect, I feel like underlining that rarelyplanning studios interact on a project, whereaswe have always believed that from exchangingideas and, above all, from a careful observationof others’ work, a growth and an increasingprofessional maturity could be achieved.As a matter of fact, in many occasions, wehave decided to propose to our customer theinvolvement of other designers or experts thatwe believed could have contributed to the projectimprovement, despite the fact that this could havesomehow resulted in putting ourselves aside anddimming the public image of our work.

Actually I can affirm that we have always tookpride in the opportunity of working with themost esteemed designers, from Bruce Farr toRolf Vrolijk, Reichel and Pugh, Bill Tripp Jr. orexperts such as SP Technologies, Chris Mitchel,Steven Wilson, Ricci Bros., and last but not leastwith yards of the calibre of Baltic Yachts, MartenYachts, Marine Services, MAS, Hodgdon, just tomention a few.But exchange and internal research are noteverything. Nowadays to make some importantheadway it is necessary to have advancedprograms, typically of industrial and aeronauticalderivation. In this sense, it has been crucialthe choice made in 1998 to give life to ICAD(International Consortium for Advanced Design),of which the University of Florence constitutes afundamental part with its Energetics department,aimed to promote the exchange of informationand experiences amongst industries, researchcentres and academic institutions that have thefluidodynamics design as their application field.Therefore, through the powerful ComputationalFluidodynamics (CFD) programs it is possibleto analyse hulls-keels-haul profiles-sailing plansin experimental configurations simulating on acomputer tank tests or wind tunnel.Many of our keels and profiles, the optimisationof sails’ shapes in some of our projects, up to theinnovative hauling masts, are the result of theresearch work carried out with and inside theconsortium. Besides, starting from the assumptionthat a sailing yacht is a unit made of shapes andstructures, research has brought us more and moreinside geometries, to better analyse structures andbuilding materials.

Indeed, in this field we have been pioneers,being among the first design studios to apply themost innovative building techniques with theuse of composites: from the monolithic glued tovacuum-sealed pre-preg with post cure in oven,until the latest systems of vacuum infusion.Structural analysis uses aerospace andaeronautical sector studies and, on this score aswell, we use to collaborate with many experts infinite element modeling to optimise laminates andintegrate more and more structures with decorand systems.Research and technology do not find applicationonly in the functioning “hidden areas” of theboat. Research is a constant, for instance indesign, in ergometries, in compartmentalisingspaces, in moving elements, up to theemployment of new finishing materials.The combination of all these factors brings us toproduce yachts that put together construction,structure optimisation and hydrodynamicsfeatures with advanced usability; almost tounderline that fast cruisers yachts too have acruiser-racers’ design at their base.For many years I tried to pass down to the “cruisepassenger” my way of thinking, according towhich he had the right to sail with a boat thatwould “hold” to the sea and would “walk” likea modern racer. Due to the restrictive racingrules of sailing, luckily today we are beyond thebarrier: the modern technological fast cruisers areway better designed and built, other than muchmore performing, than racing boats. Researchand technology are not only contributing toimprove performances, but also usability andreliability of boats.

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