Massimo Perotti

How I turned yachts into a design home

I’m not sure if being an electrician to pay for school or playing tennis in the most exclusive club in Turin helped me more.

Massimo Perotti

“I’m not sure if being an electrician to pay for school or playing tennis in the most exclusive club in Turin helped me more,” laughs Massimo Perotti, patron of Sanlorenzo, the shipyard that revolutionised the idea of boat luxury. Entering the boating world at 23, Perotti never left, and a fortuitous encounter turned into a passion. In 2005 he decided to acquire the Sanlorenzo Shipyard from Giovanni Jannetti. But after intense collaboration, Perotti had a hard time dealing with slow-motion design and production, which clash with his impetuous nature. “I learned something fundamental: the quality, details, study of simple and timeless style”. It was then that he had an idea: turning yachts into design homes, allowing prestigious brands to manage space and lighting.

So the Perotti era began, changing all the rules of the game. In four years, employees went from 75 to 200, over 600 indirect operators, and earnings jumped from 40 to 200 million euro; figures that go against Massimo Perotti the great crisis for Italian boating. “We’ve kept top quality and the idea of customisation, even though our boats have gone from 10 to 30 a year. Also, we’ve broadened the market: America, Asia and especially Europe, which is our domestic market and where Sanlorenzo has a base of over 750 loyal customers, are increasingly important”. Even if, this year, Perotti reacquired the shares (minority). Today, he still dialogues with the world of design, engaging the explosive Sergio Buttiglieri as style director and new brands like Antonio Citterio, Patricia Viel, Piero Lissoni and Patricia Urquiola. “Talents who’ve added innovation and revolutionary styles to on-board living”. All clear, except one thing: did being an electrician serve a purpose? “Speed’s important, but it’s only in slowness that you avoid short-circuiting. So, for many years, I’ve lived in Lerici, near the shipyard, and I rarely return to the city”.

Massimo Perotti Born in Turin in 1960, Massimo Perotti is today chairman of Sanlorenzo which he acquired in 2005. In 2009 the company began working with famous names in the world of design and architecture like Rodolfo Dordoni, Antonio Citterio, Patricia Viel, Piero Lissoni, since 2018 art director of Sanlorenzo, and Patricia Urquiola.

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