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Sep 2005

Article selected from our quarterly magazine dedicated to the largest and most luxurious boats with information, interviews, technical articles, images and yachting news



Yachting catalogue

Navigation tests

Used boats


Video Nautica

Article by
Fabio Petrone


Today's global nautical market and the fierce competition that characterises it demand that companies constantly develop their products and their marketing and financial strategies. The test bench is always the highest possible quality and yet prices must be contained. This applies to all operators, from the suppliers of raw materials to shipyards, from producers of accessories to companies specialising in paint, etc. This interview with Luca Serventi, from Boero's Super Yacht Division, gives us an insight into how Boero deals with product quality, market strategy, marketing policies, etc. Boero is one of the best known, most acclaimed Italian brands of paint and related products.

What strategies does Boero use to ensure its market share?

Being always attentive to the needs of the customer, whether it is a question of the final user, a shipyard or applier, developing innovative cycles and high-technology procedures and products so as to guarantee the best results conforming to the high quality standards demanded by the market.

Your brand of paint is a trusted reference for European shipyards and pleasure-boat owners. What have been your most winning products, the ones that made your reputation?

In the pleasure-sailing sector, undoubtedly our anti-fouling paint, Altura 619, the most sold, distributed on five continents, conforming to local standards. In the superyacht segment, we owe our success to our painting cycle, characterised by ease of application and versatility of use on any type of material. Our successful products in this area include Delta 2000, an all-round epoxy primer, Epolight, which is an epoxy filler, the lightest in the world, easy to sand and in line with shipyards' design requirements (shipyards are constantly trying to make their boats lighter and yet more performative). And then there is the extraordinary enamel, Challenger Hi-Tec.

As a European company at the top of its sector, what do you consider to be your home market? In which markets have you become the leader?

Since 2000, Italy has been the world leader in the building of superyachts. It is also our reference market. And we are the leading company.

You have to do mostly with shipbuilders, whose Achilles' heel is often the finishing of their boats, especially the larger ones, such as the superyachts. Is there a product they are dreaming of? What are you able to offer them and what are you preparing for the near future?

Both shipyards and appliers have always dreamed of a single, complete cycle provided by a single consultant. As of 2000, with the development of the enamel we call Challenger Hi-Tec, that dream has become a reality. The extraordinary shininess and durability of this paint meets the requirements of prestigious boats such as the 25-meter "Peace in the Word", the 24-meter "Angi", the 36-meter "Sea Wish", all the way up to the Perini Navi Shipyard's 64-meter sailing yacht, "Felicità West".

Anyone who invents something new and effective is always immediately imitated and copied. How do you defend your patents? Are you worried about China?

Our continual laboratory research means that our quality is constantly "moving" and that our products are difficult to clone. Our results are the product of years of experience and thousands of square meters of boats protected. In any case, we were in China last April, when we presented at the Shanghai Boat Show. We visited various yacht builders. Mainly, we have been asked to work with various Chinese operators.

Is Boero in the USA? And where outside of Europe?

Yes, we are in partnership with Kop Coat in the USA and in Australia and New Zealand with Altex. We have made commercial agreements with these companies for the distribution and sale of our products as the international brand, "Boero SuperNavi", intended for both new boats and super-yacht refits all over the world. We have distributors in 18 other countries, including Dubai, Tunisia and Turkey.

What is your marketing strategy?

To work closely with the most prestigious shipyards in order to provide quality products for traditional pleasure-sailing. Italian leadership as a strong point. A market approach based on simple, concrete terms.

How do you remain in contact with shipyards and owners?

As far as shipyards are concerned, whether for new building or refits, our sales force and technical staff visit them almost daily, thus ensuring a constant flow of information, updated in our computer system. For owners, we provide easy-to-understand yet detailed technical manuals at our numerous points of sale and during major trade fairs around the world. This is supported by on-line information on our web site:

What is Boero Bartolomeo's relationship to the market?

The guiding principle in recent years has been to go beyond the concept of product, of a company producing and selling, and to offer ourselves as a company which develops its strategies by means of research, production, distribution and technical support, all focused on products to protect boats. In short, the company has proven to be a unique and valued consultant in its sector, appreciated for personalised service.

What value does the human factor have in your internal organisation?

The Boero family has been running Boero Bartolomeo S.p.A. since 1831. We are now in the fifth generation. This means that all of our personnel feel part of this large family. The Yachting Division has grown, its management has proven itself in the field, in close collaboration with shipyards. Sometimes, people say to us that "the Boero men are part of every micron of paint".

Boat = Queen. Is this your credo?

"Princess" rather than "Queen", because our mission is to make her beautiful and to protect her.

In the last 15 years the refit sector has grown incredibly, to the extent that many shipyards do more refits than new building. Does the same apply to you?

The versatility of our cycle means that we are able to do a total refit of a classic wooden sailboat from 1920, such as the "Lulworth" built by the Classic Yacht Darsena Shipyard in Viareggio, or to be part of the work on new boats, such as the "Maltese Falcon", an 87-m aluminium and steel sailboat built by Perini Navi Shipyards and equipped with innovative and highly technological carbon masts. In the last 20 years, we have "dressed" more than 400 super-yachts from 24 to 120 meters long, 92% of them new. On the basis of this work, we believe that we have the experience to be able to deal with the refits now required by the large fleet of super-yachts in the world. It suffices to think that every 4 to 5 years at the most, a "princess of the sea" needs a "beauty treatment".

Are you thinking about opening up in new areas?

Our company currently has three production sites. Since we want to grow and succeed in new market areas, we are designing a new, technologically avant-garde production site. Our competitive development, however, does not depend on a new plant, but is the result of the strength of an enthusiastic, cohesive group.