Marcello Maggi on Wider Yachts' Acquisition
In the latest wave of significant business moves in the yachting industry, last week we heard the announcement of Italian shipbuilder Wider’s acquisition by Monegasque group Nautical Hybrid Tech, spearheaded by Marcello Maggi, along with Zepter Group and Hopafi Holding. We spoke with Maggi, whose wealth of experience includes co-founding ISA and 14 years at CRN, to learn more about what this acquisition means for Wider and the future of the brand.
When asked what exactly was the main motivation for the acquisition, Wider’s emphasis on innovation was one standout feature for Maggi.
“I saw the company from the very beginning, I always admired the innovation they were bringing to the market,” Maggi explained to us, adding that when visiting the shipyards of his hometown Ancona, Wider particularly stood out for the innovative design features on the Wider 150' and the Wider 165'.
“Placing the engine room completely forward and having mega tenders going in and out – all extremely beautiful – but I think they had a vision which was too early for the time, that created some time for the market to understand and absorb what they did.”
And, Maggi added, most importantly, Wider has not only proven these innovations are doable, but that they work and look great. “What convinced me to make the step to go ahead was when I physically tested the boat, then it clicked. This company is the future.”
In terms of his plans for the future of Wider, Maggi emphasised that he would not follow the same route taken with ISA in the past, opting instead for a ‘quality over quantity’ approach.
“Our idea then was to grow the company physically with a lot of people, boats and so on… Now we have an excellent management team to build 2-3 boats and no more. So we will not build 20 boats, we will build 2-3 boats and no more. What I want for Wider is the best of quality.”
Another primary aim in Wider’s future growth will be to maintain its lead in technology and particularly green yachting. Emphasising the multitude of awards won by the 150' and the 165', Maggi explains that he wants to make of Wider “a laboratory of new technology and green technology” that can be shared with the rest of the industry – something, in his view, “a bit missing” in the current environment.
To illustrate this example, Maggi draws on the emissions regulations installed in Norwegian fjords, amongst other beautiful remote locations, of which Wider’s hybrid electric powered builds are “already complying with that future – we need to keep this gap.”
Of Wider’s projects on the books at the moment, Maggi revealed that the brand was starting with a 54 metre 850 tonne build – of which more information will be released during Monaco Yacht Show later this year. A 120 foot displacement yacht is also in the drawing board, he added.
Although Wider has the facilities to build between 120-180 feet, as well as a partnership with German shipyard Lloyd Werft who are licensed to build above 250 feet, Maggi explains that “for the moment we want to grow step by step”, although without ruling out the possibility of Wider branching into the larger build market in years to come.
In summary, Wider seems perfectly poised to take its lead in its own particular niche of the yachting market – hybrid propulsion. Drawing on the strengths of a young, creative and committed team, Wider has solid plans to lead the way in green yachting and technology under the new leadership. It will not abandon its existing strengths, but it would not be unrealistic to expect larger and custom builds from this brand in the coming years.
We at Superyachts.com will be keeping our ears close to the ground for updates from Wider in its quest to make yachting cleaner, and would like to congratulate everyone involved for such a smooth acquisition.
"What convinced me to make the step to go ahead was when I physically tested the boat, then it clicked. This company is the future."