The Italian designer Claudio Maletto from the studio Fontana Maletto in Como has been working for many years for the Italian Syndicates of the America’s Cups, contributing, as a yacht designer, to the design and development of eleven famous Italian cuppers. After his return from Valencia he decided to use his enormous knowledge and huge network for the design of production boats, all becoming successful.
“SAPHIRE is the most unique concept on the market and its potential is enormous. Target was to design a boat that can be manoeuvred by a family with small kids but at the same time also used by hard core sailors for regattas. It was very important for me to combine safety with speed since modern racing boats also bear quite some risk in strong winds. Flexibility for transport and slipping the boat was also a key element of the concept. The design language is modern and still timeless to grant a long lasting value for the boat. “Easy to sail” was the clear guideline to integrate all the innovative ideas and to create a boat that is unique on the market”.
Michael Tobler has worked in the consumer goods industry since his studies in the early 90th in sales and marketing. He could gain 20 years of international experience in different areas."I wished to combine my hobby with my profession and decided to create this unique SAPHIRE brand. I wanted to combine my passion with the family’s life and created this concept of fun, sport and easy handling. “Slip & Trail”, “Family Sailing” and “Sport” are the three aspects of the concept and bring it all together. Just take the trailer and go. Let’s share the passion of sailing"
Project leader’s comments
Trimarine Advanced Marine Projects, Ltd. is a project management company that was founded in 1995 to develop weight optimized solutions for marine applications. They specialize in the process of engineering, construction, systems design and fit-out of racing and high performance cruising yachts using advanced composites. The origins of our company go back to 1989 when the core of what is today the management team was invited to participate in a landmark project - the ‘Il Moro’ IACC campaign. Along with other members of the 200 head strong team, they designed and built a unique facility where all five campaign vessels were developed, built and tested. Their involvement was not accidental, by then they had amassed a wealth of experience in the use of advanced composites - particularly carbon prepregs and cored sandwich construction - that dated back to the early 1980’s.
SAPHIRE project leader, Sebastiano Rech Morassutti has himself managed seven America’s Cup projects and brings some of the broadest knowledge of the whole industry to the project:
“From the very first moment we focused on industrial production and light boat building technology and all construction elements had been developed and designed to be highly efficient in production. Next to a clear target pricing we developed the boat in a way that it can be reproduced easily in different yards on different continents. However, the quality needs to fulfil Swiss expectations and standards
Sail Designer’s comments
SAPHIRE has developed its own sails. SAPHIRE SAILS is the brand to be used on the sails. The sail designer is Alessandro Castelli, an aeronautical engineer with a major in aerodynamics. He has worked also for the first Swiss America's Cup Syndicate and has a huge experience on sail design, winning a big number of championships himself. His sail design won the Worlds of the X35 in 2011 and dozens of championships in different classes before that:
« The family and racing combination requires a special sail plan with light and easy handling sails. The full batten square top mainsail in combination with the carbon mast and without any backstays is the ideal combination for fast sailing and easy handling. This style derives from the Americas Cuppers and modern catamarans and is more and more used on production monohull boats. The jib is optimized to sail a close angle upwind and is slightly overlapping the mainsail to increase performance. For classical family cruising and beginners I developed a "user friendly" less powerful mainsail. To sail easy and fast downwind I use quite a big gennaker to quickly reach good speed. For long distance cruising and racing you can also use the code 0 to increase sail area and speed in light wind and medium wind reaching conditions.
Strucutral designer’s comments
Advanced Mechanical Solutions was founded by Francesco Pelizza in 2005. As a mechanical engineer, he started AMS putting together the sailing experience made through years of blue water racing (Minitransat, Sidney Hobart, Course de l’Europe) and working in the aerospace field. AMS core business is the design and analysis of composite materials for nautical fields (hulls, masts, appendages, etc.). Furthermore, the company works in the industrial and aeronautical field. Structural design for boats like the RC44, Advanced 66, Grand Soleil 39 and 43 and analysis of many Wally yachts are some of their recent references.“The step forward we made was to design a boat that with these features and without this massive study would have cost a fortune. She is extremely light, stiff and sound and we used the latest engineering instruments (CAD, FEA, CFD) with the aim of producing a sport boat at the price of a production boat.”
Interior and deck designer’s comments
“From the beginning of this exciting adventure with SAPHIRE I have imagined its potential client very demanding for all the aspects of the design, outside and inside. In my mind I see that client like the one who appreciates the lines of a sport car but also the comfort of a family transporter: two faces not so easy to put together. A hard job has been dedicated to give modern lines to the exterior, with some really new elements and details for a production boat of this dimension. Both, the interior and the deck layout have been developed under the dictate of light weight and functionality. Long studies had been done together with Claudio Maletto to integrate his well performance oriented thoughts to be combined with my view of a cheerful day onboard SAPHIRE”.
Mauro Sculli, chief architect of the Studio Sculli, has been working both as yacht designer and project manager for approximately 30 years, alone or cooperating with other companies. His main partnerships have been developed with Fontana-Maletto, Giorgetti & Magrini and Wally, including sailing boats, racing and classic, sailing and motor yachts of big dimensions.Mauro Sculli, chief architect of the StudioSculli, has been working both as yacht designer and project manager for approximately 30 years, alone or cooperating with other companies. His main partnerships have been developed with Fontana-Maletto, Giorgetti & Magrini and Wally, including sailing boats, racing and classic, sailing and motor yachts of big dimensions.
CEO's comments from the yard
Gabmar Boats is a company in the Masurian area which has a huge knowledge in producing leisure boats under vacuum infusion. Its origins go back to the Italian Comar Yachts which were produced in the same yard. The owners, Kris and Agnieszka have been in the industry for many years, Kris working for Comar in Italy. The company has about 30 highly specialized employees and can produce about two Saphire per month.“From the very first moment we were enthusiastic about the unique concept idea of SAPHIRE and we took over production from another big yard in Poland.. We have produced many boats in the leisure industry but this one is different. She is different because she is well thought through to the very detail. Thanks to our knowledge, we are able to produce light weight family sport boats that fulfil the highest requirements. At the same time we are small enough to be flexible and to react to the market and customer’s wishes. Every boat is an individual product, made with love and dedication.