17 giugno 2022
by Riccardo Bastianello

Full elegance, zero impact


On the one part, a historic craft workshop on the Venice Lido with around ten employees. On the other, a multinational company based in Japan and 55,000 employees around the world. The result of this unusual partnership is Respiro, an extremely elegant 23-foot boat in carbon sandwich panel with linen finishes and mahogany deck handcrafted by the Venmar shipyard in Venice around the world's first prototype of the Harmo electric motor by Yamaha. The boat was previewed at the Venice Boat Show.

But how does it happen that a shipyard that produces two boats a year—a “tailor shop” that only produces custom, hand-made boats, which boasts of doing everything by hand, with absolutely no outsourcing—meets Yamaha? “At the METS in Amsterdam, five or six years ago, I had seen the prototype of the motor,” says Alessandro Trevisan from Venmar, “and I wrote an email to Japan saying that if they ever produced it I wanted to be the first to have one, because I was convinced by the technology. In fact, the motor overcomes the critical problem with electric engines, that is the fact that when it gets hot, the performance drops. This motor is totally immersed in water so it guarantees constant cooling, consistent performance and total silence.”

 We want to focus on boats that have zero or near-zero impact both in terms of motors and therefore emissions, and wave motion

The data sheet promises up to 7 hours of running time at 4 knots (about 4.3 mph). But it needed research to make it efficient, a boat made with lightweight materials (“the mold could be lifted by just two of us, and I’m no gym goer!” joked Trevisan) and waterlines that created the least possible resistance. “For Yamaha, it was a perfect proposal because Venice is ideal for this type of boat,” explained Stefano Pesci, Boat Builder and Sales Coordinator for Yamaha, “an ideal market because of the internal waters of the lagoon, where all you need is low speed, low power and there is the demand for super quiet and sustainable boats.”

And after Yamaha? For the small Venetian shipyard (which, let’s remember, in recent months has seen one of its boats chosen for a major Hollywood production that will soon be released in cinemas), there are no doubts: “We want to focus on boats that have zero or near-zero impact both in terms of motors and therefore emissions, and wave motion. This is the future, at least here in Venice. Indeed, we already have ready Respiro’s big brother, the 31-foot Grande Respiro Breath with a new and more powerful Yahama motor.

It is no coincidence, we think, that in recent months Venice has been nominated for the title of World Capital of Sustainability.

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