News: Tilli Antonelli takes on a new project called WIDER yachts

July 28, 2010 by yachtlover
View large version of image: Tilli Antonelli takes on a new project called WIDER yachts

“I’ve never liked sitting still. Nor simply standing and watching. Making do doesn’t come naturally, either. Pushing thoughts a little farther, now that is something which does. No blinkers, no exceptions. In short: open-mindedness”. Tilli Antonelli

In the current economic situation, the common trend is for companies to cover the roads they have already trod, to “stay on the safe side”, constantly retracing back to their origins, showing that which is commonly defined as “heritage”.

Today’s market, however, demands new products, the nautical market being no exception. The day cruiser sector has been severely affected by the generalised stagnation and slowdown in the expansion process.

Conforming, imitating, developing fewer proposals which are, nevertheless, termed “innovative”, are a general trend which no longer incites owners, nor does it rouse interest in buyers.

This is the setting in which Tilli Antonelli’s new challenge commences, a challenge which aims to gather the demands of a market which needs change, inventiveness, originality.

The alternative is Wider, a company which tries new roads first, far from already used stereotypes, a company which aims to invent new formulas for travelling by sea, proposing bold, original solutions.

Wider presents itself with an anti-standardisation flag, crossing the nautical world and shaking up anything and everything which risks sliding down into dangerous stagnation. The brand’s entire world of reference uses new words: courage, originality, lightness, enjoyment.

Like Tilli Antonelli, who has anticipated trends throughout his long career in the nautical sector, the Wider project is based on two fundamental principles: giving space to what’s different and working with creative impulse.

Hence, the project needed an evocative name, like the one chosen – Wider – meaning extending the boundaries, going beyond, with a metaphorical vision of creative space.

All without excessive luxury, as this no longer suits the international economic panorama.

Wider: the company

2010 has been a turning point for Tilli Antonelli, one of the best-known, established, dynamic entrepreneurs on the international nautical scene.

Founder and former President of Pershing, one of the Ferretti Group’s most important brands, in March 2010 Tilli Antonelli left the Group and launched Wider, a new nautical company, with offices in Castelvecchio di Monteporzio (PU), Marche.

The shipyard, a 10,000m2 structure, of which 4,600m2 covered, was the historical seat in which Pershing developed and where the production of yachts carrying the Pershing brand took place for over ten years, from 1990 to 2004. This facility currently carries out all the assembly work of the parts produced, and great attention is paid to detail by the top artisans and operators in the sector, based on the design followed centrally by the Wider team.

Wider designs, constructs and markets open day-cruisers, with a strong focus on an excellent performance combined with low consumption. It proposes solutions in line with current market demands, without renouncing to its distinctive mark of unexpected, original layouts. Wider’s groundbreaking products shy away from pre-existing drawings, and the company creates not only new yachts, but also a new concept and category of yacht: the Wider Cockpit. Wider’s company philosophy is based on fundamental values, such as passion, creativeness and a strong trend towards something new, qualities which have fuelled Tilli Antonelli’s ideas for almost thirty years.

The company set up is deliberately streamlined and eclectic, consisting in a few people covering several different functions. Flanking Tilli Antonelli in this new entrepreneurial challenge are two partners: Paolo Favilla, previously General Manager of Grandi Navi Veloci and CEO of Pershing, alongside Antonelli in 2009, and Vincenzo Sulpizi, also part of the Pershing team, initially as Interior Designer, and subsequently Project Manager.

The shipyard has ambitious aims, and investments of around a million Euros have been planned for development and production of the new fleet.

The first Wider model, already on the production lines, is a 42 footer, to which a smaller model measuring around 35 feet and a larger one of around 50 will follow, both of which will maintain the philosophy of the 42’. All the shipyard’s models are endorsed by the prestigious hand of Fulvio De Simoni, yacht designer at Pershing from the very beginning.

The structural part of the project has been dealt with by the Wider’s in-house team, in collaboration with Wave Ingegneria s.r.l.

The sales network provides for capillary distribution which aims to extend its boundaries from Italy to all the European markets, and subsequently the most important international markets – the United States and South America.

“As for sales,” specifies Tilli Antonelli, President of Wider, “we are working on a new distributional model which provides for establishment of specially formed companies in the most interesting markets, where the headquarters will have an important role. In Italy, on the other hand, distribution will be dealt with centrally, and the sales network will be as capillary as possible.”

The Management

Tilli Antonelli President

Born in Russi, province of Ravenna, in 1955, Tilli’s passion for the sea has been clear since his adolescence when he began to take part in regattas, participating in the most prestigious competitions on the international scene. In the 70s, Tilli assisted Raoul Gardini on board his fleet of yachts, as well as with the famous first of the five Moro di Venezia. It was only in the 80s, however, that he began his entrepreneurial career when, along with a couple of friends, he had the great insight which would change his life: to build motorboats. The first boat built by his young company Cantieri Navali dell’Adriatico – later to become Pershing – was launched in 1981. Four years later, in 1985, the first Pershing 45’ was built, created by yacht designer Fulvio De Simoni. During the following years, Pershing asserted itself as one of the leading companies of Italian-made yachts in the sector of open fibreglass models, thanks to the intuition of its founder, who established new style elements and trends which would influence the international nautical market. In the 90s Pershing joined the Ferretti Group finding new drive by investing in research and development, and Antonelli maintained his role of company President. In 2004, Antonelli also began dealing with management of the Itama brand, taking on the role of President, which he maintained until 2009.

On 3rd March 2010, Tilli Antonelli left the management of Pershing S.p.A. to launch a new project: Wider.

Paolo Favilla Manager

Born in Milan, 47 years old, with a degree in Economy and Commerce attained at the “Luigi Bocconi” University in Milan, Paolo Favilla began his professional career building up managerial experience with the Mondadori, Contship Italia and then Techint Groups. From 1999 to 2004, he was Managing Director of Banknord S.p.A., a private investment bank operating in consultancy for extraordinary finance operations, where he also became a partner. In 2004, he became General Manager of Grandi Navi Veloci, as well as a member of the board at Grimaldi Holding S.p.A., after Permira private equity fund joined the company capital.

In 2009, Paolo Favilla flanked Tilli Antonelli, then President of Pershing S.p.A., as CEO of the shipyard, assisting him in the company management. The experience built up at Pershing developed into mutual esteem and marked the beginning of a profitable working relationship based on a shared passion for the sea.

Today, Favilla is a partner in Wider srl, and Manager alongside Antonelli. He also deals with investments and consultancy in medium-sized companies as Sole Director and partner of Pafinvest srl – Finanziaria di Partecipazioni.

Vincenzo Sulpizi Project Manager

Born in Giulianova (TE), 36 years old, with a degree in industrial design attained at ISIA Industrial Design Institute in Rome, Vincenzo Sulpizi is a great lover of design and furnishings. His working career began as a designer at a naval design studio in Venice, where he immediately understood his innate bent for naval design. In 2002, he joined the Pershing team, initially as Interior Design Manager, and subsequently, Project Manager.

Sulpizi coordinated the design of all the last successes of the Pershing range. On the same wavelength as Antonelli, he was an inexhaustible source of stimuli for the development of each new project. During those same years, he continued his studies, attaining an MBA.

Backed by the strength of mutual esteem built up over years of team work, Sulpizi decided to follow Antonelli in this new adventure, joining the company with a minority share.


Fulvio De Simoni

Yacht designer of international fame, De Simoni has had a close working relationship with Tilli Antonelli since 1985, the year in which he contributed to outlining the identity of the first Pershing yacht. Born in La Spezia, at the age of 14 he already had his own boat, proof of an innate passion for the sea, and knew all its secrets, as well as the needs and requirements of life on board, the foundation for each and every one of his creations. In 1970, he moved to Milan and began his career, devoting himself to design work in the field of sailboats. In 1972, he began working as a designer for Alberto Mercati’s studio; in 1977 he founded Yankee Delta with Massimo Gregori; since 1983, he has been the owner of Italprojects, which endorses projects with high technological content in the naval field. In 1985, he began his lucky alliance with Antonelli, which continues today with the new challenge of Wider. During a career of over 30 years, De Simoni has designed over 2500 for the biggest names in the sector: Mochi Craft, Raffaelli, Gianetti, Antago Yacht, Abacus, Evo Marine, Pershing, Ilver, Ars Monaco, Inace Brasile, Gallart e Rodman Spagna, Trojan Usa, Tarpo Brasile and Simmonea Francia.

Mark B. Wilson

Mark B. Wilson has an important career in the racing world behind him which began when he was just 11 years old, and saw him triumph in the Junior class. For 11 years, he competed in all categories, T1, T2, F4, F3, winning 26 first prizes and becoming British champion twice. His technical preparation, built up at competitions, enabled him to design the yachts which won the world championships once in category P2 and twice in P1 – with his son, Craig Wilson, at the helm.

In former times, he worked in the family boat sector, beginning as a Mercury and Yamaha motorbike mechanic and “preparing” ski and racing boats. This experience led him to become Sales Manager, and he went on to become official Yamaha representative for sales in the UK in 1977. Between 1991 and 1998 Mark was Production Manager for Rolla SP Propellers. After this, he was involved in the production of racing propellers, the development of special propellers and the production of several models of blades, dealing with international sales.

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