Page 20: of Maritime Reporter Magazine (February 2003)

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Investment in Design • By David Tinsley

Italian Versatility

A judicious policy of business expan- sion based on a broader product range has been taken an important stage fur- ther by Italian shipbuilder Rodriquez

Cantieri Navali, through the acquisition of Intermarine, a specialist in craft con- structed from composite materials.

With Intermarine now part of the growing Rodriquez network, earlier strengthened by the takeover of yacht builder Conam, the Italian group has given new expression to its intent in widening its scope in higher value- added sectors of the market.

Hydrofoils, fast monohull ferries, catamarans and patrol boats remain cen- tral to the group's business endeavors, and other building blocks in the current development program have increased its capabilities in the ferry market.

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However, the acquisition of Intermarine denotes a further commitment to prod- uct diversification, not least to the com- paratively recent drive into the large yacht construction sector.

Intermarine's standing in the naval and agency vessel category, reinforced by a current newbuild series of customs patrol boats for Italy's Guardia di

Finanza, also complements the

Rodriquez portfolio.

December's domestic contract for a 40-knot monohull ferry of 164 ft. (50 m), following announcements during the year of two projects involving newbuilds of 275.5 ft. (84 m), has ensured continu- ity of production of fast monohull ferries embodying homegrown Aquastrada technology. A major order from Brazil for commuter ferries, involving a new

Brazilian shipbuilding affiliate of

Rodriquez, has also boosted the group's stake in the ferry market, while a 28-unit series of patrol boats has also enabled the group to play to its strengths.

However, the companion move into the luxury yacht business has been such that the Rodriquez workload now includes craft of 118 ft. (36 m), 125 ft. (38 m) and 239 ft. (73-m), the latter ranking as the largest yacht to be built in

Italy for 20 years. The Rodriquez Yachts division, based at the group's shipyard in

Pietra Ligure, in northeastern Italy, can handle craft in aluminum or steel up to 492 ft. (150 m) in length. With

Intermarine's Sarzana facility near La

Spezia, now part of the organization, the offering has been embellished with yachts up to 148 ft. (45 m) of composite construction.

At a time when outsourcing is the order of the day, Rodriquez holds faith by the principle of self-sufficiency in key areas, demonstrated by in-house affiliates Rodriquez Marine Systems, versed in a range of shipboard technical disciplines and equipment, and

Rodriquez Engineering, the Genoa- based design, and research and develop- ment undertaking.

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