The all round yachts design of a Neapolitan born sea lover: Sergio Cutolo
by G. O.
Taiba is a new 57-metre beauty built by Columbus Yachts. Far more signiﬁcantly, however, she is the new ﬂagship of the holistic design approach that garnered Hydrotec a slew of international awards last year. Clearly, that award-winning philosophy is very solidly backed up by founder and naval architect and engineer Sergio Cutolo’s exceptional technical background. Neapolitan born Cutolo got his ﬁrst job at the Cetena, Fincantieri’s Centre for Naval Technical Studies. Then in 1985, he joined one of the great iconic Italian yards, Baglietto. With the exception of two years spent with Cantieri Navali Rodriquez in Messina, however, his lifelong passion has been for yachts. At the age of just 31, Cutolo was appointed technical director at Baglietto.
But ultimately, he made the decision to strike out on his own, setting up the Hydrotec studio which made its debut on the international scene with a design for a 147’ built by the Trinity Shipyard. This was the ﬁrst of a long string of yachts for all the big yards into which Cutolo and his studio poured all their knowledge before deciding to broaden their horizons. The turning point came in 2003 when Cutolo designed his ﬁrst yacht inside and out. Hot on the heels of the Naumachos 82 for the Cantieri di Pesaro, which hailed the start of Hydrotec’s second wind in 2007, came the ﬁrst Darwin 86 for the Cantieri delle Marche, the Furst 60 for the same yard and the Columbus 56 Prima.
Most recently in 2014, Cutolo produced the Columbus 40S Hybrid, “This is the ﬁrst real hybrid yacht,” he is keen to emphasise. The vessel’s two 1920 hp MTUs are coupled with a pair of 75kW electric motors and three 80kW diesel generators, resulting in various different power modes. In the ﬁrst mode, the MTUs deliver a maximum speed of 22 knots when drawing on her MTUs while in the second, two electric motors work as shaft generators to cover hotel power demands as she approaches her 15-knot cruising speed.
Third and last is an “economy” cruising speed of 7.5 knots achieved using the diesel generators to power the electric motors. Hydrotec’s various design sections all work synergically to produce huge diversity in its work.
Hull efﬁciency, environmental impact, comfort and optimised interior spaces are all factored inﬂuenced by the hand-in-glove work of the designers, architects and engineers. “All these individuals interact constantly to guarantee that every last detail of both form and function are analysed,” says Cutolo. This is the kind of work that the Hydrotec crew refer to as “creative naval architecture”, by which they mean working proactively with designers and architects to ﬁnd the technical solutions that will maximise both image and style. A philosophy that Hydrotec implements with a sense of dynamic conﬁdence that in 2015 alone will result in the splashing of six very large yachts. A ﬁtting way for Sergio Cutolo to tick off the ﬁrst 20 years of his studio’s career.