Leopard Yachts, an iconic Italian brand since the 1970s, has been re-launched by Seven Stars Marina & Shipyard near Pisa. Andre Bacigalupo, one of Leopard’s original naval architects, has designed the new range’s streamlined hull. The interior and additions on each individual 36m yacht are completely customisable. Contracts and construction will be overseen on an owner’s behalf by experienced Monaco brokers TWW Yachts.
In 1973, the Picchiotti family, based on Italy’s Tuscany coast, collaborated with naval architect Paolo Caliari to create the first Leopard Yacht. These sleek motor yachts were celebrated for their speed, reliability, comfort and elegance. From 2000, Leopard Yachts’ newest models were constructed at Tombolo Shipyard, located on the Canale dei Navicelli between Pisa and Livorno.
In 2019, Seven Stars Marina & Shipyard acquired Tombolo Shipyard. The company’s CEO Davide Mugnaini affirms his long-held fascination with Leopard Yachts. “Seven Stars specialises in creating tailor-made yachts for demanding owners,” Mugnaini explains. “But with Leopard, the importance in relaunching a renowned Italian brand made the challenge even more interesting.”
Mugnaini researched Leopard Yachts’ compelling backstory, with a view to reviving the legendary brand. He travelled to Genoa to meet Andre Bacigalupo, Caliari’s student and Leopard’s designer from 2000 onwards. To his delight, Mugnaini found that Bacigalupo had continued to perfect his Leopard Yacht designs and drawings as a private passion. “We had a mutual respect for Leopard’s history,” continues Mugnaini. “Combined with Seven Stars’ technical know-how, it has made our collaboration on the relaunch of Leopard Yachts an act of love.”
The newly-revived range of Leopard Yachts will be produced in the Tombolo shipyard by Seven Stars, where Leopards have historically been built. The first 36m will be ready to hit the water just 24 months after signing. Connoisseurs of the Italian brand’s history will recognise its racing lines and nuanced form. Yet this model boasts contemporary interiors and is more efficient than the original.
Carlo Pittis, brand manager of Leopard Yachts, explains the customisation process. “No Leopard constructed by Seven Stars Marina & Shipyard will be identical. Our approach is truly artisanal and tailor-made. Potential owners are afforded a blank canvas, whether they wish to install a jacuzzi or completely redesign the yacht’s interior spaces.”