The history of Cantiere Filippi dates back to 1980 when Lido Filippi opened his own boat-building business producing wooden rowing boats in a small shed with five other shipwrights.
Today, Cantiere Filippi employs 60 craftsmen and those old boats have been replaced by its familiar blue and white ones, which are built in the 2500 square metre boatyard of Filippi Lido srl, just outside of the town of Donoratico in the province of Livorno.
By the mid – late 1980s, Cantiere Filippi was already enjoying its first international successes winning gold medals at the World Championships in Nottingham in 1986 and in Copenhagen in 1987. It went on to scale even greater heights by winning gold in the coxless quadruple sculls at the Seoul Olympics in 1988.
Nowadays, traditional wooden boats have been replaced by carbon fibre and honeycomb sandwich constructions made with vacuum bag technology and polymerisation in high-temperature ovens.
In 1997 Cantiere Filippi was awarded the ISO 9000 quality certification.
This was a decisive step as it enabled Cantiere Filippi to guarantee both its international clientele and its 22 exclusive resellers on all five continents consistently high quality according to a clearly-defined process. Each boat that leaves Donoratico complies fully with the 26 points of a technical card that is signed by each one of the craftsmen who worked on it.
The hallmark of Lido Filippi’s project is the synergy created with the boatyard’s craftsmen, who are all devoted to ensuring that boats leave the yard nothing less than perfect. This dedication becomes clearest in the after-sales services where customer satisfaction is one of the main objectives; indeed perfecting a boat may decide the outcome of a competition.
Developments in boat-building techniques, a proverbial attention to detail and an excellent price-quality ratio have made Filippi a worldwide name. Cantiere Filippi’s constant, active involvement in regattas, its innate ability to establish international relations and a service that enables clients to personalise their boat from a vast range of models have done the rest.
The hallmark of Cantiere Filippi, however, is that it goes against the trend of many Italian boatyards; it invests much of its resources into research and employs the latest techniques, such as carbon riggers in both traditional and wing form. It also used to assess the seaworthiness of its boats with hydrodynamic tests at its ship tank in Insean, but today these have been replaced by sophisticated Computer Fluid Dynamics software.
In addition to its research, Cantiere Filippi has also invested in workplace safety systems and its production processes are conducted in full respect of the environment.
Today, Lido Filippi works alongside his son David and employs more than sixty technicians who help to produce about 700 boats per year for federations across the world. Much is owed to the directors, trainers and athletes of these federations for the noticeable increase in the technical level of these boats. Their preparation, passion and ambition blend effortlessly with the way the boatyard views the future of rowing. High praise must also go to the International Rowing Federation (FISA) which in 1996 officially invited the company to attend the Olympic Games, recognition of the excellent quality of boatyard’s work in the service of rowing, one of the Olympics’ most long-standing events.