Brunello Acampora, Victory Design

JEC Composites Magazine interviewed Brunello Acampora, the founder of Victory Design. Victory Design was founded in Naples in 1989, with the aim of creating a service company for naval design. Victory has always applied the “total design” methodology to the development of yachts and power crafts. Today, the company designs racing boats, pleasure boats, mono and multihulls using fibreglass, wood, aluminium and composite materials, as well as propellers, rudders, hulls, propulsion systems, etc.

Brunello Acampora, Victory Design

3 minutes, 60 secondes

JEC Composites Magazine: You have designed everything from racing to pleasure boats using all materials, from wood to carbon. From your first boat, how have composite materials developed and diversified?
Brunello Acampora, founder of Victory Design: I had just turned 18 when I designed a plywood motorboat for a small shipyard in Naples. I love wood, and the boat turned out to be light and sturdy. My first composite boat, on the other hand, was the Winner 52 in 1990. It was a single-hull sandwich construction using balsa and okoume plywood, aramid skins, and polyester resin, all laminated without the use of vacuum. Today, it seems like madness, but the boat is still sailing and reaches almost 70 knots after over 30 years! The use of vacuum technology, infusion, more efficient resin systems, and the advent of carbon have truly allowed us to achieve new standards at affordable prices.

Bolide 80, entirely built in-house by Victory, is considered as the top excellence in high-performance yachting and proudly flies the Made in Italy flag. This is the first Hyper Muscle yacht of a limited series: 9 + 1 numbered examples for each model, ranging from 60 ft to 170 ft. Bolide 80 is a full-carbon masterpiece, made with high-tech materials including Microtex carbon fibre and special custom structural cores from Diab.

JEC Composites Magazine: You designed and built in-house the full-carbon Bolide 80 (24 m), the fastest pleasure yacht in the world with a maximum speed of 70 knots. What innovations did you invent to achieve these results?
Brunello Acampora: Bolide is surely the most advanced power yacht ever built, even in structural terms. We continued the work that began in 1992 with Luca Olivari, who is still probably the foremost expert in composite motorboats to this day. Bolide’s hull is entirely made of unidirectional carbon fibre infused with epoxy resin and high-density cores. Microtex manufactured the reinforcements, all custom-made, and Diab provided the special cores, machined with CNC (computer numerical control) technology. Mates Italia, as always, was an important partner, especially for the resin systems and vacuum technology. The boat does not have longitudinal structures, and all the frames are built on the shop floor and then glued into the hull. The entire boat was post-cured in a specially made oven equipped with ventilation systems and 400 thermal sensors. Truly a contemporary Stradivarius, so well-crafted that the inner planking of the deck and the sides are visible, not concealed, inside the luxurious salon!

JEC Composites Magazine: We are observing an ever-growing interest in exploring the implementation of green technologies. Do you think this is a reality or a fashionable trend?
Brunello Acampora: We know that sooner or later, there will be a wave of greenwashing to expose those who deceive, waving the flag of ecology only to boost sales. But a greater awareness of these issues is undoubtedly a positive thing, and I believe many initiatives carried out by the academic world and institutions like the Monaco Yacht Club with the Monaco Energy Yacht Challenge are commendable and helpful to the cause. It will be the young generation that will truly change this approach to the planet, and I remain optimistic despite the criticisms.

The “multi-stepped” hull generates extremely low frictional resistance during navigation, gliding on an emulsion of water and air like no other hull can do at more than 70 knots, not even with waterjets. During the sea trials, Bolide 80 proved to reduce fuel consumption by a third compared to any yacht of the same length at the same speed, consuming about 10 litres per mile at cruising speed. Furthermore, as the speed difference increases, consumption is halved. At 50 knots, Bolide consumes half of a flybridge motoryacht of similar length sailing at 30 knots.

JEC Composites Magazine: What are the advantages and disadvantages of composites materials reinforced with natural or basalt fibres compared to more traditional reinforcements?
Brunello Acampora: imply put, as a designer, I still don’t see the concrete possibility of creating truly lightweight and strong structural artifacts. Nothing beats high-modulus carbon prepreg cured in an autoclave. However, it is true that some components, which are non-structural or where weight is not a priority, can be made with natural fibres and less polluting resins.

JEC Composites Magazine: According to you, what are the pros and cons of electric versus hydrogen engines?
Brunello Acampora: We are in the early stages of research, and I am not a great expert in these technologies. I believe we still don’t know exactly where we will end up, but the main issues at the moment are weight, size, and, in some cases, safety.

The lounge area with its “organic” carbon fibre frame. Bolide proudly displays its own skeleton, which here becomes the main decorative element. The yacht’s interiors are the result of a partnership between the architect Stefano Faggioni and Victory’s internal design team. “The Bolide project is for me an expression of the present at the highest levels regarding its design, technology and elegance”, says Stefano Faggioni.

JEC Composites Magazine: What are your priorities today? Do you have ongoing research projects for new production?
Brunello Acampora: As for my priorities today, Victory and I are constantly engaged in research and development programmes. The Racebird project for the new E1 electric racing championship, starting in 2024, has brought us into the world of electric foilers, where I immediately focused on secant foils rather than fully-submerged ones. There is a lot of work to be done to go beyond the 50/60 knots threshold with foilers, and we are working on it. The topic of composite appendages is very delicate, and foils are vulnerable and subject to fatigue.

More information www.victory.it