BeElectric is the new division of Besenzoni. The company, with its gangways, and anchor winch totally powered by electricity, is starting a new revolution. We spoke about it with CEO Giorgio Besenzoni.
The “electric route” seems decidedly an unstoppable process in almost any field, and yachting accessories are a sector that shows it: from Besenzoni has come, in a first for the market, a series of gangways and stairs totally powered by electricity.
“For now, the electric sector is a ‘particle’ of our company,” says company CEO Giorgio Besenzoni, “but we are looking at it with a lot of interest. We strongly believe in it.” A ‘particle’ that has become a new company division, BeElectric, with its own dedicated and well-trained staf .
The direction of the technology
A first step towards the future? The question is obligatory, especially in this period. “We are and will continue to be a metalworking company,” comments Giorgio Besenzoni, “and so for us hydraulically operated equipment remains our core business. But we are aware that the world is changing and everything is moving over towards electricity. What we have created today with BeElectric should certainly be considered as opening a door on the future. It is undeniable that technology is progressing fast and much of what will happen depends on how the big companies that today produce large hydraulic components, engines, reduction gears and actuators move: personally, my impression is that in the space of 5-10 years we will all move decidedly towards electricity. 5 years ago not many people liked Tesla, yet today everything is electric: cars, motorbikes, bikes, scooters…and now gangways are too.”
An eye on sustainability
The BeElectric project saw strong acceleration in the particular period of lockdown. Thanks to a young design office that has never lost its enthusiasm, “we have ridden this enthusiasm and had faith in it” Besenzoni states. “In addition, with BeElectric we wanted to make progress also from the point of view of sustainability, bearing in mind that our products are already sustainable as they are made from materials that can be recycled, like steel, or regenerated. Our challenge has definitely been to try to eliminate the presence of oil in our smaller products. For greater power, (i.e. what is needed in particular on big yachts and superyachts) today we have to use hydraulics, but I would underline that the oil we use is 70% biodegradable.” A question of components Currently Besenzoni can use the electric system on gangways
of up to 3.5 m: by eliminating hydraulics, the choice of electricity makes it possible to save between 35 and 40 kg of weight, about 20%. “Containing weight is by now fundamental because all yards ask us, as soon as possible, to save a few kilos. This is why, apart from aesthetic considerations, we use an increasing amount of carbon.” Using electricity to power stairways and gangways meant studying and developing components that could be used in a marine environment: “The various electric components to use in the system, for example the pistons that raise and lower a gangway, do not exist on the market” explains the CEO. “In general, there are two options: the components currently available are in ferrous material, so in the sea they don’t last more than a month; or, there are those in different materials such as steel for particular alloys, which don’t have enough power to operate a gangway or a stairway. Our ability has been to combine existing products with components created ad hoc, so as to produce electric systems with suitable characteristics for the yachting sector.”
BeElectric: LaPasserella and LaScala Elettrica
The first series of electric powered products presented by Besenzoni are LaPasserella, LaScala Elettrica and the SA 25 anchor winch for yachts of all sizes; other accessories will follow. Their strength lies in the simplicity of the electric handling system: as well as lighter weight compared with hydraulic systems and greater environmental sustainability, the system is more efficient in energy terms, requiring smaller batteries and less space, and both maintenance and installation are much simpler. BeElectric is a range that Besenzoni distinguishes also in aesthetic terms. For LaPasserella and LaScala there is available a platform made of an innovative and high performance synthetic material, using only virgin PVC materials of top quality, a characteristic that makes it a greener product. The maintenance of this material is very simple, as it needs no particular treatments such as the normal sanding and oiling of wood: it just needs to be scrubbed with soapy water. It is also resistant to stains and impacts, it does not suffer the
effects of UV rays or salt water and has excellent anti-slip performance when wet and when dry.
Details of the two LaPasserella and LaScala Elettrica series
LaPasserella (model PE661 - 661C) is currently produced in five versions with lengths from 2 to 3.5 m and is aimed mainly, but not exclusively, at the sailing sector. Its structure is in polished or painted stainless steel and it has two telescopic sections – in the 661C model the initial truck for overcoming the step moves the inclination point up or down. The system has three motors and is powered by 12 and 24 V DC. It
can be operated by a radio remote control and the control panel for operation from the cockpit. In addition, by downloading the app and installing the BUC White control unit, it can be operated via Bluetooth from a smartphone.
The LaScala Elettrica system works with two motors and, as with LaPasserella, energy is optimised starting from an electronic power control with less current, to avoid excessive stress on the system and structure; it works at 12 and 24 V DC and is operated by remote control and control panel, and it is also compatible with a smartphone. Both are delivered already wired for a simple and rapid installation.
The Besenzoni musts
BeElectric is an absolute novelty, a challenge Besenzoni is making to producers, yards and yacht owners; alongside it, its traditional production continues with products that are always avant-garde and attentive to the continuous requests of the market. Gangways remain one of the ‘visiting cards’ of Besenzoni. The range of series production is transverse: it goes from the basic and essential manual gangway, to the top range of foldaway gangways with three hydraulically operated telescopic sections, and then external hydraulic gangways and rotating external ones.
The external hydraulic PI 461Miss gangway is the most appreciated automatic telescopic in the Besenzoni range for its lightness and functionality. It is an automatically operated gangway that combines the functions of gangway and hoist for lifting tenders and water toys. Hydraulic operation with a remote control or wall mounted control panel makes it extremely easy to raise or lower the tender.
The lifting capacity varies according to the model and can reach 200 kg as a hoist for tenders and water toys. Another model much in demand is the PI 890, internal rotating gangway: with its four telescopic sections, including an initial truck to overcome the step, it is particularly suitable for installation on the stern stairway. Rotation reaches 50° to left and right and an inclination of 10° up/down: these characteristics make it an ideal gangway for boarding from the quayside in complete safety. It also has a step with automatic movement to facilitate boarding by avoiding any gaps between the gangway and the first deck of the yacht. Among the leading Besenzoni products are also handling systems for the beach platform designed for hauling out and launching tenders, water toys and jet skis. With the lifting capacity up
to 2,000 kg, they have pantograph or up/down with or without translation.
Another pride of Besenzoni are the pilot seats, with great design flexibility and latest generation production technologies. They make it possible to offer made-to-measure solutions that can satisfy the most demanding owners and maintain the essence of the stylistic evolutions of architects and designers. One of the latest, for example, is the P263 F1 Pilot Seat installed on the Sunseeker65.
Other bestsellers are the P 252 Carbon Stealth and the Reina care P 253 Carbon Stealth Fly. Both are available in many variants of colour, finishing and stitching. With LED lights on the perimeter, carbon or fibreglass structure painted in various colours, electric or fixed support. Then, there is the strategic Unica range. A series of custom articles for yachts of more than 50 m. Today it represents an important slice of Besenzoin’s turnover, about 30%. “We work on the basis of requests from the owner or the yard,” says Giorgio Besenzoni, “and we collaborate with them very closely to identify the most appropriate solutions. The range is very broad, our flexibility is maximum: we produce from balconies to garage doors, from doors to pilot seats for hard and soft tops to gangways, fromhoists to customised stairways with, for example, particular lighting. One of the latest we made had LEDs that had to be of a particular orange, in line with the rest of the yacht, and with certain luminosity characteristics.”
Revolutions by Besenzoni
• 1973. Besenzoni launches the stern platform with a ladder, an absolute novelty at the time that quickly became a must on board.
• 1985. The first hydraulic gangways with remote control arrive.
• 1991. The folding titanium gangway for sailing boats is named “Prodotto Innovativo 1990-1991” by the Museo Nazionale della Scienza e della Tecnica Leonardo Da Vinci di Milano.
• 1993. The foldaway side door is named by the “Prodotto Innovativo 1992-1993” dal Museo Nazionale della Scienza e della Tecnica Leonardo Da Vinci di Milano.
• 2002. The super compact Magic hoist wins the Dame award the Amsterdam Mets.
• 2005. The company creates three new divisions: Besenzoni Super Yacht Division, Besenzoni Titanium Division, Besenzoni Customer Service Division.
• 2009. Launch of Balcony, the custom balcony-window that can be installed at the bow, or at the level of the master cabin in a complex position on the side.
• 2017. The Matrix P400 pilot seat wins the Dame award the Amsterdam Mets.
• 2018. Creation of the Unica division, Unique Yachts Accessories, for custom projects for large yachts.
• 2019. Creation of the Bestshade division for the design and production of shading devices such as hard top / soft top / bimini arches / sun blinds.
• 2021. Creation of the BeElectric division.