Gemma Sciallino: “I began working as a secretary, then my husband passed on his passion for boating and the sea”
Gemma Sciallino is Mario Sciallino’s wife, the well-known master craftsman and soul of the shipyard, Sciallino in Ceriale, building vessels from 6 to 15 metres
Gemma Sciallino is Mario Sciallino’s wife, the well-known master craftsman and soul of the shipyard, Sciallino in Ceriale. Mario Sciallino died in 1994 and, shortly after his death, his wife began receiving offers for the acquisition of the shipyard and partnerships. But, together with her daughters, Gemma decided to keep going, just like her husband would have wanted. The companies only came a long time afterwards.
The Sciallino shipyard, located between Ceriale and Albenga, builds vessels between 6 and 15 metres long, dedicated to those who truly have a passion for the sea, and are not just looking for a floating parlour. Wood, the material with which Mario Sciallino had begun working with as a master craftsman in his first shipyard of just 300 square metres, is still now the main material worked.
Mrs. Sciallino, how did you first come into contact with boating?
I learned about boating thanks to my husband.
Was that before you got engaged to Mario or did you begin working in the boating industry beforehand? What did you contribute to such a well known master craftsman?
Before I met my husband, I was a secretary in a concrete company, so I knew nothing about the boating industry. My contribution to the master craftsman was firstly, being a good wife, then I began working as his administrative secretary and, lastly standing beside him and having a great passion for boating and the sea, I learned what I needed to know.
Your name immediately brings to mind a historic brand in boating, working with those who really want to enjoy the sea. What is the philosophy behind your family’s boat building?
Mario Sciallino’s dream was to make a vessel inspired by the Ligurian skiff, but could at the same time respond to the needs of fishermen and water lovers.
Together with your daughters you continued Mario’s business. How did you get them to fall in love with this job?
Since the shipyard was the “first-born child”, our daughters grew up hearing about boats, the sea, and boating, so their passion grew naturally.
What is your relationship like with the sea now?
I don’t currently own a boat, but my love for the sea and for boating is complete.
Photos by Claudio Colombo
BOATING IN A PORTRAIT A project by Liguria Nautica and Claudio Colombo showcasing a gallery of Ligurian people or those who have ties with our region, who have left their mark on Italian boating, or who have deep rooted connections with our sea. For each of them, we present a photographic portrait take by Claudio Colombo and an interview with our journalist, Giuseppe Orrù, to better know each person, in their personal lives as well.