The founders of Absolute all started their careers at Cantieri Gobbi. The president of Absolute Yachts is Angelo Gobbi, who started building boats almost by accident in the mid-1960s. The son of a farmer, his first business was an automotive body shop that used polyester resins and fiberglass. When a small boatbuilder went out of business, he acquired its GRP molds. Scroll forward to 1970, and he had graduated to building bigger and better models of his own design — mostly trailerable craft popular on the lakes of northern Italy. At its peak, Cantieri Gobbi employed around 130 people and was producing around 900 boats a year. Azimut-Benetti acquired it in 2001 and rebranded it Atlantis. Two of the most experienced Gobbi technicians left in 2002 to start Absolute Yachts; Gobbi’s daughter joined them a year later, and he bought in as the largest shareholder in 2006. His first task was to help design the factory and 12-acre site that Absolute occupies today, just 8 miles north of Gobbi’s home village, Carpaneto, in the Emilia-Romagna region, about 80 miles from Bologna.