Italy, a nation of saints, poets and sailors. Especially sailors, and among the greatest manufacturers of vessels of any kind all around the world. Today – as in the past –, thanks to its supply chain, Italy’s nautical industry is officially recognized as a global excellence, as well as one of the signature assets of Made in Italy. Thanks to a long-standing combination of craftsmanship, innovation and technology, that over the years has managed to establish itself with a production that ranges from powerboat to pleasure boats, from superyachts to megayachts. A sector constantly growing and a feather in the cap of Italy’s economy and manufacturing business, with world leadership in boat design and development, and that boasts some of the oldest and most renowned shipyards in the world.
History of the Italian nautical industry
Italian powerboating boasts absolute excellences thanks to pioneers like Riva, whose models whizzed in the waters of the French Riviera, and Baglietto, like Cantieri Posillipo, or Venice’s Cantieri Soccol who worked for the millionaire Barbara Hutton and for rich Swiss and Turkish tycoons, assembling the first diesels already in 1937. And how could we forget about Baglietto shipyards where the Royal navy’s Mas (Motoscafo Armato Silurante) was produced during the first and second World War. In the sixties a novelty came along which brough to major developments in the evolution of the national pleasure boat sector. We are talking about the “Speranziella”, designed by Renato Levi and assembled by Navaltecnica in Anzio. In the same period Riva thought to develop the Riva Boat Service, specialized service centers able to support boat owners in terms of repair or assistance for a Riva boat. Furthermore, Italy’s nautical sector has seen the big vessel segment grow consistently.
Current activities of the Italian boat producers
Today, the Italian nautical industry is among the strongest in the country system. Since 2018, in fact, it has been registering a record growth, especially in the big vessel production, developed in our shipyards especially in the international luxury segment. Over the years, Italian production has shifted toward high-tech and sustainability, that have gradually become synonyms with nautical Made in Italy. This has made Italy the second exporting country, after the United States of America. What appeals mainly to American and Asian billionaires are superyachts, vessels which can be over 24 meters long, with shipyards that can cater to 46% of global orders.
Italian shipyards of excellence
In theItalian nautical industry there are a lot of leaders, starting with Fincantieri, that in 2019 has earned €4,254 million, especially thanks to the demand from the cruise field. Cantiere Nautico Benetti, specialized in luxury yachts, started off with the production of vessels made of wood, but in the sixties took the route of luxury yachts, winding up developing the “Nabila”, a 86-meter-long yacht owned by the Saudi millionaire Adnan Khashoggi. Stand out also Cantiere Nautico San Lorenzo di in Viareggio and Cantiere Nautico CRN in Ancona; the latter, an icon of Italian excellence and style, in 78’ designed the first yacht over 45 meters long, for the emir of Qatar Al-Thani, and that in 2013 launched “Chopi-Chopi”, an 80-meter-long yacht. There are also the Perini and Rossinavi shipyards in Viareggio, Custom Line, and Cantiere Nautico Riva, an absolute excellence when it comes to powerboating, that from 2014 also focuses on the production of superyachts long up to 100 meters.