Over the years, the three letters CRN would become a symbol of prestige, luxury and elegance crafted in the Ancona marina and exported all over the world
It was Sanzio Nicolini, a Marche-based entrepreneur with a passion for the sea, who founded Costruzioni e Riparazioni Navali in 1963. In six decades, CRN has revolutionized the nautical world with its far-sighted innovations and successes. The yard brought in the most experienced craftspeople and the top international yacht designers from the start, creating an array of seagoing gems and adding memorable pages to the annals of Italy’s modern industrial history.
True to its strong values and mission, the shipyard has always risen to even the most demanding challenges, launching over 400 vessels that still sail the waves today, bringing fine Italian manufacturing and design to the waters of the world.
In 1963, Sanzio Nicolini began to build steel and aluminium yachts in Ancona, a first clear sign of the yard’s avant-garde spirit. In those days, wood was the preferred material, and Nicolini’s choice was uncommon. But in a very prolific start, 32 yachts, ranged from 15 to 20 metres in length, sporting an instantly recognisable design, were built in less than a decade, including the first in an iconic line of 23-metre yachts, the SuperConero. Honourable mention also goes 1969’s Bagheera – the yard’s first pleasure vessel of over 38 metres.
The 1970s were the years of the partnership between Sanzio Nicolini and Carlo Riva. The result was seven historic boats: five Marco Polos, inspired by the SuperConero, and two Vespuccis, one of which became Carlo Riva’s personal yacht. The collaboration between the two great innovators was a key moment for their companies and for the Italian and international pleasure boating industry as a whole.
In the 1980s an order arrived from a passionate owner with highly sophisticated tastes, none other than the head of Fiat Group Gianni Agnelli, the ‘Avvocato’. The F100 was the first true explorer yacht in the pleasure boating world. Designed for long voyages in all weathers, her minimalist lines are far removed from the classic ideas of luxury, so much so that she has been described as almost austere.
In 1999, the CRN shipyard was purchased by the Ferretti Group. The first step of this new phase of CRN was the project Magnifica, a splendid 43 metre megayacht designed by Nuvolari & Lenard. CRN acquired the Mario Morini shipyard in 2002, which, with its fleet of 280 ships built, added value thanks to its expertise in steel construction.
This period also saw the beginning of a collaboration with the Zuccon International Project. The first result is the 54-metre Ability, with four decks, vertical glazing, large interior volumes and an imposing appearance that will become CRN’s trademark. In the second half of the decade, the two composite superyacht lines were born: 40-metre CRN Custom Line 128 and 43-metre CRN Navetta 43.
In 2012, the Ferretti Group was acquired by SHIG-Weichai Group, which became the majority shareholder, securing a 75 percent share of the entire Group.
In recent years, several symbolic yachts have been launched for the shipyard, starting with J’Ade (60 metres), revolutionary for the design of the superstructure, for the innovations in the interiors and for the first floodable garage, Chopi Chopi, the 80-metre flagship of the fleet, became the largest yacht ever built in CRN’s entire history,
Saramour (61 metres) a true ‘floating art gallery’ characterised by extremely clean and streamlined lines, and Yalla (73 metres), a design icon, as well as the first vessel to be produced by CRN on the new 12.50-metre wide naval platform.
The decade continues with Atlante, a 55-metre superyacht that stands out for its excellent design of spaces; Eight (46 metres) that marks a very important moment because it represents the first refit in the shipyard’s history; CLOUD 9 (74 metres) which is a spectacular and impressive combination of technical expertise and cutting-edge design; Latona (50 metres) which encompasses all the most important avant-garde and design solutions developed by CRN, including the balcony that can also be used while sailing, the terrace overlooking the sea that can be opened and enjoyed at anchor, the beach club at the stern and the floodable garage for the tender for the first time on a 50-metre; and Mimtee, a 79-metre ‘giant’ with sleek forms, well defined by the soft lines of the hull.
Voice is the protagonist in 2020: an icon of contemporaneity with an unmistakably Italian imprint that stands out for its aerodynamic exterior lines and bold bespoke colours. Three yachts followed in 2022: RIO, 62 metres, a perfect blend of creativity, quality and tailoring, with a distinct sporty personality; CIAO, 52 metres built entirely in aluminium, which has a strongly social soul and places the exteriors at the centre and CRN M/Y 141, a unique 60 meters project that, at the Owner’s request, had to arouse amazement and wonder in his guests, starting from the aerodynamic, taut, fluid and powerful external lines that recall the ideas of speed and fluidity, typical of an automotive project.
The continuous search for unrepeatable design solutions is one of the hallmarks of the shipyard, which accompanies CRN’s sixty-year history step by step and will accompany the next ones to come.
Photos & video CRN