The famous Ancona shipyard may have changed their name, but everything else is still the same – and better. The slipways are full and the list of upcoming deliveries longer than ever before
Italian shipbuilders are the leaders of the yachting world, and two cities in Italy have for the longest time been rivals in the number and size of ships built. The Ligurian Viareggio is the heart and soul of Italian yacht building, the place where the entire business came to life – but Ancona on the Italian Adriatic coast is slowly catching up. The largest of the three yards in Ancona belongs to the almighty Ferretti group: up until a short time ago, that yard was named only CRN. Their new name, Ferretti Group Superyacht Yard, announces the fact for which the renaming was done: the Ancona yard is also the place where large yachts are built for other brands of the group, like Riva, Pershing and Custom Line. This spring was a wild season for the Ancona yard. After finishing a unit of the largest Pershing model – 42 meters long and built entirely in aluminum – they launched Riva Race, 50 meters long. The Riva, as we have learned, was something of a manifesto – a demonstration of what the brand is all about. Even larger was the CRN built for a repeating client – 79 meters in length – while another Pershing 140 is in production, the largest ever designed by Pershing and a clear message from the brand.
The yard is also engaged in building series of yachts for Custom Line; composite yachts between 33 and 42 meters, among them we saw in the water the prototype of the planning Custom Line 106 designed by Francesco Paszkowski. Considering the immaculate reputation of the Ancona yard, it is little surprise Ferretti was ready to invest more than 30 million euros in building new production halls, which will raise the capacity of the Custom Line for roughly 50%.
Some of the investment was used for immediately noticeable improvements and additions, like the mentioned production halls or the 670-tonne travelift. Sadly, the romantic slipway for yachts up to 125 meters will by the year 2021 be replaced by a synchro-lift with capacity of 3500 tonnes, allowing CRN to build yachts up to 100 meters in length. This sends a clear message that despite the change in ownership and the many new things, CRN is still at the heart of the shipyard known for design and build of fully custom steel and aluminium yachts of up to 100 metres in length. Founded in 1963 in Ancona, Italy, its management centre, offices and production facilities have been based in the city ever since.
The Ancona yard spans almost 80,000 sqm and boasts a large historic private marina, where all the CRN megayachts are made. The fleet now numbers over 180 seagoing vessels plus several aluminium and light-alloy models built for other Ferretti Group brands. In the past couple of years CRN has partnered with some of the most illustrious designers in the world, who have all welcomed wholeheartedly a possibility to see their mind’s creations come to life, built by the skilled hands of the CRN crew.
The many splendid yachts built by CRN in the past decade have left a deep impression on the peculiar world that superyacht owners inhabit. The most important achievement, though, is the variety: one look at the fleet built by CRN tells you the yard is capable of building the perfect yacht in every segment – just remember that the yard recently built very different Atlante and Cloud 9. At the moment, the yard is busy with several yachts, all unique, all designed by the greatest names of contemporary naval design, like Nuvolari & Lenard, studio Omega Architects and studio Vallicelli.
We have also learned that the yard itself is developing (or has developed) several interesting projects, currently all top secret, while discussing with potential buyers. We would notice the era of Zuccon, the designer and the studio that have in a way shaped the image of CRN, is not over – it’s just extended as the yard is welcoming other ideas now, as well, collaborating with renowned designers and naval architects, all bringing in their own unique style.
During our visit to the Ancona yard in June, we have seen several yachts in the earliest stages of production, as well as listened to interesting presentations of new models and learned of plans for building several large yachts starting at 50 meters of length and ending at 3000 tonnes. Those presentations and plans have made one thing very clear – CRN are at their most comfortable when working on large yachts.
The CRN representatives we talked to, compared the yacht-building process to making other famous Italian products. Italians are patient people, we have heard – it takes at least two years to make really good Parmigiano cheese, more than ten for a really good aceto balsamico. How long does it take to build a really good yacht? Ask CRN.
Photos by CRN