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Italian Shipyard quality...?

Discussion in 'Popular Yacht Topics' started by mwagner1, Aug 16, 2012.

  1. ttkrule

    ttkrule Member

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    ...These are reasons Azimut gets the bad publicity that they've earned for products and service (in the USA).
  2. airship

    airship Senior Member

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    For over 21 years now, I've been at...the Scotch. That's true, but what I wanted to say and edit was:

    I've been at sea and then in the shore-based industry since 1985. I've pretty-much "seen it all"...

    Before all this, I was previously employed as an independent consultant to "Project Noah's Ark" (not a Lurssen project). I raised a lot of questions concerning accommodating 1 male + 1 female of every species, without any provision for any young ones which still needed their mothers (and those which might have been pregnant and might require additional space "en voyage" so to speak). To be frank, I don't believe Noah took any notice of my comments or critcisms / objections back then. I certainly don't remember being paid anything at all for all my work. It sort of makes sense to me in 2012. I've never ever "got back" from the superyacht industry anywhere near what I "put in" to it. My mind today remians a blank on all the dated past. However, I'm pretty sure that the "Project Noah's Ark". was an overall success. The descendents of all those who ever found refuge on that ancient "megayacht" or "private / commercial" vessel survived to this day. Ah yes, now I have some flashbacks - "For the very last time airship, I specified accommodations for 1 pair (M+F) of each, that was the instruction I was given and which I gave you. Just follow it OK..."?! "But Noah" I replied in frustration, "I'm a professional, what you're asking me to do (in a middle-Eastern shipyard no less...) contradicts my best instincts to provide viable solutions. Therefore, I give you notice of my impending departure and conversion to Buddhism." Yeah, well (laugh all you want), airship was reborn as what he is today. Still no sign of Noah after all these years though...?!
  3. Milow232

    Milow232 Senior Member

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    Yep they did... OceAnco's 95m "Indian Empress" and 87m "Nirvana". Seriously very interesting post airship, thanks.
  4. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    Quite a good way to put it.


    It may come as a surprise that De Vries have bought Slob Bros who used to build hulls for both Feadship yards. Damen have always brought their hulls in from other Damen yards in Poland. Oceanco used to get teirs from South Africa.


    The Italians and Germans do the same.


    As the Feadship group own a numbe rof their sub contractors you migt do well to swat up on this subject.

    You have been corrected elsewhere in this thread already.



    This is basically what I said in one of the first posts in this thread about an Italian yard and have been branded as a hater just because of that.


    This situation often arises because the C/E doesn't leave his office during the build phase and invites in Parts suppliers to look at everything and provide lists of it plus parts offers. Finding this setup is generally a sign of poor supervision.


    This could be seen as the reason but luckily for you nthere are some Engineers and Crew who do not adhere to this type of operation and provide you and others with a living


    You must have an amazing capacity then as with the rants you often put out I would think sleep was in order shortly after you fell off your stool. Good Health.
  5. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    The others aren't any different such as Feretti etc etc etc.....
  6. Liam

    Liam Senior Member

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    Benetti build military vessels in both World Wars AFAIK and up until the 60s.
    Same goes for Picchiotti (Arno Leopard shipyard), and Cantieri Navali di Lavagna Admiral. And not to forget Roedriguez from Messina who I think was also the inventor for the Aliscafo?
    I think even Riva did something of military vessels mostly in WW.1.
    Even a small yard as Rio used to build 30-25 feet military/police vessels and some of them are still in operation.
  7. Telemachus

    Telemachus Senior Member

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    Is this a commonly accepted criterion for yacht-building success? Since OceAnco doesn't have a military past, does that mean they're poor yacht builders? Does Fleming have a military background? I don't think so, but many consider them fine yachts and I have yet to read about any wiring issues.

    I don't see the connection.

    Maybe I'll order a yacht from the Brooklyn Navy Yard; I can see it now--armor belt and 16-inch guns just like the Missouri. At least I wouldn't have to worry about pirates.
  8. RVN-BR

    RVN-BR Senior Member

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    They have more experience in building large yachts... What difference does their time in business make? The italians have been building many more units of individually smaller sizes. The germans have been building quasi-"cruise liners", the so called "giga-yachts" of the last decade... this was the issue raised above in the thread, when it was said that fincantieri and a couple others were pumping out XXL yachts, and the question was floated "will they be as good as german/dutch large yachts"...

    And just FIY, if you want to be picky about my 3rd language (I speak 5), you should say you were correcting my "improper" use of nouns, otherwise you sound like an arse, albeit an ignorant one......
  9. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    That's some standard to measure them by.

    If the Italian military ships that were built during World War I and II were as good as the Italian Tanks built during that era, I think I'd rather have Meridian build me a megayacht. :D
  10. ttkrule

    ttkrule Member

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    LOL
    And now it's clear to everybody that your opinion of Italian yachts is based on anti-Italian prejudice. :D



    Don't trust Capt J on Italian yachts; he is motivated by anti-Italian feelings.
  11. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    It's the truth. The Italian tanks in WWII were useless because they decided to make the steel so thin in an effort to save money, that normal rifle bullets like .30-06 would go right through them. The tanks were a huge and proven failure.

    That's rather funny that I would be anti-Italian, because I am 1/2 Italian. Their cars.....Ferrari......Lamborghini I like.......the yachts, I've worked on enough of them and still hate them for reasons I've stated above. Honestly, managing one Italian yacht always has enough legitement work to never fail to pay all of my living expenses each and every month (I cannot say this about the same size Neptunus, Hatteras, Sea Ray, Cabo, or Hong Kong Hatteras in any 1 given month, yet the work is such a pain to accomplish, is spread out beneath so many different floor hatches in different staterooms that it takes such a long time to track down a normal part, that it's annoying at best.
  12. apex1

    apex1 New Member

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    That reply was not so silly as it may seem to be.

    The fact that one is in business for as long as the competitor does not say anything about the quality of his product.

    Some 20 years ago, when the race for supersize started, there was a clear statement made by Lürssen about competition: apart from Blohm & Voss they all have to prove first, that they are able to build the really big ones! (in these days Carinthia IV was "big" at 75m)
    And fact was that none of the well respected yards as Feadship, Amels or Benetti was able to.

    But to the main Question.
    Benetti and Codecasa built yachts were of equal quality compared with A&R, Feadship, Lürssen and all the smaller Dutch and German yards, like Lowland or Schweers, in the 60ies and 70ies. And another fact is, that they were more experienced in this field than the rest of the world. (including the German yards, but except Blohm & Voss)
    That was just due to the "Viareggio cluster", where skilled craftsman were available in every other shed. Unfortunately experience did not automatically lead to longevity and quality in every case. (look at the wonderful Maserati`s or Ferrari´s which were wonderful cars, but unreliable scrap in the few days they spent on the roads)
    Sure the people north of the Alpine mountains are more addicted to quality and reliabilty than those south of.

    The custom built Benetti´s, CRN, and Codecasa´s are still on top of the list in terms of quality, there can be no doubt. The rest is covering the range from Ferretti / Azimuth to San Lorenzo, read: from scrap to top.
    But that is valid for the most (established) countries like France or the US. Just a few build to top quality, the majority is "acceptable" or below that. And the average yachtsman with a mere 70 hrs. of sailing per annum will never notice any shortage of quality as long as the paintjob is done on schedule.

    One word to the "Eurowiring"
    95% of all US production boats wiring and plumbing would never stand a EU standard quality control....! although its getting better since a few years:D

    regards
    Richard

    Sure Fincantieri is NOT a quality yachtbuilder and will not be for at least another decade, until they have learned what the others mentioned already know.
  13. ttkrule

    ttkrule Member

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    That's a much more balanced and realistic assessment.
    I would put Riva and Wally at the top with San Lorenzo. Fincantieri could shorten their learning curve for anything Megayacht specific if they had the humility to acquire any highly specific know how they didn't have before.

    What about Canados and AB? And ISA?
  14. airship

    airship Senior Member

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    In my inebriated condition (when making my original contribution yesterday) and my inebriated condition today (when repling to some of you)...?!

    I'm somewhat surprised not to have been simply "hosed-down" using the usual "high-pressure hoses" by all those "YF senior members", always waiting in the sidelines and ready to reduce the average YF contributor with 2 decades of experience in the industry with a simple "*******, you don't know what you're talking about comment"...

    Whatever,

    Milow232 who wrote
    Of course you're right. They (Oceanco) were the exception to the rule back then. Apparently fabricating all the steel-works and aluminium superstructure in South Africa, then transporting same all the way on towed barges upto Holland for completion and sold as "Dutch-built"...?!

    K1W1 wrote
    It's often a 2-way and reciprocal thing, all about long-term relationships, confidence and "always being ready to do the max. when the client finds themselves in a ****ty-place. You (I) never give up and usually find a suitable solution. I've been supplying some yachts under different ownership continuously for the past decade. I've supplied some owners and their different yachts continuously over 15 years. Yes, I "count very much on the business that these regular and fidele clients / customers provide", but realise that at the end of the day, this is due to our relations and the underlying mutual understanding that I will never (and never have) shafted them, nor let them down whenever they have an emergency...?! Most customers recognise this. I'm not always the cheapest (always clearly say when I don't think I can be competetive), but I'm not one of the countless "concierge agencies" offering spare parts from their office in Venice or whatever, charge you 300% the usual price for your CATERPILLAR oil and fuel filters, then add their "handling charges" on top...?!

    Back onto the immediate subject though...

    I have always been extremely furious and angry (and remain so, after 2 decades), with all the shipyards (together with the yacht brokers and other agencies involved) that actually sell these superyachts and earn sometimes € millions in sales commissions (whether or not Feadships, Italian yachts or other shipyards wherever they're located). All too often, they sell a yacht possibly with a price tag of anywhere between €20 to 100 millions on a regular basis but offer no efficient or reliable "after-sales" service...? You could buy a FORD motor car for €15,000 and expect a more prompt after-sales service...?!

    At least for me, I'm glad that GM Europe (once a serious supplier of some very nice and reliable 2-stroke engines for yachts and to many Italian shipyards) is no longer really involved, having given way to MTU, Caterpillar, Deutz etc.? I've always wondered about GM (and Ford). Apparently neither of these 2 compaines have ever declared a profit on their European (car) operations. Ever since the end of WWII apparently...?! That's a lot of years...?! Why are they still here...?! Some things I shall never understand. Perhaps someone in Switzerland could help explain...?!

    I have to have a siesta now. Please excuse me.
  15. Liam

    Liam Senior Member

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    Fincantieri Super Yacht story is strange. There first interest started with a colloboration with Benetti, but this seems to have dissappeared.

    It will be interesting how the Italians will fare in 100 meters plus now that they are going into it against the Germans.
    So far we have Fincantieri, Viareggio Super Yacht, and CBI Navi (Fipa Group) also presented a new 100 meter project.
    IMO some yards as Codecasa, Benetti, CRN, CBI Navi, Baglietto, Mondo, Picchiotti etc always offered top of the line products that could take it with the Dutch and German in the 50 meter bracket. BTW I consider Codecasa among the best.

    I have to agree about CE not passing test for some US builder. A few years ago a client commisioned a bathing platform and the disaster of wiring I saw once we opened the transom was impressive. I mean even a house builder would have been much better. OTOH I saw a lot of Cranchi's and some Azimut in the same situation and there wiring is ages ahead to the US in this department. Not all US boats are a Tiara or a Cabo in this area.
    That is at least for some exports coming here in Europe.

    You can be half Italian Capt.J but you hate for the Bell Paese is very apparent for all to see here in every post where some italians are involved. Was it some grudge with some Italian X lady ;)
  16. YachtForums

    YachtForums Administrator

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    Guys,

    This is an incredibly informative thread. Let's not dilute it with nationality bias. We are all products of our experience and we're all allowed to present our beliefs based on our experience. It's up to individual viewers to read between the lines.

    FWIW, Capt. J helps a lot of people on YF, but I don't always agree with him either. For instance, I'm NOT a Cabo fan. I also disagree with him on current era Hatteras motoryachts being a better choice than other offerings. I'm a Hatteras fan, but in the motoryacht sector, I have other favorites, mostly based on ergonomics and layout.

    Let's leave nationality out of the equation. Again, a lot of good information is coming from this thread. Although Liam and I got off to an "Absolutely" rocky start, I've come to respect his posts. They are often similar to my own findings.

    Also, I believe TKrule brings a very unique perspective to the thread with insight into Italian yacht and ship building that many of us may never see. If you worked with these companies, you may show some favoritism too!

    PLEASE, let's all be respectful of one another and leave nationality out!
    We all share a common interest and passion here.
  17. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    The Italians do certain things well, their hull design is usually pretty good on most of the yacht builders. You rarely see stabilizers on any of their motoryachts because they are very stable in a beam sea and not needed, whereas a lot of yachts build in the US and Taiwan typically rely on them. They usually run pretty good in a sea, and the styling is nice. Spare parts storage, docking supplies and cleaning supplies storage, as well as food storage is always a major mission on the Italian boats. But I totally disagree with the wiring comment about Cranchi's, Azimuts and the like compared to US boats.

    I primarily manage and maintain US boats and have for over the last decade, but right now am managing 1 Italian yacht, 1 UK yacht, 1 Canadian yacht, 1 Taiwanese and many US. I almost never ever have to call a marine electrician out on a US built boat. And, I manage lots of them from Silvertons to Sea Ray's to Hatteras'. The wiring is generally simple, it matches the wiring schematics from the builder, the breakers and components are generally good quality even on the cheapest of builders. If there is an electrical issue, it's usually a component that's failed and almost always easy to find, figure out, and fix. The wiring might not be up to European standards, but I'm not impressed with the European standards.

    Perfect example, bilge pump wiring. European standards require the connections to be 24" above the bilge and in a waterproof box. So what do all of the builders do, they run the wiring up through the bottom of the box, and use NON-WATERPROOF connectors on all the wiring in the box, it never fails that humidity gets in there and corrodes the connectors to where there isn't adequate power going to the bilge pump. I've seen it over and over and over again for decades. What do the US builders do, well the connections are usually always exposed with the wires running along the stringer or wherever, but ALL of the connections are always 100% waterproof and heatshrunk butt connectors. I almost never see the connections fail before the bilge pump or float switch fails on US boats, crude maybe, but it always works.

    On the Italian built boats, I always always always have to call a marine electrician out to each boat, regardless of builder, at least once a year, if not quarterly on some boats to track down and fix a strange electrical issue. The latest issue was the engine room bilge pump had no power. There was power going into and out of it's circuit breaker, yet none at the bilge pump connections......well the builder decided that it would be a good idea to piggyback the wiring for the horn compressor on the engine room bilge pump wire, buried 4' behind the breaker panel underneath the lower helm, and put an inline fuse even though there is a circuit breaker, I don't think anyone on this forum would think that's proper. I've also seen them mount all of the electrical relays in an outdoor, non-waterproof, storage locker on the aft deck. The things I've seen on some of the Italian boats are just plain shocking when it comes to electrical. I had a large dealer from the MED, who is the dealer for a large Italian manufacturer tell me, that they ALWAYS have electrical issues on brand new boats coming from the factory and the wiring never matches the diagrahms, and that they don't even bother trying to trace the circuit anymore, they just instantly pull new wires from the panel to wherever the component is.

    The problem is, these electrical issues on Italian boats have been going on for decades and they never seem to get any better at it. I have nothing against Italian yachts, I'm just calling a spade a spade.......
  18. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Everyone has a different opinion of what yacht suits them the best and for their cruising. Everyone's cruising is different.

    I look at a yacht from both a Captain's perspective AND an owner's perspective. I think the 72' really shines.....the new 60' MY has a nice interior, but IMO they packed too much stuff into a boat that should've been 5' longer to make it all work.......The way I see the 72' is that it's built very well for it's purpose, 8 guests could go for a 2 week cruise through the Bahamas, or up North, and anchor or marina it the entire time and could comfortably eat every meal on the boat, and carry enough supplies and provisions, with plenty of storage space and freezer space to carry everything you need and only need fuel if you ran at cruise..... if you ran it at hull speed, you might not even need to fuel. Any owner's wife would be happy in the galley on the boat and it's sized to where it's not a mission to cook a 4 course meal for 9 people (8guests +crew), there are enough area's so that nobody is tripping over each other, and everything is nicely spaced........not to mention their's headroom.....I have an owner that is 6'7 and he doesn't bump his head anywhere on the boat......But basically I'm look at a yacht this size from the perspective of using it for it's intended purpose a 2 week trip with full guests/owners on board......not from the perspective as a day boat drinking platform to go from Miami to Fort Lauderdale for the day.......or Bimini for just the weekend with 4 people on it.
  19. apex1

    apex1 New Member

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    Well I did just name one of the several semi custom and production builders because they are not part of the game.
    The OP was:
    hence clearly pointed towards the upper range of megayachts. Azimuth or Hatteras have nothing to do with that business, so it is not sensible to talk about their quality (or the lack of).
    Btw. not just a few of the mentioned mass production boats are actually built in Turkey, and definetively not all of them to a reasonable standard.





    On Codecasa I agree if we name them the best Italian, Benetti only when we talk the 1970ies, but the rest was never close to Dutch or German quality. Even the top range of the Dutch could, until quite recently, not compete with A&R, Blohm&Voss and Lürssen when it came to larger sized vessels. (say above 50m)
    Below that size, there were / are really outstanding Dutch yards in business. Remember the Swiss watch quality Arie van Vulpen built with his "Lowland Yachts", to name just one of the very best. That level of quality (provided by a handful of other Dutch yards too) is still unsurpassed by any of the competition worldwide.

    The fact that shipyards (not yachtbuilders) like Fincantieri can take orders for megayachts has mainly two reasons imho.
    Most of the top builders refuse almost as many projects as they build, for different reasons.
    The client is fine with a cosmetically touched up "cruise ship" quality because a herd of crew is required anyway to keep systems running and accomodation ship shape. For them size matters...

    Regards
    Richard
  20. Fishtigua

    Fishtigua Senior Member

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    Good, now Carl has said all that, I'm going to be really, really nationalistic.

    The following list is of products I own, have owned, sailed or worked on.

    Have a guess where they come from?

    2 x Benetti
    1 x Posillipo
    1 x Ferretti
    3 x Alfa Romeo
    3 x Fiat
    1 x Lancia
    2 x Moto Guzzi
    1 x Moto Morini
    1 x Gilera
    1 x Benelli
    1 x Aprilia
    1 x Garelli
    1 x Ducati

    And once rode a Vespa (shudders at memory).

    Each one of these products has something in common. Style.

    -So, Fish, would you spend your own money an Italian yacht?

    From happy and sad experiences, probably not.

    -Ok, Smart Ass, where would you go?

    Anywhere that I can see true, honest engineering that doesn't cut corners, a certain style that is timeless and a sense of trust while at sea. To create this, I would pick the best companies from around the world.

    -And where is this 'perfect' yacht built?

    Up here, sunnyboy,<taps side of head>. Up here.

    :D