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Italian Shipyard quality...?

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

  1. apex1

    apex1 New Member

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    Don´t disagree, but as mentioned above, the topic was megayachts, not boats.
    Except for some Palmer Johnson yachts I have jet to see proper wiring and plumbing on bigger US boats. The Dutch, German and Codecasa in Italy do far better jobs on that.

    And of course, one can build crap even when one is well within the rules and regulations, as many of the builders worldwide prove every day again. (included the mentioned Dutch, German, US and Italian)

    Regards
    Richard
  2. Milow232

    Milow232 Senior Member

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    I agree with Carl, this thread is currently my favourite thread and one of the most interesting threads I have seen since I am onboard YF!!

    @ Liam
    I do not want to go out on a limb too much but I think these design concepts are published to show what they are supposed to be able to build...
    I do not think somebody would actually order them so I guess it will take some time until they really build 100m yachts like Lürssen or " Blohm & Voss... However now we are getting to my essentially question which I have asked K1W1 already regarding China and now I would like to hear from you knowledgeable people when do you think Italy's yards (Benetti, CRN etc..)are able to build 100m plus yachts and become serios competitors?!
  3. Liam

    Liam Senior Member

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    Benetti, CRN, Codecasa etc don't have the space to build 100 meters plus unless they sub-contract the hull and and do fit out. Something which most Italians don't like to do much.

    I think max lenght is about 80 meters for Benetti in the new Spezia area. I think this new area might be able to build 100 meters in the near future but not sure of that. Fipa Group CBI Navi might just have managed the space in the Intermare factory.

    A note on Azimut Benetti Group that since the nineties the company have showed that they don't like to sub-contract any more. Even for the GRP Benetti which started with the 35m Classic in 2000, they bought the Siar Moshini Yard (some Yachts and very high knowledge of fiberglass builds). SM also had record of biggest GRP build for some time.

    Just a note on Fincantieri that the shipyard also build Destriero in 1990 and had the Blue Ribbon record for quite some time, before being beaten by the much bigger tri-maran.
  4. apex1

    apex1 New Member

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    Not sure about Benetti because I haven´t seen the newer facilities, but I would assume CRN is able to build around or above 100m just due to the size of the yard. Unfortunately they are part of the Ferretti group which means part of their quality management too.......

    @Milow

    No, like the Chinese are staying well behind the western yards, the Italian will remain being not fully up to Dutch and German quality. But then again, you get what you pay for. A&R and Lürssen do hardly compete pricewise, they get what they ask for and don´t negotiate much. On the Italian market (as on others) you find a different scene, the yards have to cope with legal tenders. And you may bet who gets the order if only the price tag counts. But these clients don´t wonder, although they argue, why to employ a electrician and a third engineer. They know they bought Chinese skills and quality.
    There is btw. nothing to say against outsourcing, as long as the QM is up to date and on the footsteps of the sub. even the most famous yards buy their hulls in Poland for example. But then they have their own QM team on site.
  5. Telemachus

    Telemachus Senior Member

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    When you're brushing up on those 5 languages, look up the term "proper noun." You'll find it refers to names, etc., that should be capitalized. I knew exactly what I was writing.

    Further, the poster to whom I was replying was not confining his comments to size. It was quality. Perhaps you should read up on Freud, too.
  6. Liam

    Liam Senior Member

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    If you read a bit history you would know more about this.
    Italian military vessels and ships where ages advanced in the first part WWII and to any other nation. Even the so much admired Germans Here used them in the first part of WW.II for this reason. If you check well around, the stern drive later patented by Volvo and Jim Wynn in the end sixties was invented by Italians in the end of WW.1 altough in a more Raw version. Along many other stuff which the US stole and now have in there stores.
    Even a British War General in the book Meditterranean says how the Italians where a lot superior to the British on the naval technological side and there design alone minus only one detail; They had no oil (fuel), and that is why in the end they lost.
    As for the 6 mm it is normal in War to make some sacrifises to obtian something else, so could it be that they made it 6 mm to gain speed....

    As for the bilge pump argument which I can concede, I tell you that on every boat I had and managed you always find something stupid. I once managed a Fairline around 45 feet and its galley and fridge where factory made with tappets, and in force 4 seas it broke loose. What did I do I changed it. So if you find something not good you change it and improve it. So far every builder does something stupid. I cannot speak much for yachts of over 24 meter altough I have managed a few, but in many cases I usually improve stuff.

    Even the so much admired cold molding boat building method took a lot from the Lamellar construction developed in the sixties by Rome builders mostly Canav from Anzio Rome and the great Renato Sonny Levi which also is said but not proven invented the Deep Vee like 2 years before Ray Hunt. Still since his first deep Vee was more obscure RSL actually concedes that and is not so much bothered about it.
    RSL would go on to make the first step hull invent the surface drive from Italcraft, and also the tunnel for propellers.
    It is said around that all legendary US figures (Ray Hunt, Bertram, Don Aronow) who came to race in EUROPE where always impressed how much the Italians mostly figures like Renato Sonny Levi, Sonnino Soriso brothers from Italcraft, Gagliotta from Naples, actually improved there deep Vee designs to better sea keeping abilities.

    To get back in the post at hand, now that the first Fincantieri has launched only time will tell if this is good enough as its German size equivalent. IMO made new everything looks and works good. But as it was stated from some1 who just 2 weeks ago launched a 160k t cruise liner (its biggest yet) and is leader in this type of builds, the capability to make the best surely is there.
  7. colintraveller

    colintraveller Senior Member

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    When it comes to Liners don't get me started ... Yachts however visually Impressive
  8. Old Phart

    Old Phart Senior Member

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    I dunno
    Time for the hip boots

    This is pure BS.

    Google:

    Dixie IV (Clinton Crane)

    Hornet II (Gar Wood)
  9. Bill106

    Bill106 Senior Member

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    The cold-molded hull construction technique was already two decades old in the sixties. Huckins, Elco, Higgins, and Vosper built hundreds of PT boats during WWII and they and several other non-military companies were building both power and sail hulls shortly thereafter.
  10. Marmot

    Marmot Senior Member

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    It is older than that, they built airplanes from molded plywood as early as 1915.
  11. discokachina

    discokachina Senior Member

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  12. RVN-BR

    RVN-BR Senior Member

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    Welcome Telemachus :D, in due time you will learn the ropes and stop calling ppl out for not capitalizing every single proper noun, etc (I know very well what you meant, my dear...)

    You were answering MY comment, and that is the one you quoted (Or maybe you need to brush up on forum skills)... Either way, lets get back to the topic at hand.
  13. Liam

    Liam Senior Member

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    Then I correct myself about what I stated. What I stated above all came from a Buddy Davis interview I read online where he said how cold molding the way it is today was started in experimentation with some resins in the seventies by Rybovich, and Merritt. He said these yard already used some resins in between the structure in the 50s and 60s, but the real development came in the 70s, and cold molding how we know it today with wood covered by glass was done first time in the 80s.
  14. karo1776

    karo1776 Senior Member

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    Building Yachts Requires First Passion and Second Quality

    Reading through this thread and its very title mostly it is a matter of opinion. Building a yacht is a matter of passion and quality. One never builds a yacht without the inspiration of passion but the result is unsatisfying if quality is not paramount. Truth is you can build an inspirational and quality yacht anywhere with facility of first skill and second infrastructure from Turkey to China to Holland to Italy to France. Dutch quality is famous but expensive and business comes first. Feadship will build a good solid yacht but you will pay for it and free more relaxed that you don't have to sweat the details, and you might come away not so much liking the management of the company. Castagnola, a small Italian builder, or properly Costruzioni Navali Tigullio can build a good solid yacht, you will save money, but will feel you have to more involved in the design and construction process and come away charmed by the management. The extra care of the planning and care during the process will partly offset the cost saving. They are different animals predominately steel and predominately wood. Predominately large displacement and on the other more modest planning. One is quality is systematic and one the quality is that of skill and passion. Will one build a better yacht than the other the short answer is ABSOLUTELY NO.

    Perhaps it is a matter of personality...If you are a wealthy Hedge Fund executive you might chose the Dutch as a safe bet and to impress your clients and friends... if you a wealthy venture capitalist you might choice the Italian as you can control the risk, and wow the yachties and satisfy yourself.

    In going through the yards one comes away really skill wise and earnestness I see little difference. I see both dedication and professionalism in the shops are equal... despite what people will tell you.

    Personally if I were to build a large palace of a yacht likely it would be CMN in Normandy, France and not Feadship... and if it were a fun sophisticated sail both it might be Wally which has a process much like Feadship with a more progressive management... a large sophisticated sail yacht 'Royal' Huisman... classic motor planning yacht perhaps Castagnoia... or Palmer Johnson. But whatever... it will be absolutely matter it be with people I like and trust and will not worry where they are other than connivence of personal logistics.

    I am a long experienced engineer who started his career in Lockheed ADP... worked from the shop floor to upper management in aerospace before going out on my own in different fields. When Kelly Johnson ran the show at ADP it was like the later and built great airplanes at comparatively low cost and short schedule. Now-a-days its like the former and maybe the systems are better but not the planes... nor the people.
  15. discokachina

    discokachina Senior Member

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    Sounds like you would enjoy JetForums - Jet Aviation's Premier Online Community
  16. ttkrule

    ttkrule Member

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    I've never much appreciated the old fashioned ways and the whole handcrafted deal. To me passion and skill cannot replace organization, and method.
    It's all well and good about the individual genius like the mentioned Renato Sonni Levi and all the Italcraft epics but ideas alone aren't enough; you need money, resources to develop them and skill to impose them on a market that is far from rational and where the better product does not always prevail.

    And besides as the "art" evolves it becomes more complex and intricate, the individual no longer can make the difference; progress is accomplished by collective efforts, efficiently organized.

    I'm sure this point of view is shared by many in the Italian yachts industry. And by the way many of the smaller yards making handcrafted products have gone under in recent years (and the rest will follow). A Yacht is a machine and machines are built by engineers not artisans.


    An article on Yachts Magazine relates of some of the noise and vibrations dampening measures on the semi-custom Benetti 140 Crystal.

    (Link removed)
  17. Bill106

    Bill106 Senior Member

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    Wow! So you think all yachts must be produced in a large factory owned by a big conglomerate and that efficient management all by itself will turn out a wonderfully complex "machine" without those skilled craftsmen who are passionate about their work? All it takes is a team of engineers and assembly line workers?

    Sad to say I've found very few design engineers who have a clue about reality, they sit in cubicles all day designing up a storm but it's up to the skilled guys on the shop floor to actually make those dreams into a working reality. Without them the project is doomed to failure from the start. I also hope you're wrong that the smaller yards and shops are on the road to extinction and there will only be a few large companies left, without the individual creativity it would be a dull world indeed!
  18. sunchaserv

    sunchaserv Member

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    Parked down the dock from me is a 120' (or so ) Delta. Nice boat from a good yard, but hardly the type of boat to appeal to the very image seeking rich who are hoarding their money in these iffy times. These smart rich hoarders who earned their own (vs inherited) march to a very different drummer and are less concerned about country of origin than status, one of a kind and re-sale. This thread only supports the notion that Italian yards have appeal and quite possibly nice builds. Pity the Captain (and "friend") who tell the owner his new Italian build is sub par.
  19. ttkrule

    ttkrule Member

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    Another new Italian yachts builder is Palumbo. They started out in 1967 ship repair / refit yard. The aluminum hulled hybrid diesel electric Columbus 130 (rendering below) is in construction for a Russian owner.

    Attached Files:

  20. Liam

    Liam Senior Member

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    I am with Bill on this one! Even the flavour that Italy created actually started from boat builders that some of them hardly know how to speak a language apart the one of the region they are from.
    Someone names Castagnola here, and its nice to see such a name in a US Forum. But many builders in Italy started this way. Yes today we have the big groups like Azimut and Ferretti in Italy but even tough they are a good sponsor for the boat building of Italy, the south European peninsula is not about this.
    Its about family builders who started building small boats and eventually they became bigger and bigger. How can these small companies survive in such globalized times with bank hungry corporation ready to capitalize on there profits is beyond me, but a few examples can surely be taken of what is happening in Carolina from some Custom sportfish builders. I think this is the other way a company can take in the current market.
    You let yourself eaten by the big fish or become a small fish which is not food enough for the big one.
    Italy is about the Carlo Riva when he used to make the Aquarama's, when Pietro Baglietto used to run with speedsters on lakes in early twenth century, when Fabio Buzzi modified a Leyland UK block to make it become the Seatek, when Sonnino Sorriso used to run on the Sarima's in Naples, Sangermani in Lavagna who appreciates anyone having a look, and when Norberto Ferretti came with a part to give to a client in August who had to stop for repairs (it was early 90s).
    The rest is just corporate magnetism which make some interesting WoW as the big Mangusta mooring in St.Tropez video read.