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Maxi-yacht shoppers continue to pick Italy

by Raoul de Forcade

Once more, Italy ranks first among maxi yacht producers (over 24 meters), according to Showboats International magazine’s January issue.

Albeit with a few variations at the top of the list, the ranking – which refers to the global order book for 2017 published in the US magazine – shows three Italian shipyards in first, second and third place.

What's more, seven out of twenty names belong to Italian yacht producers. Another point of note is that all except one Italian shipyard show an increase in number of projects under way, compared to the 2016 order book. Number One, continuing a winning streak lasting seventeen years, is Azimut Benetti, owned by the Vitelli family.

The group based in Avigliana (Turin) has 65 projects in the pipeline, totaling 2,594 meters, with an average boat length of 131 feet (39.9 meters). Last year, the number of projects was 63. The company closed its 2015-2016 nautical business year (September 1-August 31) with a production value of over €700 million.

Ranking second in the 2017 global order book is Ferretti Group (comprising the brands Crn, Ferretti Yachts, Custom Line, Pershing and Riva). The Italian company led by Alberto Galassi and controlled by Chinese shareholder Weichai totals 71 projects amounting to 2,300 meters and averaging 106 feet in length (32.3 meters). The 2016 order book counted 56 projects and the company expects the turnover of the past year to reach €500 million.

Third on the Top 20 list is another Italian shipyard: Sanlorenzo. In 2016, the La Spezia-based company led by Massimo Perotti was second on the list; but the switch with Ferretti (which was third last year) has not prevented the Ligurian group to increase the number of projects under way according to the 2017 order book, totaling 64, 2,144 meters and an average of 110 feet (33.5 meters). In 2016, the number of projects was 54, and the group expects a turnover for last year of over €300 million.

As we mentioned above, the list includes other Italian shipyards: Overmarine is seventh, with 19 projects totaling 771 meters and an average of 133 feet (40.5 meters). In 2016, projects numbered 13 and Overmarine ranked 11th.

Italian Sea Group is 13th in 2017, with 10 projects, 530 meters and an average of 174 feet (53 meters). In 2016, it had totaled 7 projects and was in 17th place.

Baglietto-Cnn holds that position now, with 10 projects, 432 meters overall and an average of 142 feet (43.2 meters), four places up from 2016 when it was 21st (just outside the Top 20 list), with 7 projects. Finally, Fipa Group ranks 19th and counts 12 projects totaling 393 meters, with an average of 108 feet (32.9 meters), down from 2016, when it totaled 13 projects and ranked as number 13 in the list.