CRN's bespoke superyachts are turning the ocean into a catwalk
Tempus explores how custom Italian boatbuilding is adding a serious dose of style to the waves
‘Made in Italy’ is one of the most powerful stamps in the business of design. The Italians are known for their sophisticated work and elegant style, particularly within the bespoke domain. While the reputation of Italian fashion, food and motoring dates back decades, one arena in which the Italians have been flourishing in recent years is boatbuilding. At the 2018 Monaco Yacht Show, Ferretti Group (owner of Riva, Ferretti Yachts, Pershing, Custom Line and CRN) unveiled five world premières and announced revenues of €420m in the first eight months of the year – up 22%, proving the power of ‘brand Italy’ is going strong.
But of course, the pinnacle of yacht owning is to have your own, personally customised boat. CRN creates bespoke yachts for a discerning, international clientele. “We are probably the only brand, alongside Feadship and Lürssen, that does completely full custom,” says Stefano De Vivo, chief commercial officer of CRN. “We have some engineering naval platforms but if your dream doesn’t fit one of our platforms, we are ready to change it and design you a new one. We don’t have an interior design team that works inside the shipyard, we have interior designers that follow the build. And we don’t draw our own boats, we work with architects. We take the part of the market that really wants to dream.”
The latest build to come out of the CRN atelier in Ancona is the 50m Latona. A beautiful feat of engineering, its strong personality and distinctive design – including a slim hull, elegant lines and unique use of space – immediately impressed critics. The Latona was designed and built to meet the owner’s request for total customisation, a vision that was brought to life by a partnership formed between CRN and Italian design firm Zuccon International Project, which worked on the interiors and exteriors alongside the shipyard’s design department.
The yacht draws inspiration from the timeless ‘Superconero’ of the 1960s and features four elegant decks and an underdeck with Liberty-style interiors. “This boat is the extract of the owner’s dream,” De Vivo says. “This gentleman is an illuminated industry leader. Just as he likes to bring colour to his workforce, he had a dream of having a ‘Liberty’ boat. He followed every single stage and designed all of the wooden details and embroidery. This is a great summary of what we can do – we’ve managed to create what he pictured in his mind.” >>
When it comes to design, customers are encouraged to be as creative as they can. “I prefer to build something that not everybody’s going to like,” De Vivo says. “This owner has imagination and I think you can see that. On top of that, he’s changed the layout to suit his needs. The layout is a little bit weird, but I think it’s amazing how his master cabin has great space; it’s enormous. The pool is also very functional because they have a lot of little kids so during the day they can swim there and relax without being scared that the kids are at sea.”
CRN is currently constructing three megayachts, including two 62m vessels (M/Y CRN 137 and M/Y CRN 138) and the 79m M/Y CRN 135, which will become the second-largest yacht ever built at the Ancona shipyard. “I think the most exciting upcoming launch will be the 79m, not only because of the size but because we’re still going to launch it on the slipways – for me, that’s full romanticism,” De Vivo says. “It’s how we used to build before the yachting industry started using syncrolifts. You get goosebumps when you see this thing that weighs 200,000 kilos moving freely and going into the water.”
In November 2018, CRN unveiled a new superyacht explorer concept, AlfaRosso. The collection has been designed by Italian firm Francesco Paszkowski Design and represents the brand’s first foray into this growing arena. It encapsulates a classic ‘explorer’ aesthetic – not dissimilar to the CRN 55m Atlante of 2015 – with hard lines and lots of exterior space for the stowage of tenders and toys, but it’s still elegant, meaning the AlfaRosso can moonlight as a pleasure boat.
Whether you wish to own a pleasure or explorer vessel, a fully custom boat by CRN is an understandably lengthy process, so owners will have to be prepared to wait on average three years for delivery. But if it’s quality, bespoke Italian design you’re after, it’s well worth the wait.