Best Italian Boat Brands: List Of Top 10

From sports cars to haute couture fashions, Italians are the undisputed masters of ultra-luxury products. It may not be very surprising that the country is also home to some of the greatest shipyards in the world, as well.

In today’s article, we’ll look through 10 of the best Italian boat brands. Yachts and other nautical designs from these shipyards are always top-of-the-line and the envy of sea-faring lovers everywhere.

Top 10 Italian Boat Brands You Should Know

1. Benetti (1873)

Benetti boat

Benetti isn’t just one of the oldest, most exclusive shipyards made in Italy, but also the world. The company was founded in 1873 by Lorenzo Benetti. Originally, Benetti specialized in the construction of wooden ships.

After Lorenzo’s passing in 1914, the company’s mantle was passed on to his sons, Gino and Emilio Benetti. They proceeded to transform the company by switching its focus to steel-hulled recreational ships. In the 1960s, Benetti became a full-time manufacturer of luxury yachts.

The Benetti shipyard has built more than 350 different ships and boats since its founding. Every design, other than having excellent craftsmanship, is distinctively Italian in the way they all reflect Italian nautical culture and tradition.

Most recently, the company has christened the FB277. Measuring 351 feet long, this six-deck megayacht is the largest recreational vessel to have been built in Italy by a private company.

2. CRN (1963)

CRN boat

CRN (an acronym for Costruzioni e Riparazioni Navali – Shipbuilding and Repairs) was founded in 1963 by Sanzio Nicolini in Ancona, Italy.

When it first began operation in the 60s, CRN already proved itself to be a forerunner. The company’s first few small boats were cast from steel and aluminum. It was an unusual and bold direction to take at the time as wooden vessels were more popular then.

The gamble worked out in the end. Throughout the 60s, CRN experienced great growth.

In 1999, CRN was acquired by Gruppo Ferretti. The acquisition gave the company the financial boost that it needed to go even further. Also in 1999, CRN launched five different ships, the largest of which is the Magnifica measuring 141 feet long.

The company’s current flagship is the Latona – a four-deck superyacht over 164 feet long.

3. Azimut Yachts (1969)

Azimut Yachts - best Italian boat brand

Azimut specializes in building yachts that are between 33 to 145 feet in length. The company’s portfolio currently consists of five designs. These are Atlantis, Flybridge, S, Magellano, and Grande. The customer can freely select the length, the interior, and modify the yacht to their tastes.

Founded in 1969, Azimut Yachts is a fairly old Italian boat manufacturer. Its founder, Paolo Vitelli, was a college student when he did the paperwork to create Azimut Srl. At first, the business of Azimut was renting out sailing boats. However, in the 70s, the company changed its business models to design and construction.

Azimut Yacht’s first design, the AZ43 Bali, was launched in 1975 as a venture between Azimut and Amerglass. Crafted from fiberglass, the ship was a great success.

In 1985, Azimut acquired Benetti. This buy-out pushed Azimut’s business and reputation to even greater heights when they pumped out excellent ship designs to customers worldwide.

These days, you can find Azimut’s offices in many countries in the world (as far as Brazil).

4. Riva (1842)

Riva - famous Italian boat brand

Riva is a top name in the Italian ship-making industry. Other than super luxury yachts, the company is also famed for its motor boats and sailing boats.

The company was founded in 1842 by Pietro Riva on the shores of Lake Iseo, Sarnico, Italy. It is a famous region in the country that’s known for its rich nautical culture.

Riva first started as a ship-building business specializing in making commercial as well as recreational vessels. But what set it apart from its competitors was that Riva pushed into making motor-powered boats very early on. Ernesto Riva, Pietro’s son, prophesied that it is the future.

Indeed, the company’s power boats were immensely popular. From steam boats, the company started to build larger ships and yachts, each one more luxurious and of higher quality than the last.

In 2014, Riva unveiled a brand new division which is called the “Superyachts Division”. It is responsible for designing and building flagships like the Riva 110 Dolcevita.

Every design uses the latest technologies and manufacturing techniques. Notably, Riva is one of the few ship-building companies that incorporate lightweight alloys in its production chain.

5. Sanlorenzo (1958)

Sanlorenzo boat

Sanlorenzo (previously San Lorenzo) began in 1958 as a wooden boat-building company. The founders were Gianfranco Cecchi and Giuliano Pecchia.

In the 60s, Sanlorenzo was pumping out great wooden boats measuring 100 to 200 feet long. Later, as the market changed, the company began to experiment with new materials like metal and fiberglass. The successful experimentation resulted in legendary designs like the SL 100 and the SD92.

In 2019, the Italian boat maker launched its largest, most opulent superyacht ever: Riva 50 Metri. At 50-meter (164-foot) long, it is Riva’s greatest design and a testament to their capability.

6. Perini Navi (1983)

Perini Navi - best Italian boat brand

Perini Navi was founded in 1983 by Fabrio Perini. From the very get-go, the company has already out-innovated most of its competitors at the time. Using a system of winches and motors, Perini Navi’s manufacturing lines were partly automated. This allows them to build bigger vessels with a smaller number of workers.

Its first ship, the Felicità – a 131-foot long sailing yacht – was launched in 1983. In addition to it being the proof-of-concept for the new manufacturing process, Perini Navi also gave it a highly innovative control system. One person can man the entire ship!

This innovative spirit remains to this day.

In total, the company has launched over 60 ships of various designs and sizes. The greatest of which was the Maltese Falcon, which was a 288-foot long, three-mast ship.

Perini Navi currently operates out of its headquarters in Viareggio.

7. Rossinavi (1980)

Rossinavi - famous Italian boat brand

When it comes to superyachts, Rossinavi is a trusted name. Despite being a relatively young company compared to others on the list (founded in 1980), Rossinavi has a long history of excellence. Their shipyard has produced many innovative vessels made from lightweight alloys and materials that were ahead of their times.

Rossinavi entreats its customers with beautiful designs that are tailored top to bottom to their preferences. All 17 ships that they have built in the half-century time they have been around are unique. None looks the same as the other.

The largest ship that Rossinavi has built thus far is the Numptia, which is over 229-foot long.

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8. Custom Line (1996)

Custom Line - best Italian yatch brand

True to its name, Custom Line’s business is in providing a tailored service to its customers. The company offers several designs that the customer can modify to their liking, ranging from length to internal volume. They can also be specially constructed to provide more privacy or personalization.

Custom Line was created in 1996 as part of Ferretti – a ship-building company known for its luxury flybridge yachts. Custom Line’s mission was to capture the emerging market for fiberglass boats and market their ships to international customers.

And they did!

Over decades of operation, Custom Line has produced over 180 different boats that you can see in ports all around the globe.

9. Baglietto (1854)

Baglietto boat

Baglietto’s history is long and glorious. The company was founded in 1854 by Pietro Baglietto in Varazze. At first, Baglietto was producing small boats (skiffs). Later, the business changed to building full-size recreational vessels and speed boats.

Other than building a ship for the Pope (Leo XIII), Baglietto also built the largest yacht at the time with the launch of the 74-foot Giuseppina in 1906.

In the 60s and 70s, the company began to pay more attention to the materials that are used in its products. From marine-grade wood to light alloy and steel, Baglietto studied every possibility and managed to craft some amazing vessels out of that experience. It allowed the company to stand out in the Italian shipbuilding industry.

These days, Baglietto is part of Gruppo Gavio, a marine-centric multinational conglomerate. It’s still producing great superyachts. The company, in recent years, has also looked into hydro jet technology.

10. Ferretti (1968)

Ferretti boat

Ferretti is the brand behind Custom Line. It is also the go-to name if you are looking for flybridge yachts.

The business was started up in 1968 by Alessandro and Norberto Ferretti. Three years later, in 1971, the company’s first product was realized: a motor-equipped sailing boat.

In the 80s, the company decided to pursue luxury yachts as its new target. The business flourished greatly in the ensuing years. Ferretti built many excellent models, like the Pershing (open cruisers) and Itama (open motor yachts). However, its Ferretti Yachts flybridge lines are its greatest works.

The company is currently headquartered in Forlì, Italy.

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Final Words

Yachts are one of the greatest investments that one can get. So, it stands to reason that you would want a great, reputable brand to work it out for you. After all, they aren’t humble rib boats that you can find anywhere.

Even if you can’t get yourself one right now, it’s still great to look through the portfolios of these best Italian boat brands. Their ship designs are simply sublime!

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