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Benetti Shipyard history 1873-2013

(pics on the same Italian discussion below)

Benetti celebrating 140 years of Italian excellence

Benetti is one of the oldest builders of luxury motor yachts in the world.

Established by Lorenzo Benetti in 1873, the company began life building wooden boats used for local and international trade. After the death of Lorenzo, his two sons Gino and Emilio took over the management of the boatyard. They changed its name to Fratelli Benetti and quickly built up a reputation that extended far beyond the Mediterranean.

After the second world war, with the disappearance of commercial sailing vessels built from wood, Benetti changed direction and began producing pleasure craft made from steel. Then in the early 1960s the boatyard produced its first luxury mega yachts.

Since 1980 the fleet has included big motor yachts in the 30 to 60 meter range and beyond, not least the famous 86-meter ‘Nabila’.

In 1985 the Boatyard was acquired by the celebrated Turin-based boat builder Azimut Yacht, which brought in new management and transformed Benetti into the modern, technologically advanced reality we know today: a forward-looking and innovative boatyard, but also one that proudly retains its traditional values of experience, skill and a passion for fine craftsmanship.

In fact, for Benetti, building yachts means carrying on the tradition of innovation, style and quality that has shaped the company’s approach and culture. It means continuing to diversify production in order to satisfy the increasingly complex needs expressed by Owners throughout the world.

Benetti has a time-honoured tradition in yacht building. After abandoning wood and being the first to realise the potential of composite materials for the production of megayachts, as early as the 1960s it made the transition from metal boats to the steel and aluminium.

Today Benetti utilizes these materials, alone or combined, to design and build full-custom

displacement and semi-displacement motor yachts in a broad variety of lengths from 93 feet to 90+ meters. These truly tailor made vessels embody the Owner’s idea of what a yacht should be, while retaining the Benetti family-feeling that is a natural expression of the finest Italian style and timeless elegance. This production capacity, united with world class quality, fanatical attention to detail and a perfect end result, have made Benetti a world leader and an Italian luxury yacht icon.

Over the years the shipyard has grown and changed, not following but anticipating the times. Once the Fratelli Benetti boatyard was famous for building three-masted wooden schooners for

commercial use. Today Benetti motor yachts turn heads at the world’s most famous and exclusive ports of call. Stylish, exclusive and extremely well-crafted, Benetti yachts are well established at the height of Italian Excellence.

This year will not only be the 140th anniversary of Benetti, it will be also the 10th anniversary of

the acquisition of the Livorno Shipyard bought from the Orlando family. We plan a dense calendar of

events culminating next June in Portofino with a very exclusive week-end together with our clients

from all over the world. Owners that does not come to us to buy a ready made yacht, but to

construct one together with us in order to fully express their personality and live a genuine rapport

with the sea. Clients who approach us with ideas and expectations that are a challenge and a continuous stimulus and when we meet their brief and make every detail perfect with no

concessions to compromise, their success becomes ours. This level of quality and passion are the

only route to our next 140 years of success”. – commented Ing Vincenzo Poerio – Benetti’s Ceo.

140 years of history, close to 300 boats built, over 300,000 sq mt of production facilities at six

shipyards in Italy (Viareggio, Livorno and Fano), 34 yachts under construction at present time

including a 90-meter mega yacht.

These facts and figures unambiguously demonstrate the momentum of Benetti’s growth and Clients’ unrestrained confidence in the brand.

It is a success story confirmed by the last “Global Order Book” that awarded Azimut|Benetti Group as the “largest builder in the world for custom yachts over 24 meters” for the thirteenth year in a row.

1873 – 1987

-1873 Lorenzo Benetti (1844-1914) buys the shipyard Darsena Lucca and establishes the shipyard

Benetti which he directs for the next forty years, assisted by his sons Gino and Emilio towards the

end of his tenure.

-1873/1904 Lorenzo Benetti launches over 30 vessels: 5 schooners, 3 tartans’, 13 brigantines, 8

navicellis’, and 3 cutters.

-1910 Lorenzo Benetti secures state authorization to build his second shipyard in the Darsena Italia,

where the registered office is still found today.

-1914 With Lorenzo’s death, Gino and Emilio rename the shipyard Fratelli Benetti and continue their

father’s business.

-1927 After Gino Benetti’s passing, his sons Giuseppe and Virgilio take his place, while Emilio’s sons

Maurizio and Bertani assist their father.

-1873/1935 The Benetti shipyards launch over 100 sailing vessels: 21 schooners, 3 tartans’, 63

brigantines, 12 navicellis’,, 7 cutters, and 6 barkentines.

-1941 The Benetti shipyard launches “Maria”, pioneering the first steel hulled, diesel vessel. Maurizio

and Bertani manage the project.

-1954 The Benetti shipyard is split into two branches: “Fratelli Benetti shipyard”, specializing in the

construction of sail and motor leisure craft, and “M&B Benetti shipyard”, dedicated solely to the

construction of commercial vessels.

-1963 With Emilio Benetti’s death, the management of the Fratelli Benetti shipyard is handed down

to his nephew Giuseppe and Giuseppe’s youngest son, Lorenzo. The latter, making the previous

generation’s legacy his own, will later become a protagonist in the sector of international luxury

yacht construction.

-1978 The Benetti shipyard launches “Vanina”. Designed to win the Admiral’s Cup by the American

naval architect Scott Kaufman for an Italian owner, “Vanina” is the first of a long line of sailing and

motor yachts.

-1979 “Nabila” is launched. With exquisite interiors, she is 86 meters long and displaces 2,465 tons.

Designed by Jon Bannenberg for Adnan Kashoggi, “Nabila” becomes the most famous yacht of her


-1985 The owner and president of Azimut, Paolo Vitelli, takes over the “Fratelli Benetti shipyard” and

renames it “Benetti shipyard”.

-1987 The Benetti shipyard launches “Rima”, the first vessel built under the new Azimut

management. Designed for a client from the Middle East, her interiors are designed by Terrence

Disdale. Even with her steel hull, “Rima” is quite fast.

1988 – 2001

-1988 The Benetti shipyard builds the “Azimut Atlantic Challenger” to attempt the Blue Riband

trophy for the fastest crossing of the Atlantic.

-1994 Launch of the first 45 meter “Ambrosia”. With a Chinese owner, she is the brainchild of

exterior architect Stefano Natucci and interior designer François Zuretti, the most extraordinary

yacht built by Benetti up until then.

-1995 Launch of “Golden Bay”, the first of a series of 50 meter yachts to be built by the yard.

-1998 Partial acquisition of the Moschini shipyard in Fano and launch of the first Benetti Classic 35

meter, “Stella Fiera”.

-1999 Building of new offices in Viareggio and vast enlargement of the construction facilities.

-2000 Launch of “Reverie”: at 70 meters, she is the second biggest vessel ever built by the yard.

Azimut buys the ex Lusben Craft 41,000 sq. meter yard in Viareggio harbor.

2002 – 2012

-2002 Launch of “Patricia”, the first Vision 45. The acquisition of the Moschini yard in Fano is

fulfilled. The third “Ambrosia” is commissioned; at 65 meters, she is the first yacht in the world to

use ABB’s Azipod, a state of the art diesel- electric propulsion system.

-2003 Azimut Benetti acquires the Fratelli Orlando shipyard in Livorno. “Libra Star” and the first

Tradition 30 meters are launched. In September Benetti delivers their 70th over 30 meters yacht.

-2004 An agreement is reached with Fincantieri for the construction of yachts over 70 meters. The

Classic 120′ is introduced.

-2005 Benetti receives an unprecedented order for four 59 meters yachts. The 56 meters “Galaxy” is

the first yacht to be launched at the Livorno shipyard. The Composite range of yachts is brought to

completion with the introduction of the 24 meter “Benetti Legend”. The third “Ambrosia” is


-2009 Construction of the new shipyard in the Darsena Lucca, with space for fitting-out three 50

meter yachts at the same time. Introduction of the new Benetti Class range, semi-custom yachts

from 93 to 164 feet.

-2010 Introduced in Livorno the new 47 to 55 meters aluminum semi-planing range. The first two

yachts of the Benetti Class range are unveiled at the Cannes International Boat Show: the Delfino

93’ and the Tradition 105’.

-2011 The Crystal 140’ is launched, the third model in the Benetti Class range.

-2012 The Benetti shipyard takes its first order for an over 90 meter yacht and launches the Classic

Supreme 132’, th

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