11 Apr 2014
I’ve seen innumerable superyacht shipyards, but nothing quite like the new headquarters of the Italian Sea Group in Carrara, Tuscany.
The last time I visited the Nuovi Cantieri Apuania (NCA), the new home of Admiral Tecnomar, was nine months ago when it was still a rundown commercial shipyard and most yacht construction was still happening at the site in Massa close by. After just over six months of reconstruction and modernisation, NCA has been transformed into a world-class facility, with work ongoing to finish a new build shed and a floating barge for yachts of up to 90m.
The new corporate headquarters designed by architect Gianmarco Campanino is like no other: 3,000sqm of technical and administrative office space on four floors with meeting rooms, virtual cinema room, bar and restaurant, and a main entrance lobby that would look more at home in a five-star hotel than in a shipyard. In fact, there is not a photograph or model of a yacht in sight; instead the walls are adorned with original works of art and the floors with sculptures in bronze or marble, many of them from the Fonderia d’Arte del Chiaro in nearby Pietrasanta, a famous foundry and workshop that has worked with the likes of Fernando Botero. The official inauguration event will take place in July.
As reported in issue 151 of The Superyacht Report, chairman Giovanni Costantino has launched ambitious plans for the group since merging the Tecnomar and Admiral brands back in 2011. The acquisition of NCA last year offered a platform on which to push into megayacht territory, and together with its commercial ship services the Italian Sea Group is now the largest shipbuilding concern in the region after Fincantieri.
While other Italian shipyards are desperately seeking new orders, the group now has no fewer than 11 new builds under way or about to start, including an Admiral Maxima 47, the first aluminium Tecnomar Nadara 40, an Admiral Impero 40 and a 37, an Admiral Regale 45 equipped with water jet propulsion, and an Admiral Custom 35. The first Silent 76’ sailing yacht (for their only Italian owner) is also approaching completion after having its top deck remodelled. Five yachts are due for delivery this year, while the keel laying ceremonies for the Emocean 45m and 52m will take place later this month.
The Silent 76’ will be exhibited at the next edition of the Cannes boat show and also in Monaco, along with the Maxima 47m, Regale 45m and Impero 37m (the latter will also be at FLIBS). After revealing a first tantalising glimpse of a 140m megayacht concept at MYS last year based on a commercial ship hull built by NCA, the project has entered the engineering design phase and a 2.9m (1:5) model is being made of the design, now stretched to 145m, which will also be on view in Monaco.
It seems competitive pricing, combined with innovative design and Costantino’s zero tolerance of waste and inefficiency, have allowed Admiral Tecnomar to bounce back from recession quicker than most other brands—as evidenced by its growing order book and burgeoning production capacity.
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