During the International Superyacht Coatings Conference in Amsterdam, Emanuele Camporese, design manager at Benetti’s Livorno shipyard, announced that the yacht builder was considering offering a four-year warranty on paint jobs, but confirmed that the warranty was also being designed to cover machinery and electronics as well.
Fabio Ermetto, chief operating officer of Benetti, has confirmed to SuperyachtNews.com that the company was indeed preparing to unveil details of its warranty programme in the new year.
“We are working right now to finalise the full extent of the warranty programme, which will cover many aspects of the ship’s maintenance; we’re settling the details currently and will have more to say about this in the next few months,” Ermetto said.
Ensuring that superyacht owners have access to their vessel as much as possible over the duration of their ownership is a key issue for Benetti, and something that CEO Vincenzo Poerio raised during the Global Superyacht Forum in 2012.
Benetti, already the busiest superyacht builder in the world by number of vessels delivered in 2014, has been experiencing an increase in work in recent months with the announcement of contracts to deliver two projects over 100m—significantly larger than anything the yard has delivered before.
“These two new contracts for yachts larger than 100m are completely unrelated—the clients come from different parts of the world and the yachts themselves have different tonnages and different designs,” Ermetto revealed.
Benetti is also completing the destruction of one of its older assembly buildings in Livorno and within 2015 will build a new large shed that will be able to contain the two 100m plus new-build projects at the same time.
“For us it’s a good moment: we’re organising ourselves by hiring experienced project managers and focusing on the design and engineering phase for these projects,” he explained.
He also confirmed that Benetti’s current 90m project in build has given new-build managers in Livorno an excellent opportunity to ramp up their experience and skills, though he added the Livorno shipyard is not turning away from its core business of yachts between 50 and 75m.
“We have a number of negotiations going on for some very large yachts, but we are not going to shift our focus away from 50-75m yachts—though we would like to land an 80-90m-plus project every couple of years,” he said.
In terms of complexity, Ermetto has said that Benetti’s two current 100m-plus projects are the same level of complexity as six 60m, which is why the yard is dedicating a specific team to these builds, drawing project managers from both Italy and Northern Europe who have experience with these size yachts.
“We’re very conscious that we need to have a different approach for these very large yachts: when you’re dealing with a 100m boat, there’s a very large team representing the buyer and a very large team representing the shipyard, so that part of the project management is much more complex."
Ermetto has admitted that scaling up the management and production teams to accommodate the larger projects has been a challenge.
“I would say that one year ago, we were perhaps a bit worried to see a couple 100m yacht projects coming towards us, but now that the teams and plans are advancing, we are taking the correct first steps and preparing ourselves properly to deliver these projects.
“Now, we are very comfortable, and very aware that the next couple of years are crucial for Benetti; we can’t make any mistakes.”