OUR PAST, OUR KNOWLEDGE

The Shipyard was founded in Ancona in 1963 by entrepreneur Sanzio Nicolini, under the name ‘Costruzioni e Riparazioni Navali’, leading to the acronym CRN, the name under which the Shipyard has gradually established itself at a worldwide level all the way to the present day, and is now still considered as an icon of Italian excellence, style and elegance.

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THE 1970s

The immediate ‘recognisability’ of CRN’s yachts became a leitmotif that lasts to this day. In that period, all CRN yachts were characterised above all by a very distinctive pointy bow, which almost came to be regarded as a trademark.

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THE 1980s

In the Eighties, the clients of CRN were mainly Greek owners and ruling families of the Middle East. In this context, the dimensions of the vessels grew, varying from between 32 and 61 metres. In these years we found the delivery of some innovative and visionary yachts, like the M/Y F100, for a very passionate Owner which became immediately cult thanks to its unmistakable design which expresses for the first time the philosophy of “minimal” luxury for the first “Explorer yacht” in the worldwide yachting market and in many other yachts of that period.
CRN today is recognized as a pioneer in the design solution.

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THE 1990s

The clients of CRN were mostly concentrated in one area, the Middle East, which with the Gulf War, at the beginning of the decade, went through a difficult moment which had never been registered before. In this decade CRN diversified the activities of the Shipyard, extending it to refitting and the commercial part, always building bigger pleasure yachts.

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THE 2000s: A NEW ERA

In 1999 CRN joined the Ferretti Group, a world leader in the design, construction and sale of motoryachts, with a unique portfolio of prestigious and exclusive brands at world level.
The first step in this new phase was the project Magnifica, a 43-metre megayacht designed by Nuvolari & Lenard and launched in 2001, the first craft in a very successful range. In the same year CRN and Custom Line merged to form the Ferretti Group’s Ancona-based megayacht operation.
In 2002 CRN reached a new goal which further strengthened its know-how and production capacity, by purchasing the adjacent shipyard Mario Morini, a historical brand in ship building. The union between the two shipyards created new imposing premises with a surface of 80 thousand square metres.
The launching of vessels followed immediately, just as the concept of “fully customized” megayachts in steel and light aluminium alloy was being introduced.

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1963: THE BIRTH OF CRN
CRN’s fifty-year history is a fascinating, and in many ways symbolic, story that alternates surprising ideas, great achievements, and, inevitably, difficult moments too, blending together human ingenuity, business skills, and passion for the products in a sector that has written unforgettable pages in the history of Italian modern industry.
In 1963 Sanzio Nicolini started building some steel and aluminium boats in Ancona, a material that was very little used at the time since wood was preferred. It shows how the “avant-garde” vocation of the Shipyard manifested itself right from the beginning. This choice is radical and definitive.
From the very beginning, the Shipyard achieved immediate success and established itself at the high-end of the market, dealing with a very selected and demanding clientele. Already at the end of the Sixties the size of CRN’s yachts was ranging from 15 to 20 metres and their design was immediately recognisable. It was then that the Shipyard built its first series of 23-metre crafts, the SuperConero, which was later followed by increasingly large and prestigious vessels, built in cooperation with important designers, which contributed to establishing CRN’s international reputation.
THE GROWTH AND THE BRAND AWARENESS
The immediate ‘recognisability’ of CRN’s yachts became a leitmotif that lasts to this day. In that period, all CRN yachts were characterised above all by a very distinctive pointy bow, which almost came to be regarded as a trademark. Among the most important crafts produced at that time were Bagheera (38 metres – in 1973), Gazella (31 metres – in 1974), Moneikos (35 metres – in 1976), Caribe III (35 metres – in 1979) and Santa Cruz Tres (36 metres – in 1979). In addition, in 1978 CRN built its first yacht over 45 metres: 47.2-metre long Fath Al Khair for the Emir of Qatar, Al-Thani. Size began to increase more and more, a process that would become unstoppable, often anticipating – rather than following – the demands of an increasingly complex market.
From 1970 to 1978 a fruitful cooperation began between Sanzio Nicolini and Carlo Riva.
During this time, CRN built eight boats for Riva: six Marco Polos, which drew inspiration from the Super Conero, and two Vespuccis, one of which became Carlo Riva’s personal yacht. This cooperation between two great innovators, such as Nicolini and Riva were, represented a very important moment for the two companies and for the Italian yachting industry in general.
1980 – 1989: MASTERPIECE AND INNOVATIVE TIMELESS YACHTS
During the Eighties, CRN’s clients were mostly Greek yacht owners and Middle Eastern royal family members, which meant that the crafts’ size kept growing, now ranging from 32 to 61 metres. Yachts from those times include Awal (47 metres – in 1980), Akitou (52 metres – in 1981), Santa Maria (53 metres – in 1984), Vanina (32 metres – in 1986), Abdulaziz (45 metres – in 1987). 1983 was a particularly important year in CRN’s history. It was the year when a very innovative yacht was finally delivered to a passionate yacht owner with a very personal taste - head of Fiat, Mr. Gianni Agnelli. Named F100, the yacht measured 32.80 metres and its design – by naval architect Gerhard Gilgenast – was unmistakable: an example of a very seaworthy and comfortable craft, designed for long cruises in all weather conditions. Its profile distanced itself from the traditional notion of luxury, so much so that the boat was considered to be almost ‘monastic’ in its appearance. The first Explorer in recreational boating was thus born and the new ‘minimal’ interpretation of luxury epitomised by the F100 immediately became cult. Another key step during that period was the construction, in 1988, of 47m Azzurra, for an American client that had approached CRN on the suggestion of Gilgenast, who therefore ended up designing Azzurra too. The boat’s interiors were created by Paola Smith, a leading name in interior design in the United States. Other important boats built during the Eighties included 44m Jameel in 1985 and 61m Il Vagabondo in 1986, exclusive icons inspired by a more traditional vision of luxury.
1990 – 1998: DIVERSIFICATION
In those years, CRN’s clients were mostly concentrated in one area, the Middle East, which, starting with the Gulf War at the beginning of the decade, had begun experiencing unprecedented difficulties. CRN decided to diversify the Shipyard’s operations, to include refitting and the more commercial side of activities. Vessels of considerable size were being built; among these were Awal II (65 metres – in 1990), Maracunda (50 metres – in 1990), Lady Anne PB (40 metres – in 1994), Pegaso (48 metres – in 1996), Sahab IV (50 metres – in 1997), Pestifer (50 metres – in 1998) and Numptia (61 metres – in 2000), the last craft to be made by CRN during this decade, coinciding with the change in ownership that was bound to alter the Shipyard’s destiny. Numptia featured a decidedly ‘rounded stern’, designed by CRN in cooperation with Studio Scanu, which made it immediately famous throughout the world.
CRN, ONE OF THE LARGEST SHIPBUILDING OPERATIONS IN EUROPE
In 2002 CRN reached a new milestone which would further enhance its know-how and production capacity: the acquisition of the adjacent shipyard Mario Morini, a historical name in shipbuilding. Morini’s experience in steel construction, gained through its production of commercial, mercantile and military ships, perfectly matched CRN’s needs and the union between the two shipyards led to the creation of an impressive operation with an 80-thousand-square-metre site, where it would be possible to build up to 15 yachts at the same time. Up to five recreational vessels were now being launched every year and CRN’s fleet was growing fast, together with its fame. Kooilust Mare (2003) and Saramour (2005) were two 46-metre yachts inspired by Magnifica, once again designed by Nuvolari & Lenard, and the idea of ‘fully-custom’ megayachts, built on the same naval platform, was now beginning to take on. It was then that the cooperation with architectural firm Zuccon International Project began, the first result of which was 54m Ability in 2006. Other yachts built in the following years included Givi (60 metres – in 2007), Maraya (54 metres – in 2007), Romance (57 metres - in 2008), Tacanuyaso MS (60 metres – in 2008), Blue Eyes (60 metres – in 2009), Mimtee (60 metres – in 2010) and Darlings Danama (60 metres – in 2011). Nuvolari & Lenard worked again with CRN for the construction of Azteca (2010), the former Clarena II, whose 72-metre length was indeed a new record. In the second half of the decade, CRN has further expanded its portfolio and diversified its production, to combine its traditional steel and aluminium vessels with new fibreglass ones. And it was so that CRN’s successful fibreglass megayacht lines 128’ (40 metres) and Navetta 43 (43 metres) were recently born.

In January 2012, the Ferretti Group was taken over by the Chinese group SHIG-Weichai, who invested to become the majority stakeholder with a 75% share. Like the rest of the Group’s brands, CRN too was involved in the transfer to the new Chinese owners, but was able to maintain its strong identity and historical name.
In the most recent years other yachts have been launched, which are sure to become iconic symbols of the Shipyard, including 60m J’Ade (2012) and the Navetta 43 Lady Genyr (2013), both designed in cooperation with Zuccon International Project and CRN’s own Interior Design and Decor department, who was responsible for the décor. A particularly innovative feature on the J’Ade is the floodable garage for the tender – with beach area and integrated salon – a world first for this type of boat. On 12 January 2013, right at the beginning of the year marking its fiftieth anniversary, the Shipyard launched its one hundred and twenty-ninth megayacht, 80m long Chopi Chopi, the largest yacht ever built by CRN in its half a century of history.
The year 2014 has so far seen two more key moments in the history of CRN: the first has been the launch of Saramour (61m), the first megayacht conceived in collaboration with Francesco Paszkowski Design and which is a real and magnificent floating “art gallery”. The second one has been the launch of Yalla(73m), a true design icon realized in partnership with Omega Architects. Yalla is also the first vessel to be built by CRN on its new 12.50 m-wide naval platform.

2015: Atlante and the launch of Eight, the first refit
2015 has been characterized by two new launches and by CRN’s inclination for taking new challenges. On May the 9th the shipyard presented Atlante, a 55m megayacht that stands out for its strong, unmistakable designed which draws inspiration from some elements of military crafts. Atlante is unique: square forms, sharp lines and innovative solutions, combined with an extraordinary attention to stylistic and aesthetic details of the interior, are the key features of CRN’s latest gem, showing once more the Shipyard’s versatility. Perfectly interpreting the requirements of the Owner CRN created a vessel which truly breaks the mould, offering offer the personalized design solutions and set up a competent dialogue with the most important names in the world of international design. The launch of Eight in the same month has also represented a crucial moment in CRN history, as it marks the first refit in CRN history.