Few shipyards whose history dates back decades can say that they continue building boats with the same materials. Interestingly, CRN is an exception. Its very first project, which saw construction from 1963 through 1964, had a steel hull. She was also only 31 feet (nearly 8 meters), too. It was an era in which wood dominated the marketplace. Times clearly have changed, with aluminum hulls and megayachts to its name. Along the way, multiple projects have earned stand-out status. Here’s a look back at some iconic CRN superyachts and near-superyachts, particularly what made them special.
F100: DELIVERED IN 1983
The late designer Gerhard Gilgenast had earned renown for his yacht work by the early 1980s. He came to collaborate with CRN on a most-unusual yacht, F100. Measuring about 108 feet (32.8 meters), F100 belonged to Gianni Agnelli, the head of Fiat at the time. Immediately, she stood out from the crowd, with sturdy, full-bodied styling. The looks complemented her purpose, cruising even when the weather kept other yachts at the dock. Essentially, she was the shipyard’s first “explorer,” well before expedition cruising became popular. Additionally, and equally unusual, she was capable of having a helicopter land on her top deck.
SUPER CONERO: DELIVERED 1967
Super Conero was the name of the first large-yacht series from the shipyard. While the LOA was “only” 75’5” (23 meters), that was plenty big for the late 1960s into the 1970s. The name Conero came from a tourist area in Italy’s Marche region, on the Adriatic Coast. Not coincidentally, Marche is where the city of Ancona sits—the city where CRN got its start and where it remains today. As for “Super,” well, the series’ size explains it all. Yet another noteworthy fact, the Super Conero series inspired a series for Riva. (Back then, the two shipyards were not sister companies.) That series bore the name Marco Polo.
IL VAGABONDO: DELIVERED IN 1987
Still floating today, Il Vagabondo far exceeded most yachts at the time of her launch. With a volume of 1,053 gross tons and LOA of 201 feet (61.2 meters), she was more than double the length of many megayachts of her era. She actually has more in common with modern megayachts. Furthermore, her sculpted shapes, from Terence Disdale Design, struck quite the contrast against the lines of the times. Even among CRN superyachts today, though, she still stands out, one of a handful exceeding 200 feet.
J’ADE: DELIVERED IN 2012
With its 125th launch, CRN made a lot of people sit up and take notice. It went beyond the unusual paint scheme for J’ade (at top). Among other things, the shipyard convinced the owner to incorporate a feature it had been focused on for some time, namely a floodable tender garage. CRN’s own engineering team devised a three-piece hatch that opened, allowing a crewmember to drive a Riva Iseo tender in and out, without requiring a davit. The tender bay aboard the 191-foot (58.2-meter) J’ade is also part of the beach club and empties in about three minutes.
CHOPI CHOPI: DELIVERED IN 2013
Chopi Chopi made history among CRN superyachts for being the biggest boat to emerge from its construction sheds. LOA: 262’5” (80 meters). It was a remarkable milestone coinciding with the shipyard’s 50th anniversary year as well. Commissioned by a repeat client, the yacht encompasses upwards of 21,818 square feet (2,027 square meters) of owner and guest relaxation and entertainment space. Equally interesting, all five guest staterooms are on the main deck, a design well ahead of its time.
SUSTAINABLE POWERED YACHT: YEAR TBD
Although a contract is not yet signed, CRN has preliminary RINA approval for designs using what it calls the Sustainable Powered Yacht (SuP-Y) platform. Specifically, the platform employs fuel cells. The approval is what RINA terms “approval in principle,” granted to innovative concepts that comply with current safety requirements. The classification society believes this rewards forward thinking while lending potential customers a sense of security. “Ferretti Group, and yachting in general, are in a state of grace today that promises a bright future,” says Alberto Galassi, Ferretti Group’s CEO. “This positive energy allows and requires us to invest and grow responsibly, focusing on new technologies and sustainable innovations such as those announced in the area of fuel cells.”
CRN superyachts are far different from the 31’5” (9.6-meter) Galatea in 1964, its first-ever project. No doubt the coming decades promise even more noteworthy differences.