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Winter 2007

Article selected from our quarterly magazine dedicated to the largest and most luxurious boats with information, interviews, technical articles, images and yachting news



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Article by
Daniele Carnevali

Sixty years of made in Italy

The long road that led Canados to the Olympus of international shipbuilding began under fairly unusual circumstances. In fact in 1946 the Saiman factory that manufactured trainer flying boats in wood decided to go full time into the nautical industry, exploiting know-how achieved in the technology of glued plywood and laminates.


Riccardo Palmieri, Canados Marketing Manager

For further information: Canados, Via dell'Idroscalo 182, 00121 Rome; tel. +39 06 56339732; fax +39 06 56037581; website .

So the Cooperativa Costruzioni Navali of Ostia was set up, with headquarters at the Ostia seaplane base where the former Saiman premises stood. The first vessels launched by the Cooperative were commissioned by the Harbourmaster's Office and other Military Bodies. It was only later that pleasure craft were built, firstly small boats and then, with experience and the acquisition of new technologies, increasingly bigger vessels. In the early 70's the Cooperativa Costruzioni Navali began production of 20 metre wooden boats for Giuseppe Casa, an entrepreneur with experience in building runabouts. In the same period the Cooperative was incorporated into the new Casa structure, taking the name of Canados, and was joined by craftsmen from the University of Wood in Limite sull'Arno. The combination of the latter with the yard's master shipbuilders took Canados to its position as one of the undisputed leaders in ply and laminate vessels, with excellent results especially on the national market. In those days wealthy figures from the Italian economic and industrial scene sailed Canados boats, confirming brand validity and prestige. The economic boom of the late 70's, which had positive fallout also in the yachting sector, impelled the yard to develop new production strategies. This was the period of the first fibreglass hulls and the first sailboats. In the latter segment Canados debuted with a design by the young architect Andrea Vallicelli: a 33 footer that made her name also thanks to racing success in the sports version called Red Canados. Subsequently the range was widened by the introduction of a 37 footer, again by Andrea Vallicelli who was now famous for having designed Azzurra, the first Italian yacht to take part in the America's Cup, and by a 44 footer designed by Mario Violati. In the meantime motoryacht production, concentrated on wooden vessels between 20 and 37 metres, hit a high point with the creation of the biggest yacht in mahogany ply ever built in Italy, commissioned by Greek owner Panos Nomikos. Towards the end of the 80's Canados, having reached maturity in fibreglass production, decided to transfer this technology to its motoryachts. The first in the series appeared in 1987, the Canados 58, built with the technique of layering in mould, applied the following year to the Canados 70 S, a semi-custom model that took the yard into the international market. With the coming of the 90's and a long tough period for the Italian economy, Canados reorganised its strategy with view to compatibility with market requirements. In that period boat design was entrusted to the celebrated architect Tommaso Spadolini and to the emerging Francesco Paszkowski who created a line of motoryachts headed by a 24 metre in fibreglass with interiors masterfully executed in wood. After this parenthesis we come to the present day: a shipyard that has made its name worldwide and whose consolidation strategies have taken it towards broadening its offer into sectors previously unexplored. With no changes in construction quality - achieved through the yard's philosophy of manufacturing everything in house to maintain full quality control - or in attention to detail and a love for tradition linked to innovation, Canados decided to reinforce its market position in the fibreglass motoryacht sector by placing greater emphasis on the level of customisation, this in order to best satisfy the needs of each individual owner. Moreover, Canados decided to flank its flying bridge line - models from 72 to 116 feet - with a range of open yachts and small displacement ships. With the 90' Open designed by Luiz De Basto Canados stepped onto the great open stage, putting itself forward with a design that is innovative both in technical and constructional characteristics, being built with vacuum infusion technology. Next year the Open range will be reinforced by the arrival of a new 75', while 2009 is envisaged as the year for presentation of the small displacement ship line of which the first example will be 42 metres LOA. Canados' strategic plan also includes reinforcement of brand presence both nationally and internationally, with expansion of the sales and service network through nomination of new business partners in consolidated markets such as the United States. To complete the picture, Canados' development plan envisages extension of the shipyard with new sheds for building, laying up and after-sales service. Establishment of the exclusive Yacht Club Canados (YCC), within the docks currently under construction, will be the culmination of the consolidation work implemented by this Roman yard which, thanks to considerable investments, aims over the next three years to reach a production of 20-22 vessels a year as against the 13 of the current season.