Just weeks after the launch of 58m J’Ade, it was the turn of 80m Chopi Chopi (hull no 129) earlier this year on 12 January. Prior to her launch, the 1,350t steel and aluminium yacht – the largest ever built by Ancona-based CRN (Costruzioni e Riparazioni Navali) since 72m Azteca in 2009 – was transferred from her build shed to the slipway, a procedure that called for some specialist machinery and precision manoeuvres. TSR was on hand to photograph the two-day procedure that took place from 10-11 December last year.

The operation had begun when the hull was jacked up and lowered on to a 60-axle, 240-wheel hydraulic transporter controlled by a single operator using a handheld joystick. Once outside the shed, the 8m communications mast could be mounted on top of the superstructure. Other preparations included temporarily raising a section of the waterfront to provide a smooth gradient for accessing the slipway.

The exterior styling of Chopi Chopi is by Studio Zuccon International Project, with naval architecture by CRN’s in-house technical office. The interior design is by Laura Sessa Romboli in collaboration with CRN Centro Stile. Powered by two 1,640kW Caterpillar engines, the yacht has a top speed of 16 knots and a cruising speed of 15 knots with a range of 6,000 nautical miles at 12 knots. An average of 80 people worked on the construction on a daily basis for a total of 660,000 man hours. There are two elevators serving six deck levels and approximately 100 km of electrical cabling, including one km of optic fibres.

There are four other steel and aluminium superyachts currently in build at CRN: 74m CRN 131 (Zuccon International Project), 73m CRN 132 (Omega Architects), 60m CRN 133 (Francesco Paszkowski Design) and 55m CRN 134 (Nuvolari Lenard). In addition, there are two 43m composite Navettas under construction and work has started on the first unit of the new 122’ Riva Mythos in aluminium. 

CRN celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2013. Founded by Sanzio Nicolini in 1963, the company became part of the Ferretti Group in 1999. In turn, the Weichai Holding Group Co, Ltd, a subsidiary of Shandong Heavy Industry Co, Ltd and one of China’s largest heavy-duty vehicle and auto equipment manufacturers, acquired the Ferretti Group in January 2012. In August last year came the news that the Group intends to open an assembly plant in China as its Chinese owners seek to boost yacht sales at home. Chopi Chopi is currently undergoing sea trials and will be delivered to her owner in May. The yacht, along with J’Ade, will be displayed at the next edition of the Monaco Yacht Show.

Images: Justin Ratcliffe and Maurizio Paradisi