House of Benetti


The venerable builder has been around for 150 years for good reason

Benetti Yachts can best be understood as the King Kong of Italian mega-yacht builders. The company, with shipyards in Viareggio and Livorno, turns out more mega yachts than any other of the country’s boatbuilders. It also produces truly huge vessels, with some models in its Giga-Yacht series cresting the hallowed 100-meter mark. The company’s enormous success did not happen by accident.

Lorenzo Benetti

Founded in 1873 by Lorenzo Benetti, and subsequently taken over by his sons upon his death in 1914 and rebranded as Fratelli Benetti (Benetti Brothers in Italian), Benetti began life as a commercial builder of fishing boats and merchant vessels. Following World War II the Italian economy boomed however, and Benetti stood poised to take full advantage of the La Dolce Vita lifestyle that had become so en vogue with a newly empowered leisure class. The builder began turning out yachts like the iconic Delfino, Tirreno, and Mediterraneo models. By the 1970’s Benetti had landed what must have felt like the white whale to them, in Adnan Khashoggi, the Saudi arms dealer who claimed to be the richest man in the world. Khashoggi commissioned the 282-foot Nabila, one of the largest yachts ever built at the time. But white whales have a way of sinking ships, and Khashoggi nearly did the same, brokering a series of contract clauses that Benetti was unable to meet. By 1984 the yard had gone bankrupt, only to be scooped up by another Viareggio builder, Paolo Vitelli, who owned Azimut.

282-foot Nabila

Vitelli turned the company around completely, making it the goliath it is today. Benettis are known for levels of fit and finish, customization, and design elegance that is unrivaled anywhere in southern Europe. And they have the clientele to prove it, with Sylvester Stallone, Jay-Z, and various and sundry billionaires all favoring the brand.

Benetti works with many of the world’s top mega-yacht designers to produce yachts that are a bit out of the ordinary. The builder has multiple model lines including the B.Now, B.Yond, and retro-inspired Motopanfilo lines, along with others. One of its most popular features as of late is the Oasis Deck, with its trademark infinity pool and fold-out terraces in the cockpit, which form a massive beach club. This feature reflects Benetti’s willingness to build yachts that are more outdoor-focused for an increasingly younger clientele. The builder has also gone to great lengths to reduce its carbon footprint under the oversight of its new CEO, Paolo’s daughter Giovanna.

IYG is intimately familiar with Benetti as the builder is nearly synonymous with the Italian marine industry. If you are looking to buy, sell, or build a Benetti, there is no one better suited to walking you hand-in-hand through the process. We are proud to aid our clients as they deal with one of the most prestigious names in yachting.