4 images

Coronavirus: How COVID-19 is Affecting Italian Shipyards

12 March 2020 • Written by Miranda Blazeby

Italian superyacht yard Perini Navi has suspended production and closed its offices as part of the country's enforced coronavirus lockdown.

Speaking to BOAT International, chief executive Lamberto Tacoli said the decision to suspend production activities was "not an easy one".

"In accordance with Unions, we have decided to suspend our production activities until March 25th and close our offices: not an easy decision, but a necessary one to help contain the Covid-19 spread."

The J Class racing fleet at the St Barths Bucket 2017 Image courtesy of Jeff Brown

Tacoli added: "We are experiencing extraordinary circumstances that we have never faced before and in this moment our top priority is to preserve people’s health, with our employees, workers, suppliers and their respective families on top of our mind. We are strictly following the directions received from the Italian Government and encouraging smart working for employees."

It comes as Perini Navi pulled out of the St Barths Bucket, which is scheduled to take place later this month. As one of the four "stewards" of the event along with Rybovich, Vitters Shipyard and Royal Huisman, Perini Navi said it was prioritising “people’s health and safety.”

“We feel a strong obligation and a sense of duty to our employees, friends on the island and hundreds of guests that will be attending", a statement issued by vice chairman Edoardo Tabacchi and Tacoli said.

“We are extremely sorry for not been able to experience a great Bucket together this year, but we hope the situation will go back to normal soon,” the statement added.

A number of other Italian shipyards told BOAT they are closely following directions issued by the Italian government as it attempts to control the COVID-19 outbreak.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock

Rossinavi’s head of marketing and communications, Filippo Ceragioli, said the shipyard is “following all the progressive regulation issued on our territory,” including home working for some office employees.

He said the shipyard’s reliance on local suppliers has helped the yard keep running to capacity.

“We don’t have notice of any virus cases impacting our organisation,” he said. “In any case, we are expecting developments to happen at any moment. We will do our best to keep our company working but we need to take care of our people first.”

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock

Meanwhile, Baglietto chief executive Michele Gavino said the company is “seriously working to follow the rules that the Italian government has given to us.”

“We are facilitating smart working for some workers and we are creating all necessary procedures to have a safe place of work for all our employees and contractors,” Gavino said.

He added that it is currently “too early now to say what will be the impact on the construction process but for sure if the situation continues this way, it will have some kind of impact.

“In any case, we are doing everything that is possible and putting our maximum effort to minimise the negative effects, [while] keeping the wellbeing of our nation and of our people in the very first place.”

Top image courtesy of Silvano Pupella