On the Garda there is a historic craft yard. Here’s how it works

A Z30 (8.60 x 2.95 meters) comes to life inside the Zuanelli Shipyard in Padenghe sul Garda
A Z30 (8.60 x 2.95 meters) comes to life inside the Zuanelli Shipyard in Padenghe sul Garda

On the Lombard shore of Lake Garda is a shipyard that was born in 1972 from the dream of an enthusiast and is now one of the benchmarks for its craftsmanship of new and refitted boats. Pietro Zuanelli, founder of the shipyard initially dedicated to repairs, interior fit-outs for other shipyards, and garaging activities, launched the first Zuanelli-branded fiberglass models in the early 1980s.

Cantiere Zuanelli – Truly bespoke handcrafted boats

Zuanelli FAX (9.60 x 2.40 m) on site
Zuanelli FAX (9.60 x 2.40 m) on site

The first exclusive boat from the Padenghe sul Garda (Brescia) shipyard is the Z40, a 12-meter sloop designed by Sparkman & Stephens. In the 1990s the shipyard passed into the hands of Mario Zuanelli and expanded. In addition to the carpentry shop, a new 400-square-meter facility is dedicated to the press room. Some iconic Zuanelli models came out in these years, such as the FAX designed by Alain Jézéquel and the two projects Z49 and Z52DH signed by Roberto Starkel. During the following years, which saw Mario’s sons-Andrea and Paolo-join the company, Cantiere Zuanelli became increasingly dedicated to commissioned projects. The real value of the shipyard, which directly manages the entire construction process, is the total ability to customize the design according to the owner’s wishes. Whoever commissions the boat is an integral part of the construction: whether it is a one-off or a model in the Zuanelli series, the shipyard and client act in full cooperation to decide together everything from materials and fittings to deck plans. Zuanelli’s strength is its being an artisanal business, dedicated to just a few projects a year, fully and completely serving the shipowner. The site has in-house carpentry, molding, laminating, resin-coating and painting area. Almost the entire boat-removing the mast and steels-is made in-house.

Zuanelli FAX (9.60 x 2.40 m) in navigation
Zuanelli FAX (9.60 x 2.40 m) in navigation

100% custom refit

In parallel with the construction and production of new boats, Zuanelli Shipyard has also become a point of reference for refitting activities over the years. Several customers decide to bring their boats here, even from brands other than Zuanelli, for renovation and modification. Some owners have chosen to bring in boats that are practically fresh out of other yards, to make modifications that would be impossible for those who do exclusively mass production. The fully customized service, which allows owners of boats even over 70 feet to choose 100 percent customizations, also plays a key role here. Among the projects Cantiere Zuanelli has been working on over the past few years is the interior design of Davide Zerbinati’s Stadship 54 AC “Aluaka” and a 47-foot aluminum prototype made by a startup in collaboration with the Bologna Polytechnic.

  • For information: Cantieri Zuanelli – Via G. Marconi 54, Padenghe sul Garda (BS) – info@zuanelli.it – +39 030 9907337 – visit the website



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