Cantiere Valdettaro: historic shipyard in the Gulf of Poets

In History, Sailing
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Established in 1917 in Portovenere’s district of Le Grazie, Cantiere Valdettaro boasts a long and glorious tradition. This century-old shipyard is one of the excellences of the Gulf of Poets: it is known for the restoration of vintage boats; for carrying out ordinary and extraordinary maintenance of wood fishing boats and yachts; and it is one of few shipwrights in the world that builds wooden masts for superyachts.

The high quality of the labor and services provided, and its strategic position along the new Mediterranean pleasure sailing routes, have made Cantiere Valdettaro the nautical center of reference in the Upper Tyrrhenian area.

Athena Yacht Portovenere 1939
Athena, built by Cantiere Valdettaro in 1939, competing at Skandia Cowes Week (Copyright onEdition 2007©)

Cantiere Valdettaro started as a commercial construction site, but soon after the war it took an interested in recreational crafts and launched high-quality wood yachts, such as Athena and Armelea. In a short amount of time, it became famous around the world for its restoration work on large yachts, becoming the Italian shipyard that received the most important commissions. For example, it restored Eisenhower’s Williamsburg, Marshal Tito’s Istranka, the King of Spain’s Orion, Stefano Casiraghi and Caroline of Monaco’s Pacha III and Oman’s training vessel Shabab Oman.

Cantiere Valdettaro le grazie portovenere

The following video shows the restoration of Vera Mary in the Valdettaro Shipyard. The 2 Masted Gaff Schooner was designed and built in 1932 by Joseph Soper for industrialist and Royal Yacht Squadron member GM Hamilton Fletcher. In 1935, His Majesty King George V bought the Vera Mary as a gift to Sir Philip Hunloke, his long-standing friend, sailing teacher – and skipper of his own yacht BRITANNIA. Thereafter she has had a series of owners – sailing mostly in the Atlantic and the Med.

This beautiful 22-meter-long yacht entered Cantiere Valdettaro in late 2017 and will return to sail in 2019.


Photo credits:, Davide Marcesini and onEdition

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