Get used to Stuff-ups
If you are a Sanlorenzo customer, be prepared to let stuff-ups become a part of your life. It doesn’t mean that you will not witness beautiful craftsmanship from time to time, but you will be much more likely to “enjoy” an abundant amount of stuff-ups during the build of your new yacht. If you do not plan to work with a competent team of surveyors, your boat will be declared one hell of a pushover!
Get used to Unkept Promises
You will never have a shortage of promises at Sanlorenzo. They will tell you that your boat will be the best Sanlorenzo ever built. They will promise you delivery on time. They will swear to god that you will never have the tiniest bit of problems with them. Get used to hear plenty of assurances as such – but do not hope – they will never happen!ll of a pushover!
Get used to Delays
Delays are rooted habits at Sanlorenzo simply because very few planning is done during the construction: they just love to go with the flow. However, the most accurately “planned” dates will be the ones affecting your bank account! They will do literally anything to get paid on time. When delivery time comes and if you are in a hurry to show off your boat at the Monaco Grand Prix, they will thank heaven and get paid for an unfinished boat! If you are one of these one-in-a-million lucky guys to complete your first trip hassle-free, don’t worry, you will spend another two months in the shipyard begging to get your problems fixed!
Get used to Big Egos
This one is no secret. We are in Italy! You won’t see the actual Ferrari on the cover of a magazine but rather its designer suited up in Zegna. Even the lemon squeezers are named after their designers. You will very quickly notice that they are all so much in love with themselves that the piteous little comment of yours about the broken mirror in the main deck saloon will immediately ring alarm bells. How dare you insult them!
Get used to Old School
Majority of boatyards in Italy are very closed minded. They highly resist to new ideas and they love to comfort themselves by sticking with the old school. For instance, LED technology has gone wild all over the world in the last 10 years or so, but most Italian shipyards (including Sanlorenzo) did not adopt its use until very recently. So, if you are a techie, good luck to you with making yourself understood!
Get used to Opportunism
Once you negotiate a base price for your boat (if you are purchasing through a dealer, your negotiation margin will be reduced by approx 10%), you will quickly notice that each of your extra requests will be overpriced in an effort to compensate for the discount you received. They usually tend to hide the overcharges under items like “commissioning, installation, programming, system design, plan drawing, cabling, configuration, seatrial etc…”. If your contract does not include protective clauses for these opportunistic charges, it won’t be long before you start falling into their hands!
Get used to Subcontractor Dominance
The yacht building industry in Italy heavily relies on subcontractor work. At Sanlorenzo, almost 95% of the boats are built by subcontractors (including the hull and superstructure). Only administrative positions (ie. interior design, engineering, purchasing, accounting etc) remain on the shipyard’s payroll. Perhaps the most unfortunate fact is that Sanlorenzo does not have a quality control department – and for a simple reason: The shipyard highly counts upon and “competes” for a limited number of local subcontractors. The bizarre truth is, it’s not the subcontractors who try to please the shipyard with their work, it is just the other way around!
Get used to Gobbledegook
Let’s say you decided to add a table lamp to your saloon and requested an addition of an electric socket to plug in your table lamp. Certainly you will have to pay for it. But the story doesn’t end there. If you notice that the socket is not installed where you asked them to, simply try asking why. You will almost certainly end up with loads and loads of gobbledegook and you will quickly find out that you are responsible for it because you have not been specific enough! If you are lucky, they will agree to rectify the error at no cost. If not, you will have to pay or live with it…
Get used to Improvisation
It is hard to understand how such complicated superyachts could be started and finished with little or no planning at all! At Sanlorenzo, the definition of planning is quite different compared to the rest of the world: One project manager is assigned to at least 5 new projects and held responsible of their planning, coordinating and controlling, including their warranty works. It is simply impossible for a human being to manage several such complicated projects simultaneously. The only workaround is actually to run with the flow: Keep calm and improvise all the way through… Which brings us back to the critical issues of “Quality” and “Delay”.