Nicolai Yacht Consultancy: Helping you turn your superyacht vision into reality

Written by Francesca Webster

Sitting down over Zoom with Nicola Nicolai and Serena Bartoloni S.Omer, the duo behind Nicolai Yacht Consulting and Project Management, it quickly became clear that I was talking to people who truly know their business. Founding the company in 2017, the pair set out to create a consultancy and project management firm that stood head and shoulders above the rest, utilising over 20 years of Nicola’s experience, gained at some of the most prestigious companies in the industry, including Riva, Benetti and more, combined with Serena’s experience in business and marketing, gained working for leading companies in the luxury fashion industry, such as Salvatore Ferragamo and Bally. Nicola Nicolai and Serena BartoloniFor Nicolai, the years of experience account for more than simply checks on his resumé. Every superyacht project he has been involved with, now totalling more than 120 new-builds from 30 up to 90+ meters, has been an opportunity to learn, develop, improve and importantly, expand his knowledge of every aspect of the project’s designing and construction process, working with leading professionals of the industry and building with them a strong professional network base. Today Nicolai works with more of the top design studios and shipyards than many of its competitors, based on tried and tested experience with all of them.

The team at Nicolai Yacht Consulting & Project Management pride themselves on a 360-degree, tailormade consultancy and project management service. This is a service that goes above and beyond to ensure that the new-build yacht is not only delivered on time, on budget and to the correct specifications, but also that it is the best possible superyacht for your needs. We took a look at what this experience looks like from a clients perspective, approaching the team with the dream of building a superyacht: Flying Dagger yacht by Rossinavi in Beaulieu-sur-MerPhoto: Tom van OossanenPre-purchase advisory and assessment of requirements and needs

When you approach Nicola Nicolai, the first and most important step is to assess your motivations and expectations, what are you looking to build and why? 

Though owners are more and more informed about their options, the technical understanding is often limited, which in turn can limit the vision for the project. Nicolai is able to build upon your scope, opening doors which you may not be aware of and eliminating those which are not compatible with your expectations and desires. Nicola Nicolai Yacht Consultancy and Project ManagementPutting the team in place 

It is during these initial consultations that Nicolai begins to form an image of the yacht in his mind. Utilising his extensive experience, he is able to match brokers, designers and naval architects to your desires and personality, and is already able to construct the beginnings of a team in his mind. Now it is time to create proposals, matching the specific requirements of the project to the most appropriate professionals from the industry. 

The team will introduce you to a panel of exterior and interior designers and naval architects. Once you have excluded those who do not meet your vision, those who are selected can then produce a tailored design concept for your evaluation.Nicola Nicolai Yacht Consultancy and Project ManagementDesign concept development 

Now that your initial designs are in production, it is time to create the General Arrangement (GA) of your yacht, determining exactly what you want to include. Details, such as the number of staterooms, toys you wish your yacht to carry and how many crew will live aboard to assist you, all need to be determined within the GA, but now you have a crack team around you to take you through the myriad of options out there.Nicola Nicolai Yacht Consultancy and Project ManagementShipyards proposal and selection

With the GA finalised, the team will analyse your specifications, from the design focus, the budget, delivery time and quality expectations, all decisions which streamline the decision of which shipyard will build your yacht. Every shipyard in the world has its own strengths and with Nicolai having worked at many of them, on the ground and for the client, he knows precisely which yard should complete your build to ensure it ticks all boxes.Nicola Nicolai Yacht Consultancy and Project ManagementThis is one of the most important decisions to be made in the entire process and one of the company’s greatest strengths.

Contract negotiation and signature

The negotiation and closing of the contract can be one of the most complicated stages of the entire process. The team expertly manages the entire process, recommending you with the best legal advisor and working directly with you, your broker and team to ensure that the most value is added without sacrificing on your demands and expectations, be that price, quality or delivery time. 

Nicola and Serena will help you to make the safest and most accurate decisions for the most valuable investment, while also ensuring that the experience of buying your superyacht is rewarding, rather than taxing.Nicola Nicolai Yacht Consultancy and Project ManagementSuperyacht build project management  and design and engineering development

Now that your dream yacht is finally in progress and the build is ready to begin, Nicolai will act as your representative, protecting your investment and overseeing every step of the construction process. This allows you to relax and enjoy the exciting progress taking place on the ground.

While the project is moving forward, it is important to have someone on the ground that truly understands, from both a design and technical perspective, what is going on and how the developments will impact the final product. That is why it is so important to have someone like Nicolai onboard, because he will be there together with his team to ensure your vision becomes a reality. He can lend an expert's opinion, both to the shipyard and yourself, making his advice a huge asset to your build. Nicola Nicolai Yacht Consultancy and Project ManagementTest, sea trials, commissioning and delivery

Now your yacht is nearing completion and the shipyard is ready for the technical launch, finalisation of the interior design and finally the exciting delivery to you, Nicolai will be there to ensure that everything, down to the fine print, has been completed to the standard agreed. This can be one of the most important and challenging stages, but having someone with Nicolai’s experience means that the process can be streamlined, with the team interacting with the captain and crew during the handover process. Diamonds are forever yacht cruising Warranty

Unlike many of their competitors, Nicolai sees your new build long past completion. It is not uncommon for works to arise during the delivery and shortly after. The team will manage the work, ensuring that a tight schedule is maintained and solving any issues as soon as they arise, if not before.

With experience managing multiple new-build superyacht projects at the same time, Nicola Nicolai will make sure that your superyacht is exactly as it should be, no matter how small the problem.Spectre yacht cruisingPhoto: Jim RaycroftIf this sounds like the perfect process for you and your new-build, get in touch with the team now at,

Email: [email protected]

Phone: +39 342 0073371 - +39 347 7050687

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