Yacht design
Master degree

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Video presentation

Programme overview


The Yacht Design degree program, offered in English, aims to prepare students to become professionals in the field capable of confronting industrial problems at a high degree of complexity and innovation.  Graduates need to be able to understand, analyze and verify pleasure crafts, design large yachts based on innovative technologies, and oversee and direct construction, testing, maintenance and repair of yachts and mega yachts.

Learning by doing

Learning by doing

The classroom lectures in which the theoretical foundation of each course is presented to students are supported by:

-didactic laboratories on design and nautical experimentation;

-internships at shipyards, professional consultancy studios, and  maritime classification registers and surveying boards;

-conferences and workshops in the nautical field;

-university regattas;

-research theses on fundamental topics or on themes proposed by companies in the nautical field.

Career perspectives

Career perspectives

Employment at construction shipyards, repair and refitting yards for yachts and pleasure craft, classification registers and surveying boards, design and professional consultancy studios and research institutes which operate in the yachting and mega yacht sectors.


Freshers 2021/22

Degree type
Master degree
Duration and credits
Naval engineering
Free access
La Spezia
Teaching language
Teaching mode
Taxes and fees
From 0 to 3000 euros per year. Find out if you are entitled to scholarships and exemptions
International partnerships
Student exchange
Head of programme
Dario Boote
To learn more about the Course visit the dedicated section

What you will learn

  • Yacht stability

    Standards concerning the stability and buoyancy, the leak problem, the rolling movement and stabilisation means, speed effects on the stability.

  • Yacht dynamics

    The course deals with the motion law definition as well as the hydrodynamics characteristics regulating ship and yacht behaviour from the manoeuvrability, seakeeping and dynamic stability sides.

  • Ship structures

    The course regards the Finite Element Method for solving linear static mechanical problems

  • Numerical Marine Hydrodynamics

    The course is intended to provide students with the basis of the most advanced numerical techniques adopted for the solution of the hydrodynamic problems related to naval architecture. The theoretical background of each proposed methodology, with its field of application and its limits, is presented together with hands-on examples.

  • Motor Yacht Design

    This units aims to complete the student skills in the naval architecture field through the study of advanced topics specifically concerning the preliminary phase of the design.

  • Yacht Rigging

    The course will provide basic knowledge about scantling criteria of sailing systems. Typical configurations are analyzed using applicable rules and by means of some advanced numerical methods. Some concepts of sail design, from a structural perspective, are presented along with a few hints about fluid structure interaction problems.

  • Yacht Design Studio Workshop

    Focused on concepts concerning the onboard space and arrangement, with particular concern to the organisation on several bridges.

  • Sailing Yacht Aero Hydro Dynamics

    This unit supplies students with the basic fundamentals of the sail aerodynamics and interaction with the hull, as well as technological and application concepts concerning the design methods and materials

Did you know that...

  • Yacht Design is a unique degree program in Italy and, as it is configured, it is also unique in Europe!
  • More than 90% of our graduates find employment at major shipyards and professional consultancy studios in the field.
  • At Polo ?G. Marconi' students, teachers and staff are united by their passion for yachting. During the academic year it is possible to participate in workshops, conferences, and the construction and refitting of boats designed by our students.
  • In the past, our students have formed a crew and participated in the ?Mille e una Vela' university regatta, winning in 2012!



Design of pleasure craft (without limits) both from a scientific and technological point of view and from an aesthetic point of view.

The nautical designer must possess the professional competence and skills in the disciplinary fields typical of naval engineering as well as an equally solid preparation in the field of architectural composition and design applied to the nautical field.

What does it mean to be a Yacht Designer?

It means being able to deal in an effective manner with technical problems at a high level of complexity and innovation, and work in an optimal manner using the most modern design and production techniques.  In short, the principal characteristics of a professional of the Master’s program in Yacht Design will be a student who has the ability to understand, analyze and verify pleasure craft, even at a large dimension and complexity, design yachts of large dimension using innovative technologies, and oversee and direct the construction, testing, maintenance, operation and repair of leisure craft.

Head of programme

D a
Coordinator Prof. Dario Boote

Dario Boote
Head of Programme

Welcome to the website of the degree program in Yacht Design! Since 2008, the degree program in Nautical Engineering has been integrated with the Master's degree and then in 2011 it was converted into a Master's degree in Yacht Design, taught entirely in English.  There is a continual and constant relationship with the nautical industry and this is consolidated at the end of the degree program with the undertaking of degree theses oriented on topics of both design and scientific research.  This type of collaboration supports a swift integration into the world of work, and is also supported by the numerous internships that are created each year by our study program. Studying at ?G. Marconi' in La Spezia will certainly allow you to become part of an environment in which the passion for yachting is the element that unites students, teachers, researchers and all the staff on campus.  

Where to find us

Campus Universitario La Spezia
Viale Nicolò Fieschi 16/18
19123 La Spezia
+39 0187 751265

Success stories

I have chosen Italy for master degree, because Italy has the most popular Yacht Designers all around the word. Now I am happy to graduate such a beutiful University. Because I have taken what I wished before with Master Degree.

Naval Architect in Turquoise Yachts

My courses of Master Degree have big role in my career. I learned much things during my education and improved my design skills. It was my first and big step in my career and I'm happy to have Italian education background. Now I am working at Turquoise Yachts since April 2016. My responsibilities are:
  • Constructive design, technical drawing and detail engineering
  • Performing stability calculations,
  • Drawing General Arrangement for Proposal Yachts
  • Colored General Arragement in Photoshop
  • Exterior renderings with several softwares such as Keyshot, V-ray
Federico Tocchi
I studied Nautical Engineering and Yacht Design at the University of Genoa, at Polo ?G. Marconi', and now I work as a research and development engineer at Sanlorenzo, one of the most important shipyards in the world for the production of motor yachts.

Federico Tocchi
R&D Engineer @Sanlorenzo Spa

The research and development team at Sanlorenzo is a small team of designers dedicated to the study of technological innovation to improve products and production processes. At present, the main themes we are dealing with regarding sustainable mobility with projects for hybrid and electric yachts and methods for reducing the emissions of marine engines. I consider the Yacht Design program special, as it is an excellent mix of theoretical studies and practical laboratories, taught in English, and therefore international in character and close to the center of Italian shipbuilding between La Spezia and Viareggio. At the end of my degree, as well as having the basic knowledge necessary to enter the difficult world of yachting, I was also fortunate to have developed as my thesis an interesting research on the acceleration needed for the pitch motion on sailing yacht masts, which was published by one of the most famous magazines in the field. What I learned during my university years was fundamental for my entry into the world of work and it is thanks to the degree program that I chose that I am now fortunate to work as a designer in close contact with the sea, my greatest passion since childhood, together with sport and sailing.  
I studied Nautical Engineering and the MSc in Yacht Design at ?G. Marconi' in La Spezia and now I work at the Technical University of Delft (TU Delft) in the Netherlands in the Department of Ship and Offshore Structures.

Ricercatore @ TU Delft

In my work I deal with three main tasks, in research, on the effects of multi-axial fatigue in welded structures, in particular container ships, in teaching, where I teach finite element analysis and structural sizing software, and finally, as a technician and operator of Hexapod, a brand new machine, among the largest in the world, used for testing materials. What I most appreciated during my studies was the transversal nature of the degree program that has allowed me today to be prepared to perform very different tasks without encountering any problems. Another important factor was the opening of Polo ?G. Marconi' itself in regards to Europe and international environments; in fact, during my studies, I had the opportunity to participate in two long international experiences, first in England and then in Holland, which have profoundly shaped me and have made me the person I am. Among the most beautiful and important memories that I will always remember from my ?La Spezia period' is certainly the familiar nature of the university where students are not just students, but people, and professors are not just academicians, but teachers from whom I learned passion for the world of naval engineering that now I try to transmit to the students who follow my lessons.  
Farangis Zamani
I studied Yacht Design and I work for the Intermarine shipyard, an Italian shipyard that develops, designs and produces ships for military and civil use. I deal with structural design, structural calculations, modeling and putting together of ship structure parts, researching innovative materials, designing and planning insulation and painting systems.

Farangis Zamani
Ingegnere Navale in Intermarine 

After a bachelor's degree in naval engineering I chose a master's degree in yacht design and I am very satisfied with the choice because in this way I have been able to discover the other side of the naval world, that of yachts, where the importance of appearance aesthetics and comfort are crucial for the realization of a successful product. I have an excellent memory of the master's degree course in yacht design. I found design projects very interesting, thanks to which I had the opportunity to develop projects in groups, structural and aerodynamic studies done on sailing boats.

Learn more

Didactic support contact
Paola Bergantin

Course Chair
Dario Boote
+39 010 353 2419
Course Didactic Office 
Luca Panìco
+39 0187 751265