Shipyards have large departments or facilities. It is essential to make an effective topological layout plan since the initial investment cost of these departments is high. Topological layout is an optimization problem and Genetic Algorithm (GA) is generally used in the literature. The selection of effective genetic algorithm approaches and operators are very important to improve the performance of the optimization. This study investigates an effective solution to the shipyard topological layout using a Quadratic Assignment Problem (QAP) model with classic and elitist GA approaches. Besides, genetic operators that have significant effects on exploitation and exploration capabilities are analyzed. Therefore, 126 experiments were run with 13 different operators. The results obtained from the classic and elitist GA approach were evaluated individually and compared with each other. It was observed that the elitist GA approach has a superior performance compared to the classic GA approach. This study is the most comprehensive and practical study on the performance of the GA for topological layout of the shipyard in the literature.