BENETTI DEDICATES THE 21st YACHTMASTER TO SUSTAINABILITY
The American leg of the 21st Benetti Yachtmaster, the traditional event reserved for captains and crews, was held at Baker’s Cay Resort, Key Largo in Florida from November 9 to 11. The theme of the event – finally making its face-to-face comeback – was sustainability, which was not only the focus of the workshops but also key in the choice of location and team building activities.
There were 70 participants, including 34 captains.
The American leg of Yachtmaster successfully closed the 21st edition of this Benetti program for captains and crews featuring workshops and team building activities. Following the incredible response to the phygital event in February, the Yachtmaster was back in-person again at the exclusive Baker’s Cay Resort in Key Largo. Its central theme was sustainability, an increasingly important value for Benetti, which boosted its message by organizing the event in a location that prioritizes its sustainable and conservation practices with use of biodegradable materials and low environmental impact products.
The event opened with the Benetti Conference, in which Benetti Americas Country Manager, Nick Bischoff, presented the fleet’s new models. He also spoke at length about Oasis Deck®, a new solution recently adopted on the Oasis 34M and the entire B.Now family. The Oasis Deck boasts five indispensable features including wings that open out to increase the available space close to the water but sheltered from the waves; a built-in pool; a 270-degree field of view astern and from the saloon; a system providing a mix of sunlight and shade that enables guests to enjoy the deck at all times of day; and the Social Design of the entire deck as a spacious and convivial OASIS.
Following this the Benetti Americas Service Team, Andrea Cecchini (Azimut Benetti Service Manager) and Giovanni Arista (Class Service Manager) reinforced the dedication Benetti has to aftersales and the support provided to Captains and Crew locally and internationally.
Thereafter, the Owner’s Team Perspective, was introduced with Benjamin Tellez, the captain of the Benetti M/Y Bacchanal (a 47-metre custom steel yacht), being interviewed on stage by Dockwalk editor Lauren Beck. Tellez spoke about his experience as a megayacht captain for the same owner for 21 years and how he maintains good relations with his owners and the yards he works with. The afternoon ended with a session dedicated to partners and a demonstration by Ian Heflin, Direct Sales Specialist at VEGA Americas, on their advanced dry cell technology for pressure sensors. At dinner, Raquel Raies, brand ambassador for Macallan, a major label that shares Benetti’s the values of craftsmanship and ceaseless strive for quality, took the participants through a tasting of the exclusive Macallan Rare Cask Single Malt Whisky.
The morning of November 10 was taken up by team building activities: on dock golf contests with biodegradable golf balls containing fish feed and team obstacle races with Seabob. During the Owner’s Team Perspective in the afternoon, Lauren Beck interviewed captain Kelly Gordon, who spoke about her experience as a woman at the helm of a superyacht and the various challenges she has faced during her career.
The main focus of the event was on the workshops organized by Benetti. The first speaker was Larry Behar, a lawyer specializing in immigration who was selected as one of the 100 most powerful persons and top 100 global leaders in South Florida by CEO Magazine and the World Trade Council. His presentation included his vast knowledge on international crew visas and extended to the psychology behind consular processing.
The second workshop saw Nick Bischoff, Fabio Fede (Product Marketing Coordinator) and Peter Selivanoff (Senior Manager Yacht Services, Fraser Yachts) address the theme of the recent introduction of the IMO TIER standards for vessels of less than 500 gross tonnage. The new standard aims to drastically reduce NOx emissions in so-called ECAs (Emission Control Areas), which include the entire US coastline. As explained during the workshop, these standards had been adopted in advance by Benetti, which is now offering a full line of new models (Class, Oasis and B.Yond) that can be configured for IMO TIER III thanks to the use of SCR (Selective Catalytic Reduction systems) and urea tanks.
In the third workshop, on low-emissions yachts, Fabio Fede talked about how Benetti successfully managed to market a new 37 metre steel yacht with a hybrid power unit: the B.Yond 37M. The innovative hybrid system – E-Mode – developed in collaboration with Siemens Energy, together with the SCR catalytic filters, enables the B.Yond 37M to appreciably reduce both CO2 and NOx emissions, making her the first “low emission yacht” in her category. Fede also introduced another Benetti project, the 107-metre Luminosity, the largest hybrid giga yacht ever built. Powered by lithium batteries rated 3 MWh and a diesel-electric propulsion and generation system, Luminosity is one of the most technologically advanced yachts of the 21st century and can, among other things, enter protected marine areas off-limits to conventional yachts. The focus then shifted to the field in which Azimut|Benetti’s R&D department is investing so that it can build yachts with increasingly low emissions thanks to the use of alternative fuels like hydrogen and methane and alternative propulsion technologies like gas, dual-fuel and fuel cell engines.
Roger Trinterud, Sales Director Cruise and Yacht at Kongsberg Maritime, the world-leading designer and builder of integrated bridge and navigation systems for both ships and large yachts, closed the session by illustrating Kongsberg’s latest trends, innovations, and projects. One of these, in collaboration with Benetti, was to build an integrated bridge and propulsion control system for the 107-metre giga yacht Lana.
In the evening, there was a gala dinner, themed “White with a touch of gold”, and the event was brought to a close the following morning with a yoga session on the beach. In addition to the pleasure of meeting face-to-face again after a long period of virtual interaction, the event was made even livelier by its partners: Asea Nautica, Awlgrip, Firefly, Fraser Yachts, Kongsberg, Private Insurance Services, Seabob, Slam, Vega, Videoworks and Viraver, all available to exchange views with the participants.