Sustainability the Theme as Benetti Yachtmaster Returns

By George Bains

The American leg of the 21st Benetti Yachtmaster was celebrated at Baker’s Cay Resort in Florida from 9 to 11 November, with sustainability the focus during the traditional captain and crew event.

70 participants, including 34 yacht captains, were present as the Benetti Yachtmaster made its face-to-face comeback in Key Largo, Florida. The focus of the event’s workshops and activities was on sustainability, reflecting the values of Benetti. Even the location of Baker’s Cay Resort was selected for its sustainable and conversation practices, using biodegradable materials and low environmental impact products.

The event opened with the Benetti Conference, with Benetti Americas Country Manager, Nick Bischoff, presenting the fleet’s newest models. Bischoff gave an in depth talk about the Oasis Deck, a new solution recently adopted on the Oasis 34M and entire B.Now family. The Oasis Deck has a number of unique features, including wings that open out to increase the available space close to the water, a built-in pool, a 270-degree field of view astern and from the saloon, and a system that provides a mix of sunlight and shade to allow guests to enjoy the deck at all times of day. The Oasis Deck also benefits from a social design to enhance the use of space and create a convivial atmosphere.

Andrea Cecchini, Azimut Benetti Service Manager, and Giovanna Arista, Class Service Manager, then took to the floor to speak about the aftersales and support provided to Captains and Crew both locally and internationally.

Benjamin Tellez, Captain of 57m Benetti yacht Bacchanal, spoke at the Owner’s Team Perspective about his experience as a superyacht captain for the same owner for 21 years, and how he maintains good relations with his owners and the yard he works with.

On the morning of November 10, participants enjoyed a number of team building activities, including on dock golf contests with biodegradable golf balls and team obstacle races on Seabobs. During the afternoon Owner’s Team Perspective, Captain Kelly Gordon shared her experience as a woman at the helm of a superyacht and the challenges she has faced during her career.

The workshops organised by Benetti gave participants insights from a plethora of experts heralding from different fields of the industry. The first workshop was held by Larry Behar, a lawyer specialising in immigration, who spoke about the important topic of international crew visas as well as the psychology behind consular processing.

Nick Bischoff, Fabio Fede (Product Marketing Coordinator) and Peter Selivanoff (Senior Manager Yacht Services, Fraser Yachts) held the second workshops to address the recent introduction of the IMO TIER standards for vessels of less than 500GT.

In the third workshop, Fabio Fede spoke about low-emissions yachts and how Benetti has successfully managed to market a new 37m steel yacht, the B.Yond 37M, with a hybrid power unit.  

A gala dinner with the theme of “White with a touch of gold”, befitting to the Benetti brand, was celebrated in the evening. The event was brought to a close the next morning with a yoga session on the beach.

The return of the Benetti Yachtmaster in person was a great opportunity to share valuable insights, with the many partners of the event also able to engage with the participants.

Benetti will feature in the upcoming Series 2 of the Top100 documentary, where sustainability is again the focus as we look towards the future of superyacht design and build.

By George Bains
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