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The 24th edition of Benetti Yachtmaster explores lifestyle and the central role of the captain

The 24th Yachtmaster organized by Benetti in Budapest from the 21st to the 23rd of February has just ended. The event involving over 300 guests from all over the world, was a great success with the participation of captains, owner representatives, surveyors, stewardesses and industry professionals.

Modern owners experience the purchase of a yacht as the maximum expression of their lifestyle. Today, the new concept of lifestyle on board involves renewed purpose and layout for the spaces, increasingly informal and convivial, capable of blending into the surrounding nature. The deck extends over the water and the landscape integrates the furnishings through the large windows of the new Voyager yachts by Benetti. The growth of the yacht market is also evidence of this, perfect for those seeking adventure, and not just the most exclusive places. If the yacht is the object through which a lifestyle is expressed, certainly the captain and his crew are the human component that strongly influences the owners’ on-board experience.

24th Benetti Yachtmaster – photo © Benetti Yachts

It is from these considerations that the program for the 2024 edition of the Benetti Yachtmaster was born, introduced by the CEO of Azimut|Benetti Group Marco Valle, who welcomed the guests and emphasized the crucial role of the captains and their skills in building the yachts of the future. Then, Massimiliano Casoni – General Manager of Benetti – underlined how at the center of the brand’s success is the product on the one hand and the customer and assistance on the other, which the Shipyard is able to guarantee wherever the yacht is located. The aim of the Shipyard is to offer personalized and easily accessible services dedicated to the owner and the crew; furthermore, each Benetti yacht will have a service manager as a point of reference for any type of assistance.

Sebastiano Fanizza – Benetti’s Chief Commercial Officer – and Alessia Farci – Customer Experience Manager – presented the evolution of the owners’ concepts of Luxury and Lifestyle, which point to an increasingly personalized experience on board, ensuring that the Yacht represents a unicum with the surrounding nature for a unique and borderless experience. Following this, the theme of the Benetti Lifestyle and the important role of the captains was explored to create a product that perfectly reflects the owner’s expectations. Captains can support the shipyard in understanding the customer’s needs in the various phases of the Customer Journey.

From the first meeting, a relationship of trust and knowledge is established. This relationship gives life to the project for each new vessel, and it remains vital through the construction of the yacht, extending beyond delivery to guarantee a continuous experience for the captain, the customer and the other stakeholders.

24th Benetti Yachtmaster – photo © Benetti Yachts

Next, Sebastiano Vida – Benetti Head of Product – examined how different lifestyles directly impact the design of yachts: the customers begin to share their desires from the first meeting and consequently the first sketches for a new project are born. It is also true that the ability to promote new design concepts that are linked to a new onboard lifestyle can influence the modern owner’s decision to purchase. An exceptional example is the Oasis Deck® concept, where the study conducted to expand the percentage of spaces outdoors contributed to the success of the Oasis line. Marking the pinnacle of this trend’s evolution will be the new Veranda Deck®, a true reinterpretation of the main deck lounge, characterized by internal and external spaces connected without limits.

Just as design influences the lifestyle on board, functional aspects such as more efficient on-board systems and greater sensitivity to the environment also receive attention from the Shipyard to improve quality of life for the owner and crew. Ample space was dedicated to Benetti’s green path with the presentation of the most recent technologies introduced to reduce environmental impact: from energy management to energy saving, from technologies for reducing fuel consumption to HVO, the alternative biofuel that allows the reduction of well-to-wake CO2 emissions by up to 80%. Moreover, the system for drinking water on board avoids the use of plastic bottles and increases storage by reducing waste.

24th Benetti Yachtmaster – photo © Benetti Yachts

Anders Kurtén – CEO of Fraser, the longest serving full-service luxury yacht specialist in the world today with over 75 years of multi-award-winning excellence – took stock of how owners have changed in recent years, and which features are the most requested on new yachts. Among them, greater spaces for wellbeing on board and highly specialized and competent crews stood out.

Caterina Oliviero and Alvise Tositti, Chief Commercial and Chief Strategy Officers of Acquera, a leading agency in the yachting sector, presented the new web platform to facilitate the captains’ “operations” on board from a technical-operational and recreational point of view. This tool will be an onboard experience game-changer.

Gianni Paladino – Commercial Director of Lusben – presented the refit yard Lusben, a Division of the Azimut|Benetti Group, underlining the integrated maintenance and refit approach as a fundamental contribution to maintaining the value of a yacht throughout its life cycle. Furthermore, Paladino outlined the investment projects already under way to enhance the three sites of Varazze, Viareggio and Livorno and to improve the environmental efficiency and sustainability of the construction activity. He also announced that Lusben is an active member of ICOMIA with the aim to set sustainability standards for refit yards around the world.

24th Benetti Yachtmaster – photo © Benetti Yachts

On the second day of the event, there was no shortage of training sessions and networking. After a morning dedicated to an exciting team building mission to discover one of the most important collections of paintings in the world at the Museum of Fine Arts, the LH (Luxury Hospitality) company held a workshop on leadership culture for captains and crew members to set a path for professional development and the achievement of collaborative goals within a work group such as a crew. At the end of the day, the guests, cruising on the Bel Danube for the “Moonlight Wonders” Gala dinner, admired the beauty of Budapest in its evening guise.

Special thanks to the partners and sponsors for their contribution, which was fundamental to the realization and success of the event. GIGA partners: Acquera, Awlgrip, Kongsberg, Lusben, Viraver, Volvo Penta. MEGA partners: Asea, Boero, DYT, Fraser, Jotun, MTU, Rina Maxima, Saim Marine, Sanseverino, Sevenstar Yacht Transport, Slam, Telemar Yachting. CLASS partners: Aseanautica, Bluewater, CGT, CMC Marine, Firefly, Mimetika, Naiad Dynamics, Fincantieri NexTech, Quantum, Versilia Supply Service, Termodinamica, Videoworks, ZF.

The Benetti Yachtmaster will be repeated on the 28th and 29th of February in Key West, confirming its great success overseas as well.

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