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SUPERYACHT #505
May 2004

Article selected from our quarterly magazine dedicated to the largest and most luxurious boats with information, interviews, technical articles, images and yachting news


Summary

Subscription

Yachting catalogue

Navigation tests

Used boats

Boatshow

Video Nautica

Franca Urbani interviews ing. Vincenzo Poerio, General Manager of Benetti


FOURTH AZIMUT-BENETTI YACHTMASTERS

Vincenzo Poerio I was invited to Yacthmaster, an event that Azimut Benetti had organized for is very own captains. The event was held from March the 10th to March the 13th at Saint Clemente Palace Hotel in Venice. I was kindly invited by Mrs. Alex Guillard group PR, Also present were Vincenzo Poerio, Stefano Grazelli marketing manager and Daniela Govi, project manager. The main aims of the conference were to get captains from around the world together and socialising. Therefore, Thursday morning was dedicated to a tour of Venice and in the afternoon the first "training session" sponsored by ECP entitled "Wine tasting" was held. On Friday the 12th there was a real "Working Session" where the captains could vote via videoconference, at regular intervals, for three or more questions on the themes put forward by the speakers of the conference. I was able to speak to Vincenzo Poerio during the lunchbreak on a really hectic and busy Friday 12th of March.

Mr Poerio, I know we are a bit short of time so I will ask you just a few questions before you get back to work. Am I right in thinking that the Yachtmaster event, by now in its fourth year was your idea. How did you get the idea to start up yachtmaster?

The idea, in effect came to me 5 years ago when I saw that commandants came from all walks of life and Yachting wasn't really focused on the real art of sailing. I saw Yachting as something that the well off did, it was just a form of entertainment really. Nowadays it is necessary to create professionals because the superyacht demand has rocketed. This is why the idea of master came to me; to allow the captains to get to know and familiarize themselves with problems that arise from the rapid growth superyacht industry Also treating the captains well could be indirectly beneficial, but nowadays the company wants and can give to raise the level of professionalism within this sector. Nowadays in conferences you here quite often terms such as "The winners" and "The losers", there is a reason behind this: as we have to face up to the competition. We have to win and not to lose, and we have to aim high, as highest we can. Improving as much as possible what we do, in every sector is our primary need. We have brought together here at Hotel San Clemente commandants and former commandants, and considering that there are 70, 30 meter yacht commandants in the world, we have managed to get together (excluding those currently sailing) 35 superyacht captains here at the Venezia master.

Is commonly said that captain has imprinted in his DNA the necessary skills to sail and navigate a boat, a yacht in this case. What do you think this master can add to already expert captains?

Something quite fundamental: knowledge and information in the yachting world, there are always many things to learn and maybe improve upon. This is also an opportunity for them to meet and gain experience as captains. Understanding that there are certain rules, regulation and problems in this field help to complete superyacht commandants training. The profession varies widely, form managing a crew from a minimum of 4-5 people on 30 meter yacht to managing a crew of up to 30 people in 70 meter yacht.

Could you tell us the five fundamental skills to be a good superyacht captain?

First, you have to be a leader, second you have to be loyal, third you have to be honest, fourth you have to be professional and fifth, you have to create a good atmosphere on board: good people skills, having the ability to highlight the pleasures that sea life can offer: swimming, cooking, entertainment. Contrary to popular belief, those who are well off are not necessarily good entertainers. So it is important that there is someone who can get everybody positively involved on board.

What can you say about the attendance of two women commandants at master? They have shown determination in establishing themselves in a typically male dominated profession. Do you think they have other qualities?

Women show sensitivity and this is a great help in this profession. Looking back at the fifth point in the last section, women are naturally more successfully here. Times are now changing, whereas before physical strength was an important factor now intelligence, people skills an problem solving abilities are crucial. Throughout history women have been dominated by man regarding their careers. There is now a great desire by women to join once male dominated professions and frankly speaking I believe women are great superyacht captains using to the best all their abilities.

Of the themes discussed in the master, at least two are related to safety: "measures against the terrorism on board and in the port" and "safety on board and boat evacuation". What are the reasons that lead to a focus on safety?

Large luxury boats are objects of beauty. They were not originally designed as practical, everyday vessels. Today superyachts have become luxury global navigators, and now is to think seriously about safety. This means that all aspects of boat safety must conform to rigorous safety regulations. At present only commercial vessels are obliged to comply with this safety regulations.

Which are the short term targets of Azimut-Benetti?

Today one of the speakers has told about the growth in our sector: we need to increase organization, to invest in technology and services. We need to focus on every area of superyacht manufacturing and managing process.

The Master working session presented by Norma Trease di Dockwalk, consisted in the following conferences:

  • The yachting market today: by Martin Redmayne (The Yacht Report)

  • flight time-share: by Robin Southwell (Bookajet)

  • International safety of boats and ports: by Captain Tork Buckley (P.Y.A.)

  • Electronic navigation. System on board: by prof. Dario Boote (University of Genova. Dept. of marine engineering and technology)

  • Safety on board and passengers evacuation: by Carlo Gallo (RINA)

  • Study on seasickness by doctor Luca Sebastiani (Hydrodynamic Services of Cetena Genova)

  • Preparation for Inspection of Ente di Registro (Tax Office) representatives : by ing. Paolo Izzo (Lloyd's Register)

  • Engine room planning: by Stefano Gibelli (MTU.)

  • M.C.A update: by Claude Hamilton (M.C.A.)

  • New services and developments in naval shipments market: by Jean Paul Charpentier (Dockwise)

  • New Benetti structures Livorno: by Benetti Mangment

The Fourth Azimut - Benetti Yachtmasters was organized by Azimut - Benetti S.p.A. in cooperation with Asea, Bookajet, Dockwise, EGP. e MTU.

Further occasion to broaden the themes treated in the conferences would be greately appreciated.