The 2019 edition took place in Las Vegas, providing opportunities for learning and socialising, with productive meetings on topics such as "Connectivity on board" and "Preventing and managing extraordinary weather events".
Las Vegas, December 17th, 2019 – Mixing business with pleasure – in this sense Las Vegas is a guarantee – “Convergence 2019”, the event dedicated to professional training for captains and chief engineers of Ferretti Group yachts, left all the participants not only with a pleasant memory but also the feeling of having experienced an important time of discussion and sharing on technical topics examined clearly and in depth, using effective interactive methods.
Following a presentation on the commercial and technological news and the new refitting services of Ferretti Group’s Customer Service, the first workshop, held on 23rd October, was dedicated to "Connectivity on board", with a focus on the Internet connection of the various equipment and the future potential regarding issues of privacy and cybersecurity. The panelists included representatives of Ferretti Group, MAN, MTU, Naviop-Simrad, RINA and Volvo Penta, who outlined the opportunities and possible future developments for the shipbuilding sector. This issue is very topical in an increasingly connected and “smart” world that inevitably also involves the complex on-board systems of luxury yachts.
On 25th October, the topic was "Preventing and managing extraordinary weather events". The participants were keenly interested in topics such as weather forecasting, yacht preparation, and the insurance perspective on these ever-increasing extreme weather events.
RINA and Side Power were the sponsors of this workshop, bringing to the attention of the participants the importance of preparing one’s yacht for these contingencies from the moment of its configuration in the shipyard and the importance of inspections and periodic renewals of the Class Certificates.
USCG Vice Admiral Brian Peterman and Rear Admiral Duncan Smith stimulated the discussion by presenting the case of the sinking of the container ship El Faro due to underestimation of the weather conditions and incorrect course choices made by the captain. Neil Maclaren, of International Bluewater Marine Services, marine surveyor and former Royal Navy officer, presented cases of vessels affected by lightning and the precautions that need to be taken.
To complete the discussion, Rob Carron and Andrea Gaudenzi of the company Willis Towers Watson informed the audience on the insurance issues related to these exceptional events.
Also in this panel discussion there were many questions and observations from the captains and chief engineers.
In both sessions, an interactive app made it possible to have feedback and questions from the audience in real time, also anonymously, proving to be very valuable in facilitating discussion and participation to the panel.
Of particular importance was the contribution of the technical sponsors: Asea Power System, Seakeeper, and Videoworks, who set up special corners where they provided information to the participants in dedicated meetings.
Equally appreciated was the offer of activities for socialising and fun, with guided explorations of Las Vegas and its most famous sites. Marked by magical emotions and gastronomic delight, the evening that featured the fantastic Cirque du Soleil performance of "O" at the Bellagio, in which water is the protagonist, was followed by a fabulous dinner at the Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars Palace.
For the Convergence Night, the group ventured to the top of the Stratosphere, the highest tower in the state of Nevada, with unparalleled and breathtaking views of the Las Vegas skyline. The bravest participants also had the chance to experience the adrenaline-fuelled rides at the top of the tower.
In addition to the classroom days, the day of the 24th was dedicated to the always enjoyable and fruitful teambuilding activity, this time set on a ranch in the California desert, with exciting challenges and moments of socialisation that further strengthened the team spirit. Divided into teams, the participants challenged each other in various cowboy games, including lasso tossing, ax throwing, and “the bucking barrel”, a fun variation of the mechanical bull, a true Wild West adventure that left everyone tired but happy.
At the conclusion of the event, the prize was awarded to the winning team and the certificates of attendance, highly coveted amongst Ferretti Group yacht captains, were handed out.
“Convergence is proving more and more each year to be an essential opportunity for increasing the skills and experience of the captains and chief engineers of Ferretti Group yachts”, said Stefano de Vivo, Ferretti Group’s Chief Commercial Officer. “It is a unique opportunity for professionals and experts to exchange information and opinions, which also helps us improve our vessels by providing owners with an increasingly safe and satisfying sailing experience”.