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Italian Navy Amerigo Vespucci sail training ship to call in Odesa
Aug 14 2009, 17:39

20 August, Odesa will have an opportunity to welcome the oldest Italian Navy vessel Amerigo Vespucci sail training ship, is considered one of the worlds largest and majestic vessels.

According to the Administration of Information at Odesa City Council, The Amerigo Vespucci is nowadays the oldest unit in service in the Navy. Entirely built and equipped at the Royal Shipyard of Castellammare di Stabia, she was launched 22 February 1931 at the presence of Mrs. Elena Cerio, godmother of the launch.

From the technical point of view the Amerigo Vespucci is a powered Sail Ship; from the point of view of the sailing equipment she is ship-equipped, therefore with three vertical masts, fore-mast, main-mast and mizzen-mast, all equipped by yards and squaresails, in addition to the hanging bowsprit on the prow, effectively a fourth mast. The Unit is also equipped with cut sails: the jibs, on the bow, between the bowsprit and the fore-mast, the stays, between fore-mast and main-mast as well as main-mast and mizzen-mast, and the spanker, equipped of boom and peak, on the mizzen-mast.

The hull is of the kind with three main decks, extending from bow to stern (deck, battery and tween decks), plus several partial decks; it has two main superstructures, the forecastle on the bow and the quarterdeck on the stern, that rise above the upper deck but that ideally are its continuation.

Amerigo Vespuccis real engine is her crew, consisting of 278 members, of which 16 officers, 72 petty officers, 190 sailors divided in the following units: operations, seamanship, human resources, artillery, engineering, administrative-logistic and medical. Throughout the training cruise the crew increases in number up to 480 due to the presence on board of the cadets and the supporting personnel from Naval Academy (approximately 140 persons).

Since it entered in service, the ship has been deployed every year for training cruises (except in 1964, 1973 and 1997 because of maintenances), mainly for the cadets from Naval Academy. Also the students from Naval School Morosini, Navy petty officers and young members of several sailing associations (either Italian Naval League or Sailing Training Association Italy) took part to the training cruises.

The training cruises, carried out during the summer, last on average three months, visiting harbours mostly abroad; therefore, during these campaigns, the main training purpose are coupled to all the aspects aimed to represent the Country abroad.

The visit in Odesa, through August 20 23, is the 3rd visit in this town in Amerigo Vespuccis long history, after the visits in 1996 and 1998. The ship was also in Sevastapol and Kherson once. It will be an occasion to host onboard local authorities and permit the citizens of Odesa to know the ship with public tours.

The next scheduled port visits is going to be as follows: Constanta (Romania, 5th time), through August 26 29, Iraklion (Greece, 1st time), through September 5 9. In every port there will be protocol visits to local authorities, official luncheons onboard, cocktails and dinner-buffets, together with other events aiming to enhance cultural exchanges among the crew, cadets and local people.


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