On 9th march at 5pm local time the YCM Captains Club held a webinar about Smart Yachts.
We were honoured to have Sean Meager, Captain of M/Y LATITUDE (45m) and Captain Christopher GARTNER S/Y Blackpearl (107 m) leading this open discussion, which was hosted by General Secretary Mr. Bernard d’Alessandri, with more than 45 superyacht captains in attendance (with an average Loa of 65m)
The conference started with Sean Meager’s definition of a Smart yacht which enabled us to highlight the difficulties that captains may have in acquiring information on the new technologies they have onboard, and the limited means of expressing their needs.
The objective of this webinar was to highlight the Captains’ position.
So what is a smart yacht? The concept of a smart yacht is a network of systems or a system that goes beyond simply just presenting data to the end user. For example: a smart yacht seeing a fire alarm going off could be integrated with your lighting system and let you know that a transformer is overheating and shutoff power to that system. Using RFID tags, it could be integrated with you inventory systems for food, deck supplies and engineering. Engineering systems usually don’t fail without warning signs, but a smart yacht should be able to give a greater margin of warning when systems are about to go down. A 1-degree change does mean something.
Systems must also be easy to use, this, along with cost are crucial to their integration on new builds, as well as refits and retrofits.
We went on to discuss how secure the systems were and whether data was protected.
But the most interesting section of the webinar, was when Captains shared real life examples of how they have made their yachts smarter.
Which brought us to the fun stuff; how “future tech” and artificial Intelligence “AI” might affect our industry. In reality, key considerations are “VR”, Engineering, Training, Navigation and Compute power, and the need to maximize space onboard – new ways to miniaturize this cool tech.
Technology must not surpass the captains; in case of emergency the captain must be able to regain control of the yacht. As Captains are the first line of responsibility, technology must be adapted to them, so that they can adapt .