Start-ups show Future of Yachting - Part 1

Hans Buitelaar
Sunday, 18 June 2023

Exciting new technology will be presented at the next METSTRADE show at the all-new Start-Up Pavilion (STP). In co-operation with Yachting Ventures the show floor area for fresh inventors in the yachting and boating industry will show technology for the improvement of on-water leisure time and nautical businesses. 

Keen to participate in the first edition of the pavilion, lots of recently started small companies that try to gain attention for the innovations they develop, registered with Yachting Ventures (YV). This London-based platform aims to be the hub for start-ups in the yachting industry, bringing together network, education and opportunities for these pioneers. “The pavilion was filled overnight,” YV founder Gabriella Richardson recalls. “We have a very impressive selection of participants. All of these companies also have to meet the quality standards that METSTRADE requires to be a full participant in the show, so not all of these recent starters have been confirmed yet.” The innovators that meet requirements already present a comprehensive look on yachting in the (near) future.

Intelligent video safety

AI is emerging everywhere, likewise in yachting. Captain’s Eye is a multi-camera monitoring system that can detect smoke, intruders coming aboard, changes in the pattern of system functioning and it allows skippers to watch and review video images taken by the cameras on board, remotely on their mobile devices by using an app. Video can be viewed through a live connection or from previous recordings. The algorithm of the Captain’s Eye system teaches itself what the normal operation on board looks like and will issue a warning if the normal modes of operation are disturbed. The program has facial recognition. The owner or captain can take pictures of the crew and authorised people to come on board and the security system will recognise them. Guests can be introduced with a temporary admission. After their stay, the system will issue alerts when they try to re-board the yacht. Using the Captain’s Eye app, a yacht captain can control the cameras. A mast-mounted camera for example can be tilted to get a view of the marina or anchorage and see if all is clear. Captain’s Eye integrates with existing CCTV (Closed Circuit TV) systems. Smoke and fire aboard is automatically detected and will cause an active alert. The exact location of any misfunctioning aboard will be indicated, allowing the quickest possible action from staff to solve the problem. Developers claim that their AI system can detect smoke sooner than fire detectors. The start-up with the same comes from Israel, where retired Navy Captain Uri Ben-Dor and a defence force Colonel Doron Oizerovich joined forces to create this Artificial Intelligence security system for yachts. The investment fund SixAI, specialising in new technology that combines optics, edge computing and AI, has become the company’s major investor by granting 4 million US dollar.

Certified logging

Digitization of systems on board is cleverly applied in the digital logbook that gathers data from all the onboard systems. Aboard super yachts, but nowadays also aboard mid-sized yachts, ever more systems are connected. That is the case with the navigational instruments, but also engine controls, sensors, plotters and even the controls of household equipment are increasingly integrated in a central monitoring and control system. A program or app that gathers these data and cleverly organises it, can write a digital log book. Course, heading and speed are registered, like engine hours, fuel consumption, weather conditions and use of onboard equipment. Names of crew and guests can be entered as well as destination. The eLogbook by L.J. Commercial Services does all of this. It is the brain child of former superyacht steward and purser Liz Jackson, founder of the company. The digital and automatic recording of a yachts’ proceedings and performance as well as the use of resources replaces a whole collection of manual log books: the engine room log book, the navigational log book, the oil log book and the guest log book, to name few. What is registered in all of these log books is crucial for safety and insurance purposes. The L.J. eLogbook is certified by Lloyds Register and recognised as a suitable replacement of manual log books by the UN maritime authority IMO. Having a computer automatically register ship’s data and make a log book from these that is very convenient, L.J. Commercial Services likes to point out.

Traffic light for batteries

Electrification of boat equipment and propulsion relies on proper functioning batteries. Fleet managing companies like boat charterers and even yards that agree with their customers to keep track of the maintenance status of their yachts need to be aware of the status of battery packs before they fail. Connecting all the batteries and the battery monitoring devices to the IoT platform of the Czech and Slovak company Battery Check allows remote monitoring (the company has offices in both Prague and Bratislava, re-connecting the two capitals).The app on mobile or desktop devices shows the condition of all batteries in a glance: green means no problems, yellow calls for maintenance and red indicates the need to replace a battery. The clever logarithm recognises battery specifications to understand performance requirements. Any kind of battery can be connected: those of mobile devices, vehicles – like boats and yachts – the household batteries that buffer solar power for nighttime use, electric car batteries and more. If a monitor for any specific battery is not there or not connected to the internet, the company provides an API (application programming interface) that connects the device to the internet and communicates with the Battery Check platform.

More participants of the STP are presented in the continued article.


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