How the Internet of Things is Changing Boating
Technology Can Make Boat Ownership Easier Than Ever
Technology and the Internet of Things impacts every aspect of our lives, home, car and lifestyles. So, it is somewhat inevitable that demand for this type of connectivity would eventually reach the boating world too.
Boat owners are beginning to turn to smart technology on their vessels to monitor, track, protect and enhance their boating experiences. Today’s top technologies allow you to connect with and monitor your boat and its systems while you are away. It also allows you to receive up-to-the-minute information while on the water for things such as bilge level alarms or important weather updates.
Boat manufacturers recognize the interest in this kind of technology. As a result, more boats are now being created with smart technology built in. Just recently, Yamaha purchased one of the front runners in boating connectivity devices, Siren Marine, with the intention of integrating its products on all their vessels moving forward.
So, what exactly is connected boating and what does it offer boat owners?
What is Connected Boating?
Connected Boating is the overarching term for the use of smart technologies to enhance boat ownership and boating experiences.
Just like in other areas of our lives, the boating industry and boat owners are turning to smart technology and connected devices to improve security, monitor systems and offer real-time updates and alerts.
Specific devices or entire systems can be added to vessels that use sensors to collect data which is then sent to an information hub or cloud, using Bluetooth, Wi-Fi or even satellite technology.
This information is instantly and continuously analyzed. The information is sent back to the owner via an app subscription, downloaded onto their smartphone or tablet. In many cases, the owner is able to control and manage devices and switches directly from these apps as well.
How Can Smart Technology Enhance My Boating Experience?
All boat owners will know the worry of leaving your vessel unattended. Even in secure and safe marinas, issues such as electrical failures, drained batteries, water intrusion or fire could occur.
Smart monitoring devices and systems can give you peace of mind by providing you with information about your vessel even when you are not near it.
A simple connected boating system for your yacht will usually include or have options for:
- Positional monitoring and alerts (GPS tracking)
- Bilge level alarms
- Smoke / fire alarms
- Battery level monitoring
- Tilt warnings
- Security / intruder alarms
- Temperature sensors
- Loss of shore power alarms
An even more advanced smart technology system may also offer:
- Remote controllability of some functions via phone app including:
- Thermostat control
- Ability to turn air conditioning and lights on or off
- Remote engine start
- Collision alert warnings and automatic avoidance action
- Digital switches – control of main functions of vessel via touch screen
- Automated response to alarms – for example automatic temperature adjustments when senses indicate a change outside set parameters.
What Are the Benefits of Using Smart Systems on My Yacht?
People who love technology gadgets such as home hubs, smart watches and GPS in their vehicles will appreciate having similar devices on their boat.
Installing a system with the capabilities listed above, or buying a yacht which has pre-installed connectivity, brings many benefits, such as:
- Remote monitoring: If your yacht is unattended most of the time, there are multiple benefits to remote monitoring systems. You can be alerted to early changes, such as a low battery or intake of water early, so you can take action before serious damage is caused or a day on the water is lost.
- Control from anywhere on the boat: Use the phone app to monitor and control devices and switches from anywhere on your boat, so you don’t have to walk away from your fishing rod to check your fuel gauge.
- Remote control: Imagine being able to turn the air conditioner on from your cell phone, so your cabin is already cool when you arrive. Imagine being able to double-checkthat all lights are off (preventing battery drain). Connected boating enables owners to easily interact with and maintain the daily workings of their boats and yachts.
- Automatic adjustments: As the Internet of Things has developed, smart systems are now able to analyze the data they receive from your devices and systems. For example, the system can identify a problem, such as a drained battery, and automatically take action to solve it, by turning on the engine to recharge the battery.
- Reduced insurance costs: Although there is some initial cost to installing a smart system, which can range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, some insurance companies offer reduced rates for connected boats.
- Save on maintenance and repairs: Being able to identify and solve issues before they get serious will save in repair bills over the yacht’s lifetime. Some smart systems are even able to monitor and advise when maintenance is required making sure you’re only doing what you need to.
Can I Install Smart Technology on My Yacht?
Although many brand-new yachts now come with smart technology built-in, or the option for it, you don’t have to buy a new boat to benefit from connected boating.
A number of companies are now providing systems, including base, sensors and even in-person monitoring, which you can link to via an app on a smartphone or tablet. These can be installed in any existing boat, even older ones, and you can start benefiting from the connection right away.
Experience Connected Boating with a Smart Yacht From Van Isle Marina
Interested in upgrading to a connected yacht, or installing a smart system to enable your current vessel to be connected? The yacht sales team at Van Isle Marina will be glad to help identify and locate the right solution for your needs.
With complimentary Wi-Fi throughout our Sidney, BC Marina for moored boats and guests, keeping your smart systems connected is easy.
For more information on purchasing a connected boat