Some superyacht owners will choose their yacht as the home to some highly valuable artwork and sculptures, adding a true personal touch. However, with this particular personal touch comes a wealth of security considerations. Innes Miller, head of research and development at MarineGuard Systems Limited, provides The Superyacht Owner with his top recommendation for how to best to secure your assets on board.


Artwork on board Kokomo, as seen in SuperyachtDesign Q3

In the context of rising artwork prices, MarineGuard Systems Limited has been recommending and supplying its clients with radio frequency identification tags (RFID) systems. In short, the tags can essentially be placed on anything (or anyone) on board, and the vessel will receive a signal via its wireless LAN to notify of any movement of the object or tampering with the RFID.

“The system is Wi-Fi based and utilises active radio frequency tags or RFID tags, or the device’s own wireless card, to transmit a short signal at a regular interval, which can include additional status or sensor data. This signal is received by the vessel’s wireless LAN. Utilising the vessel’s wireless LAN equipment enables a significant cost, weight and footprint reduction above other standalone systems – key requirements in the superyacht industry,” explains Miller.

The system will use Received Signal Strength Indication (RSSI) and Time Difference of Arrival (TDOA) algorithms to calculate the location of each tracked asset, whereupon location information is displayed to the user on a single platform that can be used to display maps showing the location of items (a feature useful when considering expensive sculptures secured within a moving and rolling environment) or to search for the location of a specific item, and has the ability to create alerts for movement.


"This asset tracking system provides the long-awaited answer to the protection of moveable assets against first and third-party actions aboard superyachts."
- Innes Miller, head of research and development, MarineGuard Systems Limited


“To ensure the highest level of protection is provided, the installation of additional beacons at entry and exit points will cause the Active RFID tags to transmit alert messages, enabling near-instantaneous alerts to be delivered to the vessel’s security team,” adds Miller. “This asset tracking system provides the long-awaited answer to the protection of moveable assets against first and third-party actions aboard superyachts.”

Movement is not the only factor to take into consideration, adds Miller. These systems can also monitor and track temperature changes – highly important for more specific types of artwork on board in environments where the surrounding temperature can often be varied.

Moreover, the cleaning of artwork on board can be a complex issue and one that a yacht’s crew must take into consideration. In most cases, leaving artwork untouched (that is, not cleaned) is the safest option, unless an artwork expert is called on board to identify exactly what products can be safely used on the asset in question. (More can be read about crews' maintenance of artwork on board at TheCrewReport.com.)

With more superyachts utilising the knowledge and skills of maritime-focused security companies, there are a plethora of options available to owners when it comes to securing their assets on board. But with superyachts as constantly visible targets for theft, taking into consideration the security of artwork on board is a must.