The new VesselWatch system, already installed on a number of superyachts including Feadship’s 40m Seaflower, includes GPS and GeoFence technology, whereby a yacht’s captain can map out barriers for areas of use for tenders and toys, track the tenders and toys and, if any tender or toy crosses the barrier, the captain will get an immediate text alert.
The system, Robinson said, is popular when it comes to owners and guests desiring privacy. “If one owner likes to paddle board but does not like to be followed by a tender or the yacht, as he loses the sense of freedom, by giving this owner a simple ATEX version of Motorola radio linked to our VesselWatch system, the yacht can communicate and GPS track the owner without being intrusive,” Robinson explained. This zoning and positioning system, with text alerts, will be demonstrated at the Monaco Yacht Show, and features such as speed logging of a particular vessel can be included.
However, in January 2015 VesselWatch’s GeoFence technology will have a new component: GeoLock. With GeoLock technology, the moment any engine-powered toy or tender crosses the barriers outlined by the yacht’s captain using the GeoFence technology, the vessel’s engine will automatically enter idle mode, giving it just enough power to turn around and return to the approved zone of use.
The VesselWatch system, Robinson confirmed, is somewhat of a response to the FCC’s 2013 regulation surrounding the transfer from wideband to narrowband technology on analogue radios, the former of which is now illegal in US waters. For many, this has catalysed the jump to digital radio – a technological arena within which the VesselWatch system can be integrated on board.
In addition, the announcement from Flare Technologies comes just after the French authorities' announcement that they will be cracking down on reckless behavior when it comes to tenders and toys. Authorities have announced that the onus of responsibility will be upon the yacht’s captain, and they will be extra-vigilant in enforcing heavy penalties which could see a yacht’s captain fined up to 30,000 euros, banned from French territory for at least a year and imprisoned for up to six months. It is in the context of this announcement that Flare Technologies has chosen it’s target audience. “Given the influx of new legislation and rules, our primary target is captains,” explained Robinson. “Owners will see cost-running reductions over time and be afforded the ability to protect assets. For the suppliers and manufacturers, we aim to ensure their craft are more desirable to the consumer through enhanced system design.”
Flare Technologies will be demonstrating the VesselWatch system at the Monaco Yacht Show and will be available to answer any questions on the upcoming GeoLock technology, available as of January 2015.