With the growth of owners, guests and crew wanting to explore new locations, new fishing spots, diving wrecks and reefs, keeping the yacht safe at new and undiscovered anchorages is a growing concern for captains around the world. This has seen multibeam sonar systems become an increasingly popular piece of equipment for superyachts.

WASSP has reported an increase in enquiry levels from yacht captains and owners looking for the latest in sonar technology. WASSP is a manufacturer of multibeam echo-sounding equipment based on IHO standards used by professional surveyors, and it offers a solution to superyachts. The WASSP W3 (wireless) system is suitable for use when navigating in unknown waters or where marine charts lack sufficient detail and essentially provides captains with the confidence to try different locations, allowing them to build their own bathymetric maps and use them to navigate.

“Yacht owners are wanting to explore more with their vessels, and get off-the-beaten track so to speak,” explains Rufus Whiteford, WASSP’s global sales and marketing manager. “Detailed bathymetric data allows for yachts to safely enter bays, lagoons, fjords or any area where depth information is not available or unreliable."

Installed in the tender or support vessel of a superyacht, the W3 uses a wireless link to send a real-time sea floor map back to the superyacht’s bridge system and display on a MaxSea navigation plotting platform. One of the advantages of the W3 is that the main equipment is installed in the tender so there is very little interruption in day-to-day operations of the mothership, or the need to go into drydock to have it installed. Such is the simplicity of the system that some have even been installed by yacht crew, with WASSP engineers just involved in commissioning and training.

With an extensive swath width and hundreds of beams, the seafloor can be mapped quickly and in high resolution. Compared to a standard echo sounder that only measures one point at a time, the multibeam sonar measures 224 points at a time over a coverage of 120 degrees.

Featured in The Superyacht Migration Report, out now, is a detailed look at the latest navigation technology that enables yachts to go further afield while also cruising safely. To subscribe to the magazine, please click here.

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