Under the unprecedented circumstances that we find ourselves in, maritime technology company, GNS has decided to launch its new fleet insight service and offer it to the market free of charge. Named VFI Plus, the new system allows vessels to be remotely managed and monitored from shore over the internet on a single platform including real-time navigation, navigation management, voyage optimisation and regulatory compliance.

The decision to offer this service free of charge was made to give additional support to companies with remote-working or office-based teams with increased demands for fast access to up to date information during this time. Speaking to Superyacht News, GNS explains the details of this new online service and what is offers to yacht management.

“The system is designed to have in the office and allows you to see where all of your yachts are, and what is happening,” Hayley Van Leeuwen of GNS. “The new system allows you to see if there is anything that you need to be aware of regarding your fleet, and act accordingly where necessary. In the unlikely event of a yacht running aground, the management team would be able to assess exactly what is going on around it, highlight any security issues, see what the weather is doing, and look at everything in the surrounding area."

VFI Plus has been designed improve operational oversight and vessel safety, allowing managers, captains and perhaps even owners to access to live vessel positions on C-MAP charts, overlay current and forecast weather conditions, display MARPOL zones and view all nearby vessels within a user-defined distance.

“You can go back in time and look at the exact position a vessel is in at a particular time and place. You can also look at adjacent vessels and prove where that vessel actually was,” continues Van Leeuwen. “If someone were to accuse you of going through a fish farm, for example, you would be able to prove your actual location at any given time.”

While GNS already has links to the yachting market alongside the commercial industry, this new service offers AIS intelligence that will allow land-based management to work remotely as effectively as possible.

Under normal circumstances, VFI Plus would cost 395 USD per vessel but, at this time, GNS felt that it didn’t seem right to offer this new service with a fee attached, as Van Leeuwen explains; “While this pandemic is going on, and while we’re all behaving in this very strange way, we want people to have access to this service. We finished the development of it about four weeks ago, and it was ready to launch, but we thought this is just not the right time to put this behind a paywall.”

“The message is that if this would help people in any way, you may have access to the service,” she continues. “We would just have to set you up with the vessels that you have a relationship with, and verify those managing relationships and then facilitate full access.

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