5 impressive pieces of technology on today’s superyacht

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Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has caught the world’s attention with a new superyacht he’s reportedly building. The vessel will be the world’s biggest sailing yacht and is undoubtedly filled with the latest technology. You don’t have to be one of the wealthiest people in the world to see cutting-edge tech on a superyacht, though.

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Today’s superyachts feature plenty of innovative technologies for navigation, safety, or simply entertainment. Just as our homes welcome more and more tech each year, so do these massive sailing vessels. Here’s a look at five of the most impressive of these technologies.

1. Electric Propulsion

Electric cars are starting to take over the automotive market, with brands from Lamborghini to Rolls Royce offering electric models. This trend has also worked its way into sea-faring vehicles. Some of the latest superyachts feature electric propulsion to lower their greenhouse gas emissions.

Unlike electric cars, electric or hybrid yachts typically have systems to generate their power. Some take advantage of their large surface area and their presence in direct sunlight to use solar energy. Others use fuel cells to convert hydrogen from seawater into electricity.

One unique opportunity for electric superyachts is hydropower, a natural fit for something that spends its entire life in water. If a yacht can go fast enough using sails, it can generate all the electricity it needs from moving through the water. While many of these systems are still in their early stages, they’re becoming increasingly popular.

2. VSAT Internet

Superyachts are often more like vacation homes than vehicles, so they need to have some onboard entertainment. Streaming services like Netflix are a great way to unwind, but getting an internet connection at sea isn’t as easy as it is on land. Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) connections provide a way around that.

VSAT connections use satellites to transmit signals instead of copper or fiber optic cables. That way, you can get internet service no matter where you are in the world, and the only infrastructure you need is a satellite dish. These connections can deliver 25 Mbps, more than enough to stream, and go much higher.

VSAT internet services are becoming more common, too. Both Amazon and SpaceX plan on putting thousands of satellites in orbit to improve these connections. As that happens, superyachts could have internet as fast and reliable as the most significant cities.

3. 3D Printed Parts

Superyachts, unsurprisingly, are expensive. While some people pay off their ships in as little as five years, it can take others decades. New technologies can help make yachts more affordable, and 3D printing is leading that movement.

3D printing has become a fairly common way to create custom yacht parts. These technologies are typically faster, less wasteful, and more energy-efficient than traditional manufacturing processes, so they help keep costs down. Since they add material instead of cutting it away, they can also produce more unique designs, improving customization.

As 3D printed parts become more commonplace, you may start to see entire 3D printed yachts. Shipbuilders could print a ship’s hull in a fraction of the time and cost of traditional building methods, making yachts more affordable.

5 impressive pieces of technology on today's superyacht
These yachts are small in comparison to a superyacht.

4. Smart Yacht Apps

Homes today feature all sorts of smart home technology that makes daily tasks a little easier. Superyachts have followed suit, letting users control various ship functions from a single app on their smartphone. These smart yacht apps make running a ship more efficient and convenient than ever before.

Some of these controls can help yachts navigate safely. People can access features like real-time location tracking, weather analytics, and sonar readings all from their phones. They could also look at maintenance info to see when they need repairs to protect their investment.

Other smart yacht app features are focused on the comfort side of things. These systems can help users control lights, onboard temperatures, and other electronics more easily as a smart home hub. 

5. Yacht-Specific Cybersecurity

As yachts keep adding more and more technology, they may also encounter more risks. Cybercrime can affect yachts, too, especially with comprehensive smart home technology throughout a ship. Yacht-specific cybersecurity services and devices have emerged to respond to this issue.

For example, some devices look for and respond to viruses in real-time without the users doing anything. They can hook the gadget up to their networks and let the automated system manage threat detection and response. If they want to check in on the state of their ship’s cybersecurity, they can do so from a companion app.

Other cybersecurity companies offer outsourced network management services to look after security without onboard IT teams. As satellite internet connections become faster and more reliable, these services become a more viable solution. Yacht owners can then expand their onboard technology without fear of cyberattacks.

Today’s Yachts Are Full of Cutting-Edge Tech

It’s hard to think of anything today that new technologies aren’t reshaping. Even out on the high seas, you can take advantage of the latest tech, from state-of-the-art navigation to the comforts of smart home systems.

These five pieces of technology are only a fraction of what’s available today. This tech will advance and grow in the next few years, pushing superyachts to a whole new level of luxury.

**Featured image Credit: Architectural Digest

Last Updated on November 16, 2021.

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