Connected boats that are easy to manage
Joysticks that keep the boat in a fixed position without an anchor, glasses that display key navigational data, new multi-functional touchscreens… and above all else, connectivity.
The development and implementation of new technology in sports and leisure boats, especially in relation with the engine, electronics and communications, continues its advance in the Salón Náutico de Barcelona, which is being held from the 12th to the 16th October in Port Vell, as the main showcase for the latest innovations for boats which now offer greater comfort and more natural sunlight, but are also safer and easier to manage.
Most boatyards and companies in the sector are striving to simplify navigation, whether powered by sails or engines, in order for their products and vessels to appeal to more and more customers. This has resulted in the latest generation of support systems for docking manoeuvres, such as Dock&Go by Bénéteau, or 360 Docking by Jeanneau or Docking Control by Bavaria, and automatic sail adjustment systems Revo Self Tacking System, which is also by Bavaria.
Another notable trend is the second wave of Joystick Piloting for outboards by Mercury Marine, which enables control of boat yawing from left to right, sideways movement or rotation, and now also Skyhook, positioning without an anchor which keeps the boat fixed in the same place.
The Náutico will also include the presentation of new multi-function touch screens which display all the navigation data, from radar and echo sounding to the engine data, and which can also be used to watch television. Foremost among these are the newest screens by Garmin GPSMAP 8400, or the first Nautix data viewer, by the same firm, an ultra-light device that can be attached to any pair of glasses to display the navigation data that appears on the on-board multi-function screens , such as course , speed or winds.
More and more shipyards are asking users what they want, and responding to their wishes when designing new models. In fact, every company now offers a range of personal options for each model, so the customer can choose in terms of internal and external distribution, decoration, materials, equipment, engines and rigging.
Sailing boats are now more modular because of the use of movable panels which increase the options for distribution, giving priority to open spaces and making it easier to move around. There are more windows in the hull and on deck so that more light can enter, and the folding swim platforms at the stern are bigger.
Furnishings such as sofas and chairs can be converted into chaise longue for even more comfort, and the traditional card table tends to shrink or disappear in favour of more flexible options, thanks to the prevalence of computers and tablets. Decks now feature more space and facilities, such as barbecues and fridges, to make the most of the open air, and there are many models that contain comfortable canopied leisure areas towards the front of the boat.
Shipyards also offer a number of different deck options for the same models of engine-powered boats to cater to different kinds of navigation, eliminating many of the visual barriers and enhancing the view of the surroundings by fitting large side windows that reduce both the weight and volume of the top decks of their vessels.