KEEPING YOUR SUPERYACHT SAFE FROM COLLISIONS AND INTRUDERS
Written by Yachting Pages
Last updated: 08/07/2019
A superyacht is the very definition of opulent luxury and comfort, outfitted to the very highest standards to provide an outstanding experience for its owner and their guests.
However, it is vital that this five-star luxurious environment is about more than just appearance and the comfort of the owner. It also has to be about safety, security and control, irrespective of the environment and the hazards.
In addition to state of the art radar, communications and navigation systems, 3D forward-looking sonar can generate a 3D image far enough ahead of your superyacht that you have time to respond to a hazard and provides clear threat tracking while at anchor.
How 3D sonar keeps a superyacht and the marine environment safe
Advances in shipbuilding technology and navigation equipment allows the intrepid superyacht owner to safely travel to the far-flung corners of the world.
Whether you are navigating shallow reefs and shoals to access a secluded cove or exploring the southern oceans, 3D forward-looking sonar will help keep you and your superyacht safe.
High-quality 3D forward-looking sonar utilises a single ping to provide an in-depth picture of the area in front of your superyacht every two seconds to a depth of 50 metres and 1,000 metres ahead. This allows your crew the time it needs to take action if a hazard is detected, even if you are travelling at 25 knots.
These systems are sensitive enough that they can detect any object that you wouldn’t want to hit. Practically this equates to an object the size of a navigation buoy upwards.
Commercial systems can identify that there is a hazard, the size of the hazard and its position in the water column but are unable to identify whether a hazard is a whale or a rock. The technology required to classify an object is only available in security products.
Whether you are operating during the day or at night and irrespective of the water clarity, 3D forward-looking sonar can detect hazards and substantially reduce the chance of a collision with a submerged object whether that is a marine animal, iceberg or shallow shoals and can reduce the chance of devastating environmental disasters such as oil spills, groundings and whale strikes.
Why use 3D forward-looking sonar instead of 1D or 2D sonar?
1D sonar is essentially a simple depth sounder that will tell you about the water depth below the sounder but is unable to warn you about rocks, sandbars or any other obstacle ahead of your superyacht.
If the sounder is deployed at the stern you may have already run aground while your sounder is telling you that you have water under the keel!
2D sonar is forward-looking but only in two dimensions. They can tell you the bearing of an object and its range but not where it is in the water column. Using this type of system you won’t know if the object is on the surface, on the sea bottom or somewhere in between as they only take one horizontal slice through the water.
Some 2D systems do have a second array that provides a single vertical slice through the water giving information about depth but in the process losing the data on bearing as they cannot correlate between the two slices to give an overall picture.
3D forward-looking sonar gives you a clear picture 1,000 metres ahead and fifty meters below that can be overlaid onto your charts.
How 3D forward-looking sonar can keep you safe as well as your superyacht
Superyachts are expensive, very expensive. With prices ranging from $275 million to $600 million plus, and annual running costs approximately 10% of the purchase price, these vessels are the territory of ultra high net worth individuals.
These individuals, because of their wealth and position, are potential targets especially when their superyacht is anchored in harbour or offshore.
Underwater threat detection systems that are deployed at anchor can detect divers approaching the vessel from any direction as well as a variety of other threats. Because high-end 3D forward-looking sonar don’t use hydraulic mounts or cables but a fixed installation, it is possible to rapidly move away from the threat as soon as it has been identified.
3D forward-looking sonar can provide safety and security on the move as well as at anchor ensuring your vessel, crew and guests are safe and secure and you can enjoy your time aboard.