• Koenraad de Haas

What does this button do?

The secret of easy yacht operation


Most complicated helm station (of a hover craft)

Ever since my first experience aboard a luxury yacht I wonder: why did the user experience aboard these yachts became so difficult and complicated? Did you ever wonder: what does this button do? Or maybe more often: which lever, menu, button to press or procedure to follow to get this thing moving?

A brief lesson in yacht building

A yacht builder, composes and assembles a yacht with many off the shelf components. Be it generators, sensors, engines and electronics all are manufactured by third suppliers. In comparison: a car manufacturer assembles cars with many components especially developed for a particular model. As a car model is usually produced in series of exceeding 100 thousands of vehicles, economy of scale is achieved already producing one model, hence it is viable to develop and produce particular components for each model. As luxury yachts are built in small series, economy of scale can only be achieved by using the same components on different models, and even across multiple brands. A car manufacturer in contrary is able to seamlessly integrate all of its components into one user interface which is simultaneously developed with the dedicated components. For this reason the user experience of a car is seamless.

A cluttered yacht helm station

A yacht builder needs to rethink and develop a specific user interface around the standard components it is sourcing from a third supplier. As each supplier delivers a user interface (a lever, buttons or screen) with its component the easy way for the yacht builder is just to mount them all together on the helm station. Result: a complete mess of different looking buttons, levers, screens, alarms and lights and none of them interacting with each other: very hard to find out which button does what isn't it?

The fix

There is a fix, it ain't easy, it takes effort to integrate all components from different suppliers into one seamless interface. Each component has an interface, a language to talk to the component and receive feedback from it. By knowing and translating this language into a common and standardized language: one is able to let a components communicate with each other: through a central and redundant system.

A tailored helm station

Marinminds took the effort and developed a fully customizable, central but redundant and compliant system. That’s how we deliver extraordinary user experiences aboard your yacht as well. Your digital yacht crew: get in touch!

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