In recent years, the number of very large private yachts has increased, and therefore the opportunity to be able to work with world-class cruising vessels has grown. The bridge management service required by such yachts is comprehensive; with some of the more recently launched mega yachts running multiple ECDIS systems, aiming at a paperless bridge. In this particular case, the consultation process started on the telephone and once the basic requirements were established, two members of the ChartCo Superyacht Services team visited the yacht in Germany.
There were two areas of focus for setting the service up. Firstly to establish the full outfit requirement, that is; Electronic Charts (ENCs), digital products such as ADMIRALTY Total Tide (ATT) and ADMIRALTY Digital List of Lights (ADLL), publications, sailing directions and pilots, guest information, limited paper charts, and a host of other items.
The range of products in an initial outfit can be substantial, and our experience enabled us to offer ancillary products ranging from binoculars (including image stabilised) to night sights and chart instruments, right down to the traditional sextant, all as part of the process of anticipating the needs of the navigating officer on-board the vessel. We also had to predict the changes in needs that would occur as the vessel cruised into fresh areas, and most importantly set up good communications. A yacht of this size with a gross tonnage of well over 3,000 comes under the full might of the regulations, SOLAS, MARPOL, ISM etc., and the ability to keep the bridge up to date and compliant is vital.
Secondly, a yacht of this size will carry a range of tenders, some of which may well go out of sight of the mother ship. Here we completed a survey of the tenders and their existing on-board navigation equipment (chart plotters etc.), and recommended upgrades to their charting to ensure their safety. We also offered a range of semi waterproof charts should the electronics fail.