September 23 2017
Rosalie Le Gall, powerboats product manager, introduces us to this very promising technology, which shows the future of yachting, with an increasingly connected boat.
Rosalie Le Gall affirms the Ship Control is simply a connected boat, the boat of tomorrow. Why did Bénéteau feel the need to develop this Ship Control technology?
Rosalie Le Gall - It simply starts from an observation made about the use of the boat; it is a
complex element in which we regroup many functions, as in a house, but perhaps even more functions... Aboard a boat, you have to manage comfort, heating, electricity, lighting, bilge pumps ... Many systems that can be very complex! We are the opinion that the boat should not be a source of trouble for the client, but rather a source of pleasure. We have therefore sought to simplify the use of all these functions via Ship Control, which is an interface allowing easy and intuitive access to all these functions.
A bit like in home automation or in the automobile in fact?
Rosalie Le Gall - That's exactly it, and it's even - technically speaking - directly inspired by what has been done in the automobile for nearly 20 years. This is multiplexing: the principle is to have functions that are connected to a brain, a black box, and that are then managed electronically.
Ship Control is expected to grow on all models in the range. It is unveiled in preview on the new Bénéteau GT 50. What makes it possible to make concrete on the GT 50?
Rosalie Le Gall - This interface is located on the navigation screens, on the dashboard, but above all, it replicates entirely on any tablet that connects to the boat's wi-fi, which is secure, of course. Lighting can be managed from the dashboard, but also from the front of the boat, at the rear, from the pontoon. Each cabin can be lit, the intensity of the lights can be adjusted according to the zones, and this is all very simple, very visual: everything is done from the plans of the boat.
It is the same thing for the air conditioning: one chooses the temperature by area, from our tablet... Audio, too, is managed in a very simple; each zone, as well as each source can be individually managed...
The ergonomics of this screen makes things really simple and intuitive. You can also see the level of the batteries, whether they are in charge or not, it is also possible to visualize the level of the fluids (water, fuel, black water), it can even be used to drain black water ...
There is also a very interesting element, namely the 220 V source management page, where one chooses whether the air conditioning and the 220 V outlets are managed from the dock, from the generator or the converter, which is very simple.
It is also possible to view the bilge pumps, their locations, whether they are functioning or not, as well as some other functions of the dashboard, such as windlass, horn, underwater lights, all directly from this interface!
This technology is now operational on board the boat and its direct proximity, thanks to the wifi. Will it be possible to connect it to the Internet tomorrow?
Rosalie Le Gall - Yes, this is part of the evolutions that are being developed, to be able to connect this application to the Internet, and therefore to have access from home; on functions that would be interesting, such as checking the battery level, activating the dehumidifier on board, things that would be relevant and that would bring more comfort, safety also to our customers in the use of their boats. It would also benefit the life of the boats, because the more we deal with it, the older the boats age.
This technology is already available on the GT 50. Is this an option?
Rosalie Le Gall - It's almost a standard technology, since the Ship Control comes with navigation screens integrated in the first level of our "Essential" finish. Its extra cost is very limited, we are talking here of only a few hundred euros, since it is only the interface alone, the rest of the systems being already pre-equipped.
How did the clients welcome the Ship Control at the Yachting Festival?
Rosalie Le Gall - The welcome was very positive! Clients are amazed, confirm that this is not a
gadget and that it will really change life on board; and there are also small effects which have been added, and which always give pleasure; including lighting management ... Today there is a real consensus that this is a small revolution in the yachting world, and that this is part of the things that really were expected by customers.