When Being Opinionated is a Good Thing (Conversation with boatbuilder Far Horizon Yachts)

12 10 2009

Far Horizon 58'

It’s a continual process — Educating the public the importance of monitoring critical equipment. (Yes, we’re headed full steam into the Fall Boat Show season.  Come by and say ‘Hi!’ and let us give you a demo of our new Krill SoftDisplay Gen3 software at IBEX this morning (Oct 12 – 15), booth #2759–The rest of this year’s schedule is here)

Failure Prediction

Failure Prediction

One of Krill’s core belief is Failure Prediction. Monitoring rising temperatures of equipment over time is what we’re talking about. I’m surprised that even as Krill is coming into our 6th year in the marine electronics business there’s still no yacht monitoring category at boat shows. What’s up with that? Gotta get busy!

  • Safety of the Crew and Passengers
  • Preventative Care
  • Vessel Maintenance Enhances Performance
  • Lower Insurance Rates
  • Documentation of Equipment Performance

Just a few things off the top of our list.

Common sense you say – but surprisingly – not to all vessel owners have monitoring, even in  the 70′ range.

Steve D’Antonio has a mission to help all boat owners learn about their yacht systems and vessel care for preventative measures ( post here), but also some forward thinking boatbuilders are offering Krill yacht monitoring systems as an optional upgrade in their electronics package because they see the benefits for their owners who wish to consolidate vessel data on a glass bridge.

Exhaust temperature sensor

Exhaust temperature sensor on Selene

William Berlin is President of Far Horizon Yachts, his company’s motto is “Safety at Sea with Steel”;  I don’t think I need to mention that he’s a huge advocate for vessel monitoring. When I told him that Krill will be exhibiting at the WorkBoat Show this Dec 2-4 in New Orleans he agreed that all small commercial vessels, yachts & boats below 70’ often go unmonitored. This is a huge mistake in his opinion.

“Even with a commercial vessel sometimes they’re only manned by a crew of two people; It’s not enough to know what’s going on down below (the engine room). Having a video camera in the engine room isn’t going to help you because overheating takes a long time to see in the camera…and by that time, it’s over, expensive damage and high costs to replace equipment.” ~William Berlin

Far Horizon Yachts is located in Anacortes, WA but they build them in Dalian, China. He said production fiberglass boats are traditionally built  South of the Yangtze River, where as north of the Yangtzee you’ll find the steel boat builders. He will be flying out to China tomorrow to check up on the 58′ build that’s going on right now and promises to take some pictures on his website. “Boatbuilders are alive, we’re doing ok, things are a little slow, but even the big production builders are having a harder time now…”

Temperature ER Air Sensor

Temperature ER air sensor in Nordhavn

Bill’s strong belief in vessel monitoring stems from his early youthful experiences being on a 90’ fishing power scowl off the Aleutian Islands. Unfortunately that old vessel did not have ANY alarms and a fire in the engine room had engulfed the entire boat, leaving the crew to abandon ship on life raft. The crew watched the ship burn down to nothing in three days.

So being opinionated about the safety of a vessel is something Mr. Berlin thinks about all the time.


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