|Fishing or Football?|
Part 2: Safety and entertainment are important issues for many owners, but so is saving space.
By Elizabeth A. Ginns — March 2003
Patrick Sullivan, vice president of Mikelson Yachts in San Diego, dreamed of watching a Sunday football game in the cockpit of his 43-foot Mikelson while fishing for marlin and monitoring the status and progress of the boat while underway. Paul Fecteau, commissioning manager at Mikelson, helped make Sullivan's vision a reality and designed a system that allows Sullivan to control all the electronic activities and navigational devices, as well as monitor different rooms, no matter where on his boat he is--all with the touch of a button. In some cases, like with the chartplotter and sounder, Sullivan can watch more than one thing on the same monitor; at minimum, he can flip back and forth between image sources. This is largely made possible by the video input and output capabilities of the integrated Furuno NavNet system onboard as well as the TV-like landscape proportions of the NavNet displays.
While Sullivan primarily wanted to integrate football into his fishing, he also wanted the security and safety that today's technologies offer and so had three cameras installed onboard. One was installed in the engine room to detect problems before they occur, another was installed in the cockpit to ensure passenger safety if he needs to back down while the transom door is open, and another was installed in the saloon to keep an eye on his kids while underway or when he's up in the flying bridge.
Safety and entertainment are important issues for many owners, but so is saving space, and a number of new audio and TV technologies are helping boaters like Sullivan do just that. According to George Lambros at Integrated Marine Systems (IMS), a company that specializes in custom audio and video equipment for homes and boats, plasma and liquid crystal display (LCD) TVs--standard on most megayachts built today--are among the newest trends for both owners and engineers of boats of all sizes, as their impressive functionality for the boating environment becomes more widely known. Aside from the fact that the screens have the clearest pictures, they also save space, since they're only a few inches thick. In addition, some are designed to flip up and stow into the ceiling, while others are built on sliders that allow the TV to move up when it's in use and slide down into wood paneling and disappear when not in use. And although some owners have complained that flat-panel TVs can damage easily from being banged around while underway, Lambros says the LCD and plasma screens that IMS uses are built to be extremely rugged and to withstand the harshest of marine conditions. IMS is currently in the process of "decking out" a 125-foot Palmer Johnson yacht that Lambros says will be "just awesome" when complete, featuring LCDs or plasma TVs in all the rooms. IMS is also working on smaller packages, including one for a 61-foot Viking and another for a 70-foot Buddy Davis, that will also incorporate LCD technology.
This article originally appeared in the March 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.