Introducing Raymarine YachtSense
Raymarine’s YachtSense can turn on the AC or pull up the anchor.
Who needs switches when you can control all of your boat’s electrical systems right from the MFD?
The new YachtSense system by Raymarine was engineered specifically to control all of the electrical components on the boat from an Axiom MFD unit. And in doing so, the company’s engineers created a unique modular system that offers a lot of flexibility for boatbuilders and owners.
Like other digital switching programs, YachtSense lets you control all of your boat’s electrical devices such as lights, air-conditioning and windshield wipers, but YachtSense kicks it up a few notches. The system can operate devices that are both analog or digital, as well as high or low voltage. This lets the user manipulate motorized devices right from the MFD. Want to drop the hydraulic swim step or raise the TV? No problem. You can do that without getting out of the captain’s chair. YachtSense also displays data from sensors throughout the boat so the captain can monitor tank levels, voltage, temps, engine data and more.
The system works through a series of modules that click together like Legos. YachtSense begins with a Master Module and a Power Supply Module. You then add individual modules as needed to control pumps, entertainment systems, etc. This lets the builder tailor the amount of modules to meet the circuit demand. For example, if you were installing YachtSense on the bow of a yacht, you may need a high-power circuit for the windlass but all of the lights up there run on lower power, so you click on a high-power module and then add a low-power module. This gives the builder or retrofitter the ability to install only what’s needed, rather than working with an existing box that has a certain number of circuits in it. This flexibility frees up space and takes up less of a footprint in the boat, and we all know how much of a premium space is on any boat. It also streamlines the electrical engineering process behind today’s complex onboard systems. With YachtSense, a builder can create a scalable design to use across an entire model range. That means fewer cable runs and potentially, less labor costs to pass on to the buyer.
For a lot of seasoned boaters who are used to flipping switches, however, there’s a bit of a trust factor when moving over to an automated system like YachtSense. Raymarine addressed that with three levels of redundancy to keep you from getting stuck in a tough spot.
If any network disruption occurs in the system, it will automatically switch to “limp home” mode. This will maintain essential services like navigation so you can get back to the dock safely. Each Master Module also has an LCD display and an integrated keypad for manual override. So let’s say for some reason there’s a short and you get stuck with the anchor down. You can manually override the system to get the windlass working again. And if all else fails there is an actual fuse on each module that you can take out and move to a bypass position to override the system.
While the YachtSense system will start shipping in January, the next step in the evolution of YachtSense is a mobile app called YachtSense Link that will roll out later in 2021. While the system can only be controlled by the actual MFD right now, this forthcoming app will let you control and/or monitor onboard systems from a tablet or smartphone. Through YachtSense Link you will also be able to receive alerts for fire, high water and things like that.
While the year 2020 has been challenging in many ways, it’s nice to see that Raymarine hasn’t taken its foot off the gas pedal in terms of innovation.