Written by Ben Ellison for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub
Imagine running Coastal Explorer, or your favorite charting program, on a 55-inch multitouch display with 3840 x 2160 pixel resolution -- also known as UHD or 4K -- secured to a sturdy base with pushbutton up/down and tilt controls. I've never so enjoyed tapping out a route, and the Hatteland 4K Chart Table is way sexier than that.
This electronic "chart table" can respond to as many as 40 points of touch. In my little video Hatteland's Scott Lenz fingerpaints with all 10 of his digits, and at one point three of us were simultaneously working on a jigsaw puzzle, each with two hands. There's no marine software I know of that can make use of such multi-multitouch (yet), but who says that a chart table always has to be a chart table? Foozball at anchor? The 55-inch display will cost about $20,000 with the power stand but without a built-in PC, and Johnny Lindstrom told me that at least one new Westport will get the 32-inch model.
Also attracting major attention in the very competitive FLIBS superyacht tent was a super modern bridge style being shown off here by Telemar Yachting general manager Andy Gifford. Telemar is a systems integrator, so behind the "aviation-inspired...Italian contemporary design" are subsystems like Furuno ECDIS/INS. The Telemar Yachting INS Console can be configured in many ways -- that could be a Hatteland 4K Chart Table just behind Andy, for instance -- and includes all sorts of redundancy like dual power supplies.
But you have to get up close and finger some controls to really understand what's going on here. Nearly the entire console is flat glass and the buttons have haptic feedback like most smartphones these days. Alternatively, Telemar create the surfaces using FEM (Foil Electro Mechanical) technology that Gifford described as having a rubberized feel with tactile button clicks. He also explained that the glass or foil panels can be holed for certain controls that must be direct-to-device in order to meet type approvals, like those orange thruster emergency stop buttons. And, yes, that knob upper left is the "steering wheel."
The monitoring system Telemar integrated into the prototype INS Console was also impressive. Click the photo larger and observe the bilge section middle left. The graphics show you not only which high bilge alarms are active, but also how the system is set up to pump it, with valves you can control from the console. And of course the little propellers animate with RPM.
I've seen lots of amazing gear while walking 15 Lauderdale shows, but nothing has encouraged me to become a billionaire yachtsman as much as Triton Submarines. I guess I'd written yacht subs off as toys in the glut of glitz, and it took a press conference to learn that they can actually be luxury exploration vehicles. For instance, the Triton 3300/3 modeled above -- they're usefully named by maximum depth (in feet) and maximum crew -- was used to capture the Monster Squid video that purportedly became the most popular Discovery Channel show ever. And check out this great Triton promotional video to better appreciate the comfortable one atmosphere environment inside the sub, not to mention the undistorted views up, down and mostly all around.
That latter video is narrated by Triton President Patrick Lahey, who was once a hardhat diver. This class of subs claims a spotless safety record, but I still like Triton's long history and deep bench. It was also Lahey who enthusiastically described the nav and communications capabilities. Note the cluster of up-looking transducers on the 3300/3 and the newly announced Triton 1650/3 LP design below (LP is for low profile in your superyacht garage). Apparently Airmar had to engineer some special 'ducers to withstand the pressure, but now two-way acoustic data coms let the mothership track the sub on its charting system, and the sub to track itself and the mothership on its plotter. The subs also have a down looking transducer and a fishfinder screen. I may start buying lottery tickets.