Ask the Expert

In each edition of ONBOARD Magazine, we talk to four experts in their fields about common issues on board superyachts and how their products and services can deliver the required solutions.

Computer Network Defence Ltd

One question we often hear is “Where do We start with cyber protection onboard?”

Our recommendation would be to start with a Cyber Risk Assessment, during this interactive workshop, assessors will discuss and explain hundreds of security controls with you in understandable terms and make observations around any identified risks.

The resultant risks should be prioritised, and recommendations made about how to remediate them. The frequent high priority observations are as follows:

  • Network hygiene, segregate your internal network, to contain a breach within one segment. This especially applies to operational technology, crew networks and guest networks.
  • Patch and update as many systems as you can.
  • Use a good firewall to block inbound access and try not to expose any services to the Internet.
  • Train the crew.
  • Deploy a good antivirus product on all your systems.

Lithium battery boxes: what are the options and certifications to watch out for?

Relying on fireproof boxes/cabinets isn’t sufficient as battery explosions could breach them. “Battery transport boxes” are intended for tool or E-scooter batteries (100-500Wh), not a JetSurf (2850Wh).

Beware of “safe” solutions showcased in videos emitting smoke; it is not smoke, but highly toxic, flammable, and explosive vapours and gas. EN14470 pertains to flammable liquid/gas storage, not lithium batteries. Similarly, storage certificates from ASTM, ISO, and UN, don´t include lithium battery testing despite misleading quotes. LiVault are the Marine Partner of Fisacon GmbH, who manufactures the RACLAN range of battery storage boxes.

The RACLAN boxes boast automatic alarms, internal extinguishing, and EXO technology for gas elimination. They’ve been through rigorous testing protocol certifying the boxes for fireproofing, explosion and gas elimination, to a rated capacity of 6kWh.

Michelle Van der Merwe
SY Account Manager

Does your P&I and crew insurance cover the wages of an injured crew member?

Yes, if the insured has a liability to do so. For instance, the P&I insurer would cover the insured’s obligation to pay wages following a work- related illness or injury.

For yachts subject to MLC, owners may limit their wages obligation for crew to 16 weeks from the day of the injury or the commencement of the sickness.

Additionally, if the insured wishes to have cover for crew wages for illness and injury on a 24/7 basis, your insurance provider should offer Crew Medical and Accident cover, as well as P&I, tailoring the package to the yacht and crew needs. Most P&I insurers treat day workers as crew, and the insured is covered in the normal way for their liabilities towards them.

However, the total number of day workers engaged on or around the vessel at any one time should not exceed 50% of the yacht’s normal crew complement unless the insurers have agreed to this in advance.

Frederik giepmans Md safety & security marss
Frederik Giepmans
MD Safety & Security

How can the development of AI support security efforts for yachts?

The key benefits for using AI in most applications are to improve accuracy and efficiency, and to reduce operator burden.

This seems to apply for most uses of AI, including movies, media, pharmaceuticals, and finance. In the case of securing yachts, AI can be used to rapidly analyse data from sensors, such as radio-frequency detection, cameras, radars and sonar and present key relevant information as specific targets and threats. What may appear as a few pixels in the distance on your screen, can be identified as a bird or drone threat with the help of AI. AI can also help determine whether something is a threat based on parameters such as course, direction, and speed, and will alert operators only when there is a real threat and action is required. Systems like MARSS’ NiDAR have been using AI for years, to learn, constantly improve, and help operators to work better, faster, safer

Arron Davis
Arron Davis
Sales Director
Sylka Carpets

Can you have luxury and sustainability when selecting carpets for a superyacht?

Every year millions of tonnes of carpets and rugs are sent to landfill or incineration, while the creation of new carpets can lead to hazardous chemicals leaching into the soil and oceans causing ecological damage.

The superyacht and marine industry is only a small part of a wider problem, but with a growing focus on eco-consciousness throughout the industry, now is the time for change. Having personally seen the damage created by carpet waste being sent to landfill during a harrowing trip to the USA, we have developed EcoSylk the world’s first sustainable, luxury carpet. This revolutionary new technology takes recycled carpets and creates stunning new yarn, which is perfect for a wide
range of projects and is already being specified onboard some of the latest superyachts. We are proud to be reducers rather than producers of waste and encourage other to follow suit.

Daniel van Drunen
Sales Manager

Why are more owners installing diesel particulate filters on board their yachts?

As a leading manufacturer for refit and new build vessels, we have been seeing a growth in the installation of diesel particulate filters (DPF) on board both new builds and existing yachts. A typical reason for installing DPFs is to protect the hull and deck from soot particles which can cause cosmetic disadvantages.

However, an ever more common reason for installing a DPF is found in the increasing health awareness of owners, guests and crew. Diesel particulate matter can lead to respiratory complaints (asthma attacks, shortness of breath or coughing), in addition, there are also heightened risks of lung cancer, a reduction in lung function and an increase in respiratory complaints. Investing in such a DPF system is therefore increasingly a conscious choice for owners to ensure a healthy living and working environment on board both the yacht and its immediate surroundings.