When does a radio become more than ‘just a radio’?


How app integration can bring all your yacht’s processes together

Today’s radio technology market is moving so rapidly that it can be hard to keep up. Whilst some within the yachting industry have fully embraced the modernisation of the devices, many have been left somewhat in the dark. But a radio is not just a radio anymore. There are so many benefits when we allow apps to assist with the management of your processes onboard, not only saving crew time by working more efficiently and ensuing maximum comfort for the guest but also saving owners considerable amounts of money. It can also strengthen yacht security and keep those onboard safer than ever before.

We will explore how this new radio technology can help superyacht crew and owners to unify their processes, no matter what the budget is or how specific their needs are.

 

A radio isn’t just a radio anymore

Unifying your communications is now completely achievable. There is no need to carry and maintain multiple devices, with Radio SMS integration allowing texting directly from smartphones to hand portable radios. Even for legacy and non-display radios, the crew can receive real-time voice notifications for text messages, alarms, or their next task. There is no chance of missed communications; for crew with a mix of Dual UHF and Marine VHF radios, the intelligent software enables seamless communication, so every message is received.

Security and safety

Radios have always been used as a security tool on vessels. However, traditionally they were simply a way of communicating danger. Now, software such as VesselWatch can enhance radio systems, making them everything you need to protect guests, crew, and assets. Security and safety go hand in hand, and smart software can also offer a series of alarm and monitoring applications to warn you of adverse changes in the vessel, personal situation or weather conditions. The combination of the two can save lives.

Integrated alarms, alerts and monitoring can provide more synchronisation in security processes. Radio handsets can then be used for remote control of alarm, doors, lights, sounds, fans and other onboard devices as needed. If it looks like the boat’s communications have been compromised, the software allows the crew to monitor and remotely shut down these hand portables.

To enhance safety, it is now possible to integrate the crew radios with the vessel’s alarm systems. Discrete alarm notifications are immediately sent to the relevant individual or group, meaning they can tackle the situation as quickly as possible with minimal fuss. In the case of man overboard, as soon as the radio is submerged intelligent software instantly alerts all crew to respond to the incident. It can also provide the crew with advanced warning of major weather events, through its constant monitoring of the global weather network.

Even in protecting high-value and precious artworks, VesselWatch can help. Integrating with Fortecho’s artwork sensors allows the software to monitor them, and send any alerts to the two way radios. This is both at land and sea.

Guest Experience

When enjoying their time relaxing onboard owners and guests are looking for the easiest possible way to order. Crew Call has come a long way, but some are still not aware of all the ways it can integrate with radio systems. Don’t risk errors such as duplicate responses to requests, which waste precious time and resources. Bring on smart, one touch ordering!

Intelligent software can now transform a smartphone or tablet into a Crew Call button and conjure a crew member in an instant. One touch sends an immediate service request via the yacht’s radio systems, and once the crew accept the call, instant confirmation is sent to show who is responding to the request. This means guests can browse bespoke menus on their tablet, phone or AV system and order their choice without having to move. The hospitality app can also send the order to the bar or kitchen. Onboard AV and guest service call buttons are synchronised to provide a heightened experience with minimal disruption. What’s more, for commonly requested items such as iced water, olives and peanuts, fast one-click ordering is possible.

Yacht Management

If you think your vessel could run more smoothly or are looking for a straightforward way to keep in-line with current regulations, management features may be what you need for your radio system.

Particularly on a large yacht keeping track of what every member of the crew needs to do, when, and reminding them to do it can seem impossible. Luckily, a job ticketing application can now run your yacht’s scheduled activities for you, sending instant or set-time notifications to the radios of allocated members of the crew. Keeping on top of hours of rest can fall by the wayside when higher-priority tasks get in the way, leading to a build-up at the end of the week or month. However, in order to comply with maritime employment laws, these hours have to be logged. Today’s radio software can automatically log hours of rest and hours of work over a 7-day period for every crew member.

Even when it comes to a crucial check or maintenance task, it can still be worryingly easy to forget, but it doesn’t have to be. By expanding the capabilities of your two-way radio system, an automatic reminder can be sent to the relevant crew member, with intelligent software even logging task completion.

Every member of the crew on a yacht needs to be up to date with tasks critical to SOLAS regulations. These include weekly, Bi-weekly, monthly, annual, Bi-annual, 5-year and 10-year tasks. Intelligent software can help with this by including a preloaded a SOLAS checklist. SOLAS tasks are sent to crew members as required to complete ahead of manual entry into the vessels IMO Log Book, leaving no room for forgetfulness. VesselWatch can also scan the vessels IT network and notify the relevant crew when any equipment goes offline, allowing ETOs/ITOs to deal with issues quickly and meaning minimum time without connectivity.

The Modular Approach

Integrate the features you need to into your current systems

With Refit season imminent, now is the time to consider upgrading if your two-way radio system lacks these features. You can choose to add as many or as few integrations as you need by only adding your preferred applications/alarm listeners. Easier management, more efficient crew, happier guests and heightened security and safety, all through your radio? It’s all possible.

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When does a radio become more than ‘just a radio’?

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