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Technology

QCamPro: A Security App making waves from Down Under to Down Home

By Capt. Ken Kreisler

qcampro

This report on QCamPro, a relatively new Smartphone security app that is getting rave reviews around the docks worldwide, has a personal back story that concerns its founder, British born and now Adelaide, Australia-based John Convill and myself and is one that began some 25+ years ago in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

At that time, being mid-November of 1989, I had just brought a 93-foot yacht down from New York to participate in that particular year’s holiday boat parade, start a cosmetic work project, and offer her services for some charter work.

Meanwhile, along with his lifelong friend Alan Brown, John, with whom he had spent many high school holiday times in Majorca, Spain and in the South of England, decided it was time they paid a visit to the U.S. of A. After getting all the proper documents together, and booking their plane tickets, the lads were off.

images-1They flew from London to New York and then, after meeting up with several friends, traveled to Orlando and then to Miami where John found work at a car wash. Quickly deciding there was little future in this industry, he and Alan tried their hands at washing boats and soon migrated a bit to the north and Ft. Lauderdale.

The very night of the boat parade, someone they had just finished up some work with was sporting the boys to a dinner at the Bahia Cabana, a popular local watering hole serving relatively decent fare. And as fate would have it, my crew and I, having just gotten back to the dock and with things squared away, decided to do-drop-in. Several beers later, I was introduced to John and Alan by the person they had been working for; who, by the way, I knew casually, and as I was looking for two crew, took them down to the boat for a look-see.

“We’re sorted, Alan and I, and, tired of cheese and bread sandwiches, have decided to come aboard.” They set up the forward quarters to their liking and for the next three months, turned out to be stellar crew. Come spring, the boat returned to New York and the boys were off to England.

A true kindred spirit and fellow sufferer of terminal wanderlust, John returned to the States in the summer of 1990 and began an almost two year travel odyssey taking him from finding work in Bar Harbor, Maine, to Barbados, to Sweden, and finally, on a one-way ticket, to Australia. After three weeks of picking grapes at a local vineyard, and his total assets of $70 just about exhausted, he landed a job, having had some background in the past working with Alan, as a security technician. Since then, John now heads up his own successful company, Vision Security Services, and went on to develop the QCamPro App.

John and Capt. Ken, c.2005, Sydney Pub

John and Capt. Ken, c.2005, Sydney Pub

In 2005, while attending the Sanctuary Cove Boat Show in Sydney Harbor, Australia, John and I were able to catch up, and in 2013/2014 he attended the Ft. Lauderdale and Miami International Boat Shows, QCamPro in hand, for its Stateside launch. While attending these two premier shows, he was in contact with top integration partners such as Mobotix, AXIS and FLIR. The QCamPro App is now spanning across the globe in 60+ different countries with 30+ companies ‘branding’ the app as their own.

And just why did I go through this lengthy introduction of the QCamPro App? I wanted you to get to know what kind of self-

John proudly displays his app, QCamPro.

John proudly displays his app, QCamPro.

motivated and visionary entrepreneur was behind this product. At the same time, I believe full disclosure is in order and given my background with John, did not want our friendship to get in the way of helping him get the word out. To the point, I have no stake in the company and neither have nor will receive any compensation for this report. As with other relevant products that come across my desk, this information deserves to be shared by my readers.

So, let’s get into it. Many have grappled with the concept of remotely monitoring video cameras or being alerted when a virtual staff member, marina manager, dockmaster, or security officer first detects activity on a protected site. The notification comes if there’s a problem onboard or site changes like a spike in temperature, perhaps indicating a fire, a power failure, or some other indication that something is wrong.

iPad+QuadQCamPro works very much like an alarm system with one big difference: You receive a visual ‘push’ notification direct to your IOS device allowing you to have live video and two-way voice communication with speaker-equipped cameras when an event occurs (Android App is available but without event notification). With this app, you can have remote video security right in your hands. And as far as camera compatibility is concerned, QCamPro works with the full Mobotix range, including the new T25, Q25 and S15 models, Axis, Bosch, Panasonic, Sony, DLink, Grandstream, Toshiba, and Vivotek equipment. During my time with John at both the Lauderdale and Miami shows, I personally watched as he powered up an iPad and checked in on a boat at a marina in Sydney Harbor, Australia, in real time, remotely controlling the lights onboard through QCamPro.

The majority of camera/surveillance systems have their own app that allows you to have a look whenever it suits you. QCamPro also allows you to use this but the key feature is it ‘notifies you’ when an event occurs. Rather than have multiple apps for multiple sites, QCamPro has a multi-view option allowing different cameras to be set up in different camera layouts across multiple sites.

Other key features include live monitoring of video and audio across both 3G and wireless, a speak-to-camera function with frame rates as high as 25 frames per second depending on the camera and network configuration, PTZ controls, native IOS controls (multitouch zoom, swipe, etc), single, and multi-view of cameras, including a 16 camera view assigned to groups with no limit on the number of cameras or views that can be monitored, six action configuration to open doors, switch lights on and off, etc., and playback of recorded video and audio (not yet available on Android).

There is a full tutorial video available at www.mxinstaller.com.au as well as a wealth of information on the company site at www.qcampro.com.au

If you’re interested in speaking with John about the QCamPro App, or have any questions, you can contact him at john@qcampro.com.au

 
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Posted by on March 23, 2015 in Technology

 

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Technology

INVERTER INSTALLATION: TROUBLESHOOTING 101

Quick Tips to Maximize Your Inverter’s Zesty Performance

By Tech Doctor Don Wilson

With all the interest generated by our previously posted edition of TECH DOCTOR, I reached out for this additional and rather relevant paper on inverters. These highly advanced additions to the electrical needs of many boats and yachts have become as important and necessary as any other piece of equipment aboard. -Capt. Ken

So you want to install an inverter, but with all the features and complexity of today’s more sophisticated units, you’re hesitant to take the plunge? Or, perhaps you’ve had some problems with your inverter, and you’re not sure if it’s a faulty unit … or a simple installation problem? Let the Tech Doctor help! This issue offers up some basic troubleshooting tips to help ensure your inverter
is installed correctly in order to deliver maximum, trouble-free delivery. Success in this area will save aggravation and potentially money associated with having to engage a support technician for unwarranted and unnecessary repairs.

Xantrex PROsine™ Inverters deliver true sine wave output that is identical to AC power supplied by your utility. This clean output makes PROsine™ Inverters ideal for handling sensitive loads, while also improving AC equipment performance. Designed for recreational and industrial applications, expect the best performances from televisions, audio systems, speed tools, and any other electronics where you want nothing but the most optimal performance.

Xantrex PROsine™ Inverters deliver true sine wave output that is identical to AC power supplied by your utility. This clean output makes PROsine™ Inverters ideal for handling sensitive loads, while also improving AC equipment performance. Designed for recreational and industrial applications, expect the best performances from televisions, audio systems, speed tools, and any other electronics where you want nothing but the most optimal performance.

LET’S GET STARTED.
First, an overview. When working with electrical circuits, you must always ensure the circuit is powered down and cannot be re-energized while you are working on it. If you’re not entirely comfortable with this task (or any other cited in this article) then by all means, leave it to the experts. Your attention and compliance to all safety directives must always be first and foremost!

THE BASIC BENCHMARK.
If for any reason, things don’t seem to be working as they should with your inverter, understand that these types of products simply don’t “kind-of” fail. When an inverter goes bad, typically nothing will work … or, one of the features simply won’t work consistently.

If an inverter system was not part of your original purchase, always seek out the experts when doing a retrofit or addition.

If an inverter system was not part of your original purchase, always seek out the experts when doing a retrofit or addition.

STRATEGIES FOR INVERTER INSTALLATION SUCCESS.
1. Revert all settings to factory defaults. This may seem obvious, but the factory default settings are usually default for a reason. They are the values that allow the inverter to work in the vast majority of environments. While you don’t want to leave these settings to factory default in the long-term, for a quick test, it’s ideal. After completing the test, then you can easily readjust the settings to meet your specific needs. Check the settings, one by one, until the problem is identified, or the settings are adjusted to work. Note: If the inverter came installed with your vessel, the manufacturer would likely have changed the factory default settings to custom settings to suit the design and application. In such circumstances, once you reset the inverter to the default OEM/manufacturer setting, you may not need any further changes.

2. Disconnect all loads. This action will remove the installation as a possible cause of the problem. This is also a good time to disconnect the  battery, wait a few minutes, and then reconnect, in order to reboot the inverter’s processor.

3. Power up the inverter. If this works, bring the loads on-line, one by one.

4. Watch the DC voltage at the inverter and make sure the voltage stays within the DC voltage range of the inverter. This eliminates the possibility that an ineffective circuit from the battery is causing the issue. If the voltage is erratic, solve that problem by tracing the cause of the erratic voltage and fixing it, and then get back to the inverter. Recommendation: if you don’t have a spare DC fuse on board, get one! Also, read up on and review the features of your inverter. Some perceived problems actually arise from features in the inverter like idle mode, or power save. Such features, when enabled, allow the inverter to turn off when the load is low, but can create the very real perception of a problem. Remember: inverters don’t produce energy; they simply convert what they’re given. If you have a combination inverter/charger, and the inverter doesn’t work, but the charger is humming along fine, then check the DC voltage at the inverter when inverting to gauge whether it is within the inverter’s DC range. If the inverter works, but the charger is problematic, then check the AC input voltage at the inverter and ensure it is within the inverter’s AC range. With a sound read of what the unit is receiving, you can eliminate most causes of perceived failure.

Tech Doctor Don WIlson.

Tech Doctor Don WIlson.

A FINAL TROUBLESHOOTING REVIEW.
1. For the most part, inverters either work, or they don’t.
2. From my experience and in working with dozens of tech service centers, I have concluded that more than 80% of inverters that are returned without hands-on troubleshooting have absolutely no issues on the bench. The problem in at least 20 percent of the returns correlate directly to faulty installations.
3. Erratic behavior, or inconsistent problems, are almost always a loose connection…somewhere. While it’s not easy to find them, it’s worth the time and the effort.
4. A quality volt-meter is worth the investment. While there is a cost associated with ownership, it may pay off in eliminating shipping and diagnostic bench time at the service center that is unnecessary.
5. Safety first!. Power down as much as reasonable when working with circuits. Always use one hand when working with wiring. If you’re not qualified, or are not 100% confident in the process you’re attempting, hire a qualified electrician.

SUMMARY.
Remember, inverters are nothing more than an appliance that does what it’s told to do. If it doesn’t receive the right instructions, or can’t interpret its input, it likely will not perform to your expectations, through no fault of its own. Take the time to ensure the proper installation in order to maximize the performance of your hard-working inverter! Then, you will realize its ultimate return on investment.

To view the Xantrex TECH DOCTOR LIVE, visit www.youtube.com/xantrextechnology
To request print or video editions of Tech Doctor, please email Marketing Manager Mitul Chandrani – Mitul.Chandrani@schneider-electric.com
And please mention that you read this edition on The Boat & Yacht Report.

About Xantrex Technology Inc.
Xantrex Technology Inc., a subsidiary of Schneider Electric, is a world leader in the development, manufacturing and marketing of advanced power electronic products and systems for the mobile power markets. The company’s products convert and control raw electrical power from any central, distributed, renewable, or backup power source into high-quality power required by electronic equipment. Xantrex is headquartered in Vancouver, Canada, with facilities in  the United States. www.xantrex.com

About Schneider Electric
As a global specialist in energy management with operations in more than 100 countries, Schneider Electric offers integrated solutions across multiple market segments, including leadership positions in energy and infrastructure, industrial processes, building automation, and data centres/networks, as well as a broad presence in residential applications. Focused on making energy safe, reliable, and efficient, the company’s 110,000 plus employees achieved sales of 19.6 billion euros in 2010, through an active commitment to help individuals and organizations “Make the most of their energy.” www.schneider-electric.com

About Don WIlson
TECH DOCTOR DON WILSON has worked in technical capacities in the automotive, RV and marine fields and for the military since 1989 and has extensive experience in designing and troubleshooting onboard electrical systems. A former customer service manager dealing with electronic issues, Wilson currently serves as a technical instructor for the RV industry’s RVIA Trouble Shooter Clinics and is a full-time sales application specialist for Xantrex Technology.

 

 
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Posted by on January 23, 2014 in Technology

 

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Technology

The Mystique of Automatic Generator Start!

Tech Doctor Don Wilson solves the puzzle surrounding the use and effectiveness of Automatic Generator Start (AGS), as an integral part of sophisticated electrical systems onboard boats.

Our friends over at Xantrex Technolgy are world leaders in the development, manufacturing and marketing of advanced power electronic products and systems for the mobile power markets. The company’s products convert and control raw electrical power from any central, distributed, renewable, or backup power source into high-quality power required by electronic equipment and the electricity grid.

Whenever they feel some useful information could be of interest to my readers, they send it on over for publication. Penned by Don Wilson, aka The Tech Doctor and a true wizard in this sector of the industry, this recent conversation concerns the use of AGS, Automatic Generator Start and why it could pop up on your radar screen. -Capt. Ken

So, what is an “AGS” and why do I want one?

Tech Doctor Don WIlson.

Tech Doctor Don WIlson.

Imagine a world where you program your electrical system to automatically use the sources necessary to maintain it, while staying as energy-efficient as possible. Sound like something out of science fiction? GREAT NEWS: The future is NOW! With the right components — including an AGS — this automated world and all of its exciting benefits – is here and available now!

If you’re a power junkie or a generator enthusiast, you may be familiar with AGS. If not, there’s no time like the present to learn and put this highly efficient technology to work, to your full advantage.

AGS is the acronym for Automatic Generator Start. It is one of the least understood, but one of the most versatile and powerful, accessories available on the market today! At its basic function, AGS automatically starts and stops the generator using pre-defined parameters, thus relieving the user from having to actively manage his electrical system.

Marine gensets, such as this one by Kohler, can be safely controlled by an AGS system.

Marine gensets, such as this one by Kohler, can be safely controlled by an AGS system.

Most AGS modules start the generator when the batteries are low, and automatically shut it off when the batteries are recharged. Some models can even start and stop the generator based on the climate control system, or even the inverter load.

In the beginning, AGS was primarily developed for usage in the RV and marine markets, allowing enthusiasts to leave their cabin or boat for a day on the town, without having to burn excessive fuel via their generators to keep things comfortable.

As the concept developed, early adopters responded favorably. One of the first consumer demands was for air conditioner triggers so beloved pets could be kept safe and cool while their owners were out and about. Inverter load triggering was an obvious addition when networked power systems were developed, thus allowing the AGS to launch the generator when a long-term heavy load was in place, thereby preventing an overload.
xantrexsw300system001

While the concept itself sounds simple enough, is AGS difficult to program and use?

The only challenge with AGS may be experienced at the very outset. Some select models may have more sophisticated parameters to initiate, but with some help from a knowledgeable sales person or installer, that is easily overcome. Other models are more simple and easy to activate. The good news: once AGS  is set up and operational, it’s an easy “set it and forget it” device. Truly, once the parameters are set, the only choice left is whether you want to engage the AUTO mode, or OFF mode (some AGSs have a Manual ON mode as well, replacing the stand-alone generator control panel).

Here’s a simple explanation of the typical modes:

-‘Off’ simply means that the AGS module is not active in monitoring triggers and the generator may still be started manually. However, if the generator is running when Off is set, the AGS will shut the generator down if it was set for

-Manual On or Auto. ‘Auto’ means that the AGS will begin monitoring the triggers that would cause an automatic start of the generator. It will start or stop the generator, based on those triggers. ‘Manual On’ will cause the AGS to start the generator without a required “trigger” and wait for the user to set the AGS to “Off” before shutting the generator down.

Wiring is fairly simple as the connections are usually:

• DC voltage (some systems get power and DC voltage measurements from the inverter)
• Air Conditioner (these are 12-volt or ground sense wires to determine the thermostat state)
• Manual inputs (to add your own buttons somewhere to manually start the generator)
• Generator interface (2-6 wires for preheating, starting, and stopping the generator)

Once these connections are made and the parameters are set, the AGS simply works to

A Xantrex Freedom HF inverter/charger is a combination of an inverter, battery charger and transfer switch into one complete system.

A Xantrex Freedom HF inverter/charger is a combination of an inverter, battery charger and transfer switch into one complete system.

simulate the regular manual switches by closing/opening relays in the proper timing, based on the generator model. In other words, when the system receives a trigger (low DC voltage, thermostat input, or inverter load), the AGS simply closes a relay, or series of relays, thus simulating the user pushing the start button. If preheat is required, it will push the proper sequence to preheat, then start the generator. When the trigger is no longer active, or has been satisfied, the AGS closes another relay that simulates the user pushing the stop button. Some AGSs have a minimum runtime to prevent premature wear on the generator’s engine.

That, friends, is AGS in a nutshell. If you might benefit from AGS in your personal application, make sure that the model of choice offers only those features you really want and need; take care not to get overwhelmed by a model with more features than are necessary for your usage. There are models that have over 20 wire connections, but for a minimal installation, you may only need three! The rest of the wires are for different generator models, or optional features that you may not want to incorporate right away.

Also consider the difference between stand-alone AGS systems, which simply work with the hard-wired inputs they have, vs. networked AGS systems, which can take data and generator start triggers from other devices like Inverters and Energy Management Systems. Some of the networked systems can also help the other devices make decisions like shedding loads, or supporting heavy generator loads, based on data shared between all devices.

When you’re ready to move up to today’s latest technology and enjoy the benefits of an easier and more efficient system, AGS delivers!

To view the Xantrex TECH DOCTOR LIVE, visit www.youtube.com/xantrextechnology
To request print or video editions of Tech Doctor, please email Marketing Manager Mitul Chandrani – Mitul.Chandrani@schneider-electric.com
And please mention that you read this edition on The Boat & Yacht Report.

About Xantrex Technology Inc.
Xantrex Technology Inc., a subsidiary of Schneider Electric, is a world leader in the development, manufacturing and marketing of advanced power electronic products and systems for the mobile power markets. The company’s products convert and control raw electrical power from any central, distributed, renewable, or backup power source into high-quality power required by electronic equipment. Xantrex is headquartered in Vancouver, Canada, with facilities in  the United States. www.xantrex.com

About Schneider Electric
As a global specialist in energy management with operations in more than 100 countries, Schneider Electric offers integrated solutions across multiple market segments, including leadership positions in energy and infrastructure, industrial processes, building automation, and data centres/networks, as well as a broad presence in residential applications. Focused on making energy safe, reliable, and efficient, the company’s 110,000 plus employees achieved sales of 19.6 billion euros in 2010, through an active commitment to help individuals and organizations “Make the most of their energy.” www.schneider-electric.com

About Don WIlson
TECH DOCTOR DON WILSON has worked in technical capacities in the automotive, RV and marine fields and for the military since 1989 and has extensive experience in designing and troubleshooting onboard electrical systems. A former customer service manager dealing with electronic issues, Wilson currently serves as a technical instructor for the RV industry’s RVIA Trouble Shooter Clinics and is a full-time sales application specialist for Xantrex Technology.

 
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Posted by on January 20, 2014 in Technology

 

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Technology


Necessity Is The Mother of Invention

Whether due to the ongoing energy crisis, the global economy, or a host of other factors all working together to exert a strong tidal pull on the boating industry, there are several forward thinking designers and engineers out there whose ideas may warrant a closer look by the status quo.

By Capt. Ken Kreisler

The origin of this most recognized of proverbial sayings I’ve chosen to be the title of this discussion is, for the most part, unknown. While some scholars, who often spend lifetimes studying such esoteric endeavors as tracking down the undeniable source of said adage and others —and kudos to them—however shipmates, I choose to follow yet another path in my own pursuit of accumulated knowledge, passing neither pro or con judgment on such donnish deeds.

In fact, and in praise of said dedication, we have recognizable and attributable sayings such as the treasured, “ A-wop-bop-a-loo-bop-a-lop-bam-boom,” by none other than Richard Wayne “Little Richard” Penniman; or the emotional, “Yo, Adrian,” flawlessly delivered by Sylvester Stallone in the 1976 film, Rocky. And just to drive things home, who can forget this memorable gem from Charles II (1630–1685), who was king of England, Scotland, and Ireland: ‘Let not poor Nelly starve,” referring to one of his many mistresses, the actress and commoner Nell Gwynn, as he lie on his death bed. Or as my good friend Capt. Chris Kelly would say, “Go no further.”

The point here readers is that we seem to be entering an era where the way things were, are not necessarily the way things are going to be. For example, let’s take a quick look at moving a boat through the water. (Sailboaters need not read any further; for the technical information that follows really has nothing to do with what they do. However, I humbly and respectfully beseech and request my ragbagging brethren to push on if merely for the enjoyment of partaking in my wordsmithing.)

For most of us who enjoy our fishing, cruising, or however we involve ourselves in the lifestyle, getting from Point A to Point B, perhaps on to Point C and the rest of the alphabet as we meander on back to A, means we have to consider our fuel consumption. And to address this important concern, I would say that most of the established and respected boat designers, builders, and engine manufacturers around the world have taken this cause under careful scrutiny and thought: To wit, the enthusiastic acceptance of Volvo Penta’s IPS and the Cummins/Mercruiser Zeus systems.

Now, I’ve just begun to do some digging is this area and came up with three companies that  appear to be into technology and a way of thinking that might be the start of something new. Just have an open mind. Think iPad, okay, and what a gizmo like that will eventually lead to.

The first up here is the M Ship Company out of San Diego, California. Founded in 1998 by Chuck Robinson and Bill Burns, M Ship is a service-disabled, veteran-owned small business specializing in the design, development and delivery of innovative marine concepts for the military, commercial and recreational markets.

The M80 Stiletto redefines hull design. Its geometry is unique because it consists of three interrelated features that improve ship performance – the Central Displacement Section, the Planing Tunnels and the Rigid Skirts.

To say they are inventive falls far short of the reality of their products. Case in point; The M80 Hull. Known as The Stiletto, the twin M-hull vessel is 88 feet in length with a 40 foot beam, providing a rectangular deck area equivalent to a conventional displacement craft 160 feet in length. The vessel’s draft fully loaded is three feet and is designed for a speed of 50-60 knots. Right now, it’s in military and drug interdiction use but I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to see a yacht version slipping down the ways.

According to the M Ship Company, the M-hull’s advanced planing-hull technology provides superior advantages over the more traditional designs. These include ride quality, speed, stability, range and the ability to carry payloads. The reduction of the “drag hump” offers very efficient cruising speeds not normally associated with planing craft and M Ship has done extensive studies with government and academic support in order to validate these benefits. Its test data and video are available upon request. www.mshipco.com

Next is the Axcell 650, a boat I had the opportunity to pay a short visit to while at last year’s Palm Beach Boat Show. From the outside, the Axcell 650 Catamaran Sport Yacht offers a sleek, eye-catching low profile design with distinctive ‘gill-slit’ intakes on each side, which, by the way, and as I would soon find out, have been specifically designed for an additional and important performance function. But what really began to interest me was something written on the banner that stretched across the transom: “With Patented HybridAir™ Technology.” Now that was something that pinged my radar and waiting my turn to get aboard, listened carefully from dockside as I started to pick up some buzz words from someone wearing an Axcell shirt.

The ‘gill slits’, visible aft on the port side, allow huge amounts of air to be drawn in and redirected.

Brian Barsumian, who along with his dad Bruce, are the principals in the company responsible for this daring design and technology. They call it MACS Research Inc., the capital letters standing for Multi Air Cavity Ships™ and have been at it for some 13 years now with the result of their visionary research and work sitting right there in the dock.

The huge lift fan down at the end of one engine room enables the 650 to get up and go.

The 650, designed by J.C. Espinosa of Stuart, Florida-based Espinosa Inc., is a beautiful looking boat both inside and out. That’s my opinion. Some simply do not like the catamaran styling nor the lines. However, I found her to be a head turner and mine was going back and forth, looking here and there as I got the cook’s tour with Brian. I hope to get back on with both Bruce and Brian at a later date for a comprehensive sea trial and walk through, and perhaps a sit-down with Mr. Espinosa as well, but for now, I noted how well this prototype is finished off in yacht quality fashion with copious amounts of room available enabling her owners and guests to be away from the dock for long periods of time. And there’s a 16-foot, 90-hp RIB tender tucked into a garage in the stern.

With lots of folks queuing up on the dock for a look-see, and realizing of course that the Barsumians were eager to show their boat, I slipped into the starboard sponson’s engine room with Brian for a quick tour. I got the layout and technology very quickly. The boat has been designed to pump low pressure air, much like a hovercraft does, via a pair of automated lift fans working off the twin C-18 Caterpillar 1,150-hp turbo diesels. And yes, those ‘gill slit’ intakes are all part of the technology that gets this 59,000 pound vessel cruising, according to the Axcell literature, along at a 38-knot cruise speed. This is a very cool boat and one that I am definitely coming back for. Stand by. I’ll let you know when it’s happening. www.axcellyachts.com

My third offering on this topic is by Effect Ships International (ESI) AS of Sandefjord, Norway, who also seem to be playing with the hovercraft—or ASV, for air supported vessel—technology as well, and have come up with a prototype they call the M65. And here’s where you have to put in some visionary work and ignore the boxy, unadorned test vessel pictured here. As with the iPad analogy, think Patrick Knowles design or something out of the Trinity yard.

With that said, ESI has sunk some $10 million into its research and development of the M65, garnering the Innovation Award at the 2011 European Powerboat of the Year contest. In a nutshell, the concept calls for a special underwater shape to the running bottom of the hull complete with a large cavity to trap the blown in air, courtesy of a fan mounted in the bow. At the stern, a special flap closes off the cavity, trapping the air within. For this prototype, ESI used a fan driven by a D3 Volvo Penta diesel but envision using electric power from a genset or from a hybrid main propulsion system. The illustration shows the side rails that prevent the air from escaping. According to Ulf Tudem, the company’s general manager, the propulsion system can be pods, jets, outdrives, fixed-shaft, or surface piercing.

When the main propulsion system is engaged – Tudem says it can be any type, including pod drives, jet drives or outdrives, fixed-shaft and even surface-piercing props – the M65 accelerates and gets on plane much faster than conventional boats because it doesn’t need to get over the proverbial hump. www.seseu.com

Do you think Orville and Wilbur Wright ever envisioned the Space Shuttle and risk-taker Richard Branson? My final thought on this: The dog would have caught the rabbit if he didn’t stop to take a leak.

Fair winds, shipmates. –Cap’n Ken

If you choose to get in touch with any of these builders, please tell them you saw the posting on the Boat & Yacht Report site. We work closely with the marine industry and especially when getting information like this out.

 
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Posted by on March 12, 2012 in Technology

 

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