Have yacht owners become too reliant on their boat’s sophisticated systems? Don Hyde, CEO of Vessel Vanguard, a company that offers a maintenance-reminder system, thinks so. At the same time, they have precious little choice. Much of today’s technology is an impenetrable web of complexities. “The boat owner today is a lot different from 20 or 30 years ago. Technology has made today’s owner pre-dependent on their boat’s needs,” Hyde says. His goal is to take some of the guessing game out of boat ownership when it comes to dealing with all complicated, integrated systems and their maintenance requirements. “Why shouldn’t the most complex device we own be smart the same way the rest of our life is? We’re not reinventing the wheel; we’re making that wheel conform to the roads of today,” says Hyde, who is an experienced sailor as well as a businessman.
The software is custom designed for each boat (or each series), helping whoever manages the vessel to keep a handle on required maintenance and warranty work for everything from engines to filters and electronics. Over time, Vessel Vanguard has collected a huge amount of data for most types of equipment and used it to make recommendations in each boat’s digital profile. The software has a master equipment list that helps create a task calendar and digital schedule. It sends automatic alerts and messages through an email or text messages.
While initially thinking of the boat owners themselves, Hyde has had success with dealers and manufacturers as well. It also simplifies their lives. Beneteau, for instance, has made it part of its warranty program. Any vessel that subscribes to Vessel Vanguard benefits from a warranty extension. It is a cost-effective way to track a boat’s service needs, with an initial setup cost starting from $579 and a renewal fee of $179 per year.
While the bulk of the business lies in the smaller boats, the company is also attempting to address the needs of larger yachts with its Platinum Edition, which is geared toward captains and crews of large yachts. The newly launched Hargrave 125 (featured in this month’s Yachts International) is the first yacht to be equipped with Maryland-based Vessel Vanguard’s platinum edition.
For more information, contact 1-888-214-1710 or visit vesselvanguard.com