The entire Dutch superyacht building industry has had an excellent year. While the total revenue of the maritime industry in the Netherlands decreased by 9.4% last year from 3.8 to 3.5 billion euros, the revenue of superyacht builders doubled to 2.15 billion euros. “A result that we as a superyacht industry can be enormously proud of”, says Gerard Hoekstra, commercial director of RH Marine. “With a number of completed and newly acquired projects, 2020 was also a successful year for RH Marine. We expect to exceed our expectations again this year, in terms of new-builds, refits, service, maintenance and products.”
Next generation of system integration
Most recent innovation, which is developed together with the Royal Netherlands Navy, is the Integrated Virtualized System Architecture (IVSA). The new network architecture puts and end to the growing number of computers and cables on board for every new standalone system. Servers, thin clients, navigation sensors, radar scanners, PLCs, cameras (CCTV) and all other devices on board can be connected to one optical decentralized fiber network. All connected workstations can use server applications, such as (Rhodium) Dynamic Positioning, (Rhodium) AMCS or (Rhodium) ECDIS. The new system architecture saves a lot of space because it requires fewer signal cables, increasing the flexibility of the console design.
Improved flexibility for software and hardware updates
Thanks to IVSA, all applications for the navigation, engine room and operating system (OS) are also no longer dependent on a prescribed computer type. With the new virtual servers, the processor capacity, required memory and OS can easily be modified. Future bridge refits on-board will be easier as a result, because not all hardware has to be replaced. If software is outdated or a new navigation application is required due to regulations, installing an update of software and OS on the existing servers is then sufficient.
Reduction of maintenance costs
Software applications can also be upgraded via the cloud and cybersecurity techniques can be applied more efficiently. “Now each console is running on approximately eight computers. Soon everything will run on two servers and only one computer network will be needed on board. Future expansion will be easier and less expensive. Suppliers can carry out maintenance remotely, to exchange data from existing sensors and to share information from different systems with each other, which also reduces maintenance costs,” explains proposal manager Ron Schuch of RH Marine.
Hybrid technology as the new standard
RH Marine supplies various hybrid packages to the four new superyachts. The hybrid technique was once developed for submarines of the Royal Netherlands Navy. The technology has been supplied to commercial shipping since 2010. Nowadays, RH Marine provides both diesel-electric propulsion and all-electric propulsion via a generator and battery pack. The (Rhodium) Energy Management System (EMS) determines the most efficient power consumption by calculating how much energy the generators have to generate. It also controls the required battery-storage and power regulation of other functions on-board. “A clear trend is visible in the superyacht industry. All yachts will be equipped with some form of hybrid propulsion in the near future. This is considered an in-between step to zero emissions,” says proposal manager Stuart Gunput of RH Marine.
Close co-operation with Royal Netherlands Navy
RH Marine has been working closely together with the Royal Netherlands Navy for many years. This co-operation has resulted in many innovative and high-end technologies. After an extensive testing period, the innovations can often be used in the superyacht industry. The collaboration has already resulted in the several Rhodium products such as, Rhodium Integrated Bridge, Rhodium Alarm Monitoring and Control System (AMCS), Rhodium Energy Management System (EMS) and High Power Equipment package.