Insight | Superyacht Connectivity Report 2018


Superyacht Connectivity Report 2018


From live streaming the latest sports games on TV to accessing cutting-edge Internet of Things (IoT) applications for safety and operational excellence, the next generation of satcomm technology is bringing a new standard of comfort to the superyacht. Higher speeds combined with an always-on global connection are finally giving owners the ability to extend their online experience from the home and office to the seas. So there’s no surprise that captains and yacht builders are under increasing pressure to deliver the ultimate guest experience. But just how is the superyacht community embracing connectivity at sea? What does the current satcoms environment onboard look like? What is the future outlook for superyacht connectivity?

To find out more we commissioned a global survey of superyacht captains, chief engineers, technical professionals and senior crew representing over 160 superyacht projects. Conducted by The Superyacht Intelligence Agency and produced in association with The Superyacht Group, the 2018 Superyacht Connectivity Report provides invaluable insight into the world of satcoms onboard.

Key findings

Growth of IoT sensors and application usage

Safety and compliance unsurprisingly remain the number one usage of satellite communications, with 43% of connectivity being used for yacht management and compliance of the International Ship Management Code (ISM). Closely followed by a higher than anticipated rise in IoT sensors and digital applications at 34%. Streaming video content came in at 23%, although it was concluded that most guests see access to video streaming services and social media as paramount during their voyage.

Ageing satellite hardware 

Despite the increasing use of digital applications onboard and guest demand for fast and reliable online access, one in two yachts of those surveyed are sailing with old satellite equipment (four years+) and only a quarter have replaced their hardware in the last two years. These findings demonstrate a large disparity between the need for connectivity against slower speeds bound by older hardware.

Early specification during construction

42% of new builds and large retrofit projects involve satellite specialists during the concept and engineering phases of construction. Close partnership with satcoms providers at this early stage suggests the need for long-term forward planning to build a future-proof solution capable of exceeding requirements when the yacht finally enters operational service.

Low cyber resilience

The report highlights cyber resilience is still in its infancy with 64% of yachts protected by either a basic onboard firewall or relying on a simple crew managed system. The superyacht community of high net worth individuals is a genuine target for cyber criminals, so these findings are an alarming wake up call for the industry.