How to Upgrade a $20M 150-ft Yacht in 3 Weeks

January 23, 2022
10 mın to read
Dennis Clemente

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL – How do you like your yacht automated in as little as three weeks? That’s how South Florida’s Premium Digital Control & Automation recently worked on a yacht with a tight deadline. The project involved upgrading an existing outdated system, and outfitting the $20-million 150-ft yacht with the new Control4 system hardware and OS within two weeks only because the client was on a brief two-week visit in the yachting capital of the world.

Best plan of action

The upgrade that the client wanted for his yacht involved making it look, feel and perform the same way as his other smart homes using the Control4 system.

To make sure this project went smoothly and a customized design was created using his pre-existing system, Project Manager Shaun Elwin even went to Puerto Rico to meet with the captain of the vessel.

Within the client’s three-week visit to Fort Lauderdale, Premium Digital Control made the best place of action to accommodate the client’s request with the captain’s go-signal. The work involved integrating audio, video, over-the-air and/or satellite TVs, lighting and shade control. Premium Digital Control executed on schedule and to the plan.

Control4 system on a yacht
Control4 system

“We prepared the necessary documentation, staffing and product assortment to make the complex system as simple as possible without compromising on features and functionality,” says Randy Toth, Premium Digital Control & Automation President.

structured wiring in yacht
Structured wiring in a yacht

Narrow working spaces are not a problem

Unlike his other homes, the yacht had narrow working spaces, but this didn’t prevent the Premium Digital Control team from showcasing their international yacht automation skills. Control4 was programmed on the yacht’s pre-existing lighting and shades control system as well as the audio, video, and jacuzzi with the simple touch of a button.

Electronics and humidity don’t go well together. However, Premium Digital Control also took extraordinary care to ensure that the electronics and systems on board can withstand the elements with its design and chosen systems.

The yacht is now fully automated and designed to provide a true getaway from it all.

Systems integrated into the yacht

The Yachtica system was integrated with Control4 while Crestron served as the main bridge for communication.

The automated crew clean mode enables all control lights and shades to turn on at owner’s quarters and VIP quarters. TVs can turn on from the crew’s specific request. Party mode can be set for daytime and nighttime, which can turn on audio throughout at pre-set volume levels with different music genre selections.

Audio-video installation on a yacht
Audio-video installation

Smart home subsystems installed on the yacht

Audio distribution: Audio Control’s distributed audio matrix amplifier was installed, as it also works well outdoors. The vessel features centralized audio/video collections from multiple sources while allowing selection of music or movies from any room.

Video distribution: The highly responsive AV ProEdge was chosen as it easily integrates with AVPro’s drivers which was also a breeze to set up in the yacht. It allowed more than enough output for the client’s AV needs.

Integration control: The unique integration of the European lighting system from Yachtica Systems into Control4’s system made for a supple customizable experience. With Control4, the yacht owner can remotely control lights, automate exterior running lights to allow the crew to move around safely; trigger lights to automatically turn on, off, or dim, based on the detected lights or specific times of the day.

Over-the-air TV and satellite TV:  Both pre-existing but Premium Digital Control integrated them in the system

Smart lighting
Lighting control

Lighting control: Client requested Control4, which meant making its other previous systems – Crestron and Yachtica – respond to the new main system. With Control4, the yacht owner can remotely control lights, automate exterior running lights to allow the crew to move around safely; trigger lights to automatically turn on, off, or dim, based on the detected lights or specific times of the day.

Shades control
Shades control

Shades control: The integration of Control4 smart technology into the existing Crestron system controlling the Yachtica systems complement the pre-existing shades design where the yacht owner can open and close blinds, according to when the sun sets or the skies become cloudy to allow for optimum levels of natural light; HVAC Control and Security were pre-existing in this yacht.

Yacht docked in a Fort Lauderdale marina

The yacht that Premium Digital Control worked on was manufactured in Italy by Benetti. It had minimal infrastructure for customization, but Premium Digital Control worked with its pre-existing calculations to create a custom environment suitable to the yacht owner, plus made it comply with Bicsi and CEDIA standards for full marine automation. (Dennis Clemente)

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