OceanWeb is a specialist provider of marine IT and communications to the global superyacht industry with a history of over 20 years

Maintaining solid connectivity and a robust IT infrastructure during a superyacht charter is essential for creating a luxurious experience for guests. Charter guests now expect to be able to email, browse the web, stream media, access social media, upload and download images and videos, and conduct video-conference calls, all seamlessly whilst onboard. The reliable high-speed connectivity now available to the industry enables guests to access all of these services and more, satisfying increased data demands.

To ensure the smooth operation of the yacht, the crew rely on fast connectivity for supply management, itinerary planning, and maintenance scheduling. In addition, access to real-time weather updates, navigational information and security reports, is crucial for ensuring the safety of the vessel and everyone on board. It is sensible to mention cyber security at this point, as cyber risk management requires a secure and robust internet connection in order to monitor and protect the yacht’s network and its onboard systems from potential threats and unauthorised access.

A diligent IT provider, or ‘Remote ETO’ is always actively working behind the scenes to ensure that during a charter, yachts are getting the internet speeds that they both expect and are paying for. An IT provider, such as OceanWeb, supports the yachts off-vessel connections and its IT infrastructure to ensure the bandwidth is managed effectively. The IT provider also needs to know the yacht’s planned itinerary before each charter to ensure seamless connectivity. This includes tasks such as satellite planning, ensuring that the correct VSAT beams are loaded on the modem, confirming that Starlink will operate in planned locations, and updating roaming details on a 4G/5G router. This thorough planning is aimed at limiting any internet drop-outs when charter guests are on board. Ideally, internet should be provided to the vessel by more than one source/solution so that if the primary internet source experiences any issues, there is a reliable back up in place.

OceanWeb It is good practice to implement VLANs across the IT network to segregate the different users e.g. crew, owner or guests so that when charter guests are onboard, bandwidth can be prioritised to the guest VLAN network. For example, the faster internet source such as Starlink could be assigned to the guests whilst the 4G connection could be assigned to the crew VLAN etc. Bandwidth management is about visibility and control of these off-vessel connections to VLANs, users, groups or even individual devices, such as an AppleTV.

Bonding solutions for services such as Starlink, OneWeb and 4G/5G systems are also an important consideration. A bonding service will provide a solid unbreakable connection so that if one service loses signal, or you sail out of 4G footprint, then the bonding ensures that there is no internet drop out or disruption to the end user. For ultimate redundancy, a failover to a backup VSAT or Iridium service ensures the yacht stays connected at sea on charter. Onboard, IT Infrastructure should be managed and fully supported ideally by an ETO and a shore based ‘Remote ETO’. Should any technical issues arise, online connectivity allows for rapid remote diagnostics and support from shore-based teams, minimising downtime and ensuring quick resolutions. Often the shore-based IT company can identify issues before the crew and guests are even aware.

The ultimate goal during a charter is to ensure the IT infrastructure is working efficiently to ensure priority bandwidth is delivered to the guests. Combining internet sources, bonding and bandwidth management delivers greater speeds, reliability and redundancy to the vessel, ensuring charter guests are always connected when onboard.

Make sure you plan for charter success and secure a trusted and reliable IT provider who specialise in bespoke IT support services,

For more details visit www.oceanweb.com