Starting in the winter of 2015, Hinckley Yacht Services will begin installing its new boat monitoring service, Hinckley OnWatch, on boats serviced in the company’s yards. Using existing technologies in boat monitoring Hinckley engineers have developed an expanded system which includes new features, such as mechanical diagnostics and historical data retention, to create one of the most advanced yacht monitoring systems on the market today. Hinckley OnWatch will use 3G cellular connectivity to send Hinckley Yacht Services status updates to its service network as well and to the yacht owner so that both are alerted in real time in the event an issue occurs. The goal with the OnWatch system and mobile app is to keep boat owners effortlessly connected to their vessels and, as a result of this heightened awareness, reduce down time, increase safety, allow custom-tailored service planning and even reduce insurance rates.
No one knows the importance of being aware of your yacht’s condition better than Dann Lockwood, General Manager of Hinckley Yacht Services in Portsmouth, RI. Dann explains that this system is not only for the rare instance when an issue arises, but for ongoing peace of mind that everything is in working order. As Dann says, “The best situation is that there is never a problem and that the feedback will provide complete confidence that all systems are go.”
That confidence extends to insurance companies and could result in preferred rates. As Bob Peck of Triton Insurance says, “An underwriter is going to look at the risk. This is just another thing to say, ‘I’ve gone beyond the norm to prevent problems.’”
OnWatch is undoubtedly a convenient tool, but as Scott Bryant, Director of the New Product Development team at Hinckley stresses, it’s a tool put in the proper hands—Hinckley hands. “The foundation of this system is in Hinckley Yacht service,” Scott says. In what he describes as the “competitive landscape of boat monitoring systems,” Hinckley stands out with a superior product, supported by superior existing service. “A lot of the time, these systems are just as good as the person who uses them,” Scott reiterates. “But with OnWatch, both the owner and a professional service manager are interpreting the data.”
With monitoring this thorough, if a problem arises it can be addressed immediately. This is especially convenient when the boat is away from homeport. Hinckley Yacht Services can remotely access the boat’s systems through OnWatch to provide assistance no matter where the boat travels. As Dann puts it, “in the case of warnings or issues, our techs will have hard indicators of the possible basis of what is causing the problem. It will expedite troubleshooting, help identify which parts may be necessary to bring along on a service call and most importantly, because of this information, help the owner get back underway with the least possible disruption of his cruise.”
OnWatch allows users to set up a custom geofence in order to be alerted if their boat crosses the set perimeter due to unauthorized use or anchor drag. “I believe the benefits and functional usage of the Hinckley OnWatch application will evolve as more boats come on-online,” Dann says. “But the immediate promise is to improve an owner’s confidence in and awareness of some of the critical operational components of his vessel.”
OnWatch aims to be as user-friendly as possible. The application’s intuitive interface is easy to use, even for those unfamiliar with mobile apps. By simply pressing on the list of systems, you can check on how your boat is functioning. The application allows you call Hinckley Yacht Services right from the app should you have a question. As Dann Lockwood puts it, “In short, the OnWatch program will enhance our primary goal at Hinckley Yacht Services and that is to provide the best, most efficient and professional service operation in the industry.”