Merijn de Waard talks to Daily Nautica: “Presenting ‘YachtEye’, the newest software for super yachts”
YachtEye simplifies life on board with instant access to information about the yacht, the trip, the weather, safety and much more
YachtEye is much more than just navigational support, it is an integrated infotainment system, the goal of which is to entertain and simplify life on board, both for passengers and crew. The software, supported by a number of devices, allows for quick access to all the technical and accessory information of the yacht, but not just that.
It also allows for planning a safe cruise, calculating every aspect, from the route to the weather and sea conditions. Information and entertainment work hand in hand using a high technology support system that integrates interactive data, 3D images and personalized content.
Daily Nautica interviewed Merijn de Waard to ask for more information on YachtEye as well as to talk about the boating industry and the possible effects of the war in the Ukraine.
YachtEye has incredible potential: how can it be customised?
We have a standard version and for every boat we make a 3D model. Each yacht has its own model but we also build custom ones. For example for one client we made a module that can follow his helicopter in real tome, while for another we built a virtual engine room. It depends a lot on what the client wants in addition to the package we already offer.
For someone who loves fishing, for example, would it be possible to scan for fish?
“I think it is possible, but we need to have a data feed on what type of fish are in what water. If we have an API, so another database, that con stream us that information, then we can integrate it into our system. This also goes for the weather. WindFinder or Windy can have feeds on wind speeds. There are a lot of opportunities to integrate other systems with ours.
What do you appreciate about the Italian boating industry and what do you think we could improve?
I think the Italian industry is the largest in the world and that Italians do a great job, not only in large boats but also small ones. Shipyards like Azimut-Benetti, Ferretti and Sanlorenzo have built a series of boats in fibreglass, selling many of them and creating jobs for the entire chain. Benetti has built a yacht of over 100 metres, for example, what can be better than that? I think the Italian industry is very united. In the Netherlands we have the Holland Yachting Group which brings together all the suppliers and manufacturers. I think that Italy could benefit from such an organisation, but your country already does a great job and will continue to do so.
What might be the consequences of the war in Ukraine for the super yacht industry?
In 2020, with Covid, everything stopped, nobody knew what to do. But already at the end of 2020, beginning of 2021, we sold a lot of yachts, not only in Northern Europe, but also in Italy and Turkey. There was a boom. Now it is too early to say, the companies are waiting to see, but there is uncertainty, yes. It is too early to know what the impact of the war will be on the yachting industry.
In a worst-case scenario, have you thought of a “Plan B”?
What I have done is to diversify the revenue: we do advertising, we have a database of yachts and subscribed members. I don’t really have a real “Plan B”, but if the world falls into chaos, I think we will all have bigger problems than doing business. I have been doing this job for 16-17 years, if I was busy making a “Plan B” I would be reacting out of fear and at the moment I am not afraid. We have a company growth strategy and if things change we will adjust it. You have to be aware and look at the market and see how it goes, look for the opportunities and watch out for threats, then you adjust.