Part Two of YBAA University: As I wrote last week, we just returned from the annual Yacht Broker’s Assn of America University session. This is a gathering of yacht brokers and new boat sales people, along with industry experts in various fields. We collected lots of great information to share. Click here to read part one on marine insurance.
- The very first session was a presentation from Jim Toomey, who along with his wife and two children left their home on land and went cruising for two years. Jim is a humor writer and creator of the comic strip, “Sherman’s Lagoon.” He can work from his boat which made this sort of trip possible. When they did the Transatlantic, he piled up enough work in advance to cover the 20 days he would be out of connectivity. We have customers talk of doing this sort of thing all the time, in different ways. We will write up some of the points he made in a future newsletter, some are ones that nobody would think about. Even if you are not planning such an adventure, it makes for interesting reading.
- Our meeting was held in the offices of ABYC, the American Boat & Yacht Council. These folks create the technical standards for all manner of systems used on boats. They also offer training for marine technicians. Brian Goodwin of ABYC talked about some emerging trends in boating systems. Electric propulsion was one, which you might have guessed, and that is a lengthy topic in its own right. He spoke of the increased use of Lithium batteries, and the importance of proper installation of the entire system. You don’t mix battery types, and the charging system must be properly set up. Different types of batteries behave differently and must be charged differently to avoid problems. There should be a BMS (battery management system) to keep the batteries within the SOE, or safe operating envelope. The take-away is don’t go out and buy lithium batteries and just stick them into your boat’s existing setup.
- Brian spoke about going from 12-volt DC systems to 24-volt or 48-volt, which is increasingly common on larger boats and is working its way down the size range. Higher voltage means smaller diameter wire is required and the faster you can charge. With 48-volt systems you can use inverters in lieu of generators for such things as air conditioning. We will no doubt be hearing more about this trend in the future. ABYC creates standards for all these technologies. RCR has joined ABYC because of the training it offers.