The Online Boating and Maritime Exhibition

#15 - Smart Marinas

{Volvo Ocean Race} 160 Sensors


Akzonobel Launch (Courtesy of Infante/VOR)

The seven VO65’s racing 45,000 nautical miles around the globe will be crunching massive amounts of data. That means Big Data is onboard. 

This concept refers to huge amounts of information being stored, sorted and analyzed by computers. In a race where all the boats are identical, the tiniest detail can mean the difference between victory and defeat. In addition, where safety is of prime concern, breakdowns can be avoided by knowing exactly what’s goes on.

The one design yachts being used in the Volvo Ocean Race have 160 sensors built into virtually every part of the boat. “We can continuously monitor things like load, G-force, rudder resistance and so on,” said Nicolai Sehested, helmsman and boat captain for the AkzoNobel team.

“For example, from the nav station below deck, the navigator can read the performance of the helmsman. We can see exactly when performance drops. This is just one of many ways we can use sensor information to make better decisions and make the boat go faster.”

About the Author

Øyvind Bordal is a Norwegian writer and sailor, based in Denmark and Caribbean.

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