news – April 2021
Surf ‘n’ Turf – A Seamless Experience
Here’s a glimpse into custom installation in the luxury boating world.
By Steve Panosian
I RECENTLY RECONNECTED with an old business acquaintance, Dave Sell, President of Integrated Marine Systems (IMS) in Newport Beach, California. Dave was a consumer electronics retail sales specialist, then spent over 12 years at Crestron before building his current business, which offers an amazing spectrum of custom boating solutions.
IMS’s mission is to help boat owners upgrade their vessels to look better, feel better and provide more entertainment options. IMS is certified by many of the best manufacturers in the marine industry to properly represent, install and commission their products with precision and integrity. The showroom provides one-stop convenience where they can provide their customers renovation ideas and upgrades in a design-friendly environment.
The most popular upgrades demanded by his clients usually focus on technology and are not much different than residential upgrades. IMS works closely with their clients to craft custom solutions that exceed expectations.
Internet Connectivity: Staying connected to the world is now an expectation even when on a boat. IMS can provide affordable, dedicated high-speed internet connection that is fast and secure. The available solutions deliver a more robust connectivity experience vs. what is provided by a marine service or relegating a smartphone hot spot that must serve the customers, their entire family and guests, too. A dedicated high-speed internet service is a must for email, web surfing, and streaming HD movies on smartphones, tablets, Smart TVs and more. Connection methods are primarily made via cellular networks (Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile) as well as international carriers. Cellular connectivity provides fast, affordable download speeds ideal for streaming and general online usage. This is perfect for the family who has multiple devices that require (nearly) constant connectivity. Of course, you need to be connected to a cellular network to have a functioning system. This is easy when boating near shorelines (within 10 miles) and dense metropolitan areas. However, rural, or undeveloped coastlines without a cellular network will render the system useless until a cellular network is once again accessible.
The other primary method of connection is satellite. Satellite connectivity is available globally (if your data plan supports that), however it is very costly and slow when compared to cellular connectivity. Currently, most data providers sell airtime using the standard GEO constellation which ties a satellite’s location to the earth’s equator 22,500 miles in orbit. This network has been in use for decades. However, thanks to SpaceX and other technology companies, there is a massive satellite infrastructure build-out underway that will provide much higher quality and faster speeds to the globe at more reasonable prices. Labeled as the LEO (low-Earth orbit) and MEO (mid-Earth orbit) networks, each consist of dozens of smaller dedicated satellites that circle the globe at multiple angles in a mesh-like manner to “blanket” the globe with connectivity at high speed (50 mbps+). In their final state, these networks will provide connectivity to all regions of the planet. One can easily see the benefits of this deployment from a recreational, commercial and philanthropical perspective. Estimated completion of these network build-outs is 2024.
Entertainment: Boaters want the same amenities, convenience, and user experience on their boat as they do at home and IMS can design a system around any budget. IMS is an authorized dealer of several satellite TV solutions, plus with HDTV available “off-air” they can simply add the appropriate antenna. For audio IMS is certified by Fusion, JL Audio, Crestron, Sonance and James Loudspeaker. IMS installers “tune” every system to the boat based on its fiberglass versus wood construction. Demand for exceptional quality audio has grown substantially over the last five years, and the bigger the boat is, the greater the need for “zones” to have individual source and volume control. Zones like Salon, Flybridge, Cockpit, Aft Deck, Bow, Staterooms and Crew Quarters are all comparable to conventional home room/area descriptions like Media Room, Patio, Pool, Bedrooms, etc.
Advanced Electronics, Monitoring and Security: As a certified dealer of Garmin, Raymarine, Simrad and Navico products, IMS’s expertise includes the ability to provide system design, full installation and commissioning services on chart plotters, multi-function displays, radar systems, sonar, fish finders, auto pilots, instrumentation, HDTV and night vision cameras, custom dash panels, custom switches and much more. These systems are network-based also and are scalable to meet any captain or owner’s requirements.
Customizable Control Solutions for AV Entertainment, Lighting, HVAC and Security: Dave’s background working at Crestron provided the basis of how to carefully plan and install control systems on a boat. Interestingly enough, control of a yacht’s vital technology systems is not much different than a home design – it must be easy to use, reliable and elegant. IMS integrates Crestron touchscreens, remote controls, and technology solutions that best represent luxury and style. IMS’s knowledge and experience with Crestron is very deep and wide and they deliver a world-class experience for their clients.
LED Lighting and Control Solutions: LED technology is incredibly efficient and design-wise IMS offers a huge choice of fixtures, colors, finishes and styles. IMS is a certified dealer for IMTRA, Vimar and Lumishore LED lighting that includes underwater lighting solutions. They also carry LED lighting from Ocean LED, Boland Technologies (underwater) and Quick Marine lighting. IMS customers can see for themselves the fantastic selection of choices from these manufacturers on display in their showroom.
Catching up with Dave was a fascinating experience and we look forward in a future article to talking about water purification and solar power for yachts.