October means fall is upon us, for the north of the country winterizing is on the minds of most boaters while in the south, the falls cooler temps give more enjoyment for long days on the water. Falls is also the time of two of the biggest industry shows in North America; IBEX & FLIBS.
IBEX, stands for the industrial boating exhibitors exposition. If it can be mounted on a boat or used to produce boats you will find it at IBEX. Companies bring their latest and greatest products and technologies to IBEX to display for boating enthusiasts, boat builders, and designers. It is a must attend for builders. Almost every single product we purchase will have a representing booth on display. Giving us a single location to find answers to questions and establish new visions for the upcoming year.
This year at IBEX we found one underlying theme among many of the vendors: digital switching. With the technology age of boating still playing catch up to the automotive industry, the demand for improved switching and vessel interface controls is ever growing. Digital switching leads to many ooo’s and ahhhhh’s as the ability to control almost unlimited devices can be achieved through a single interface display. This display can even be simply your chart plotter or engine management screen. We even saw in a lighting display booth you now can preset different light configurations depending on your activity or mood. Seamlessly each light on the vessel can be adjusted with a single preset selection. While more of a show piece than a necessary option, it can offer convenience for larger vessels where you will want to adjust multiple zones at once throughout the boat.
This technology it’s just focused at lights, it can also be used for other equipment as well. Inverters, battery chargers, stereo systems, wipers, and sunshades can all be adapted to run on digital switching. Even the new electric seat swivel and sliders can be configured to operate through your main helm display. Obviously many of you are asking what do you do if the system fails, or the screen you use to control the switching locks up. It is just a computer after all, and we all have experienced frustration at one point or another with electronics. But have no fear, companies do offer traditional toggle or push button switching to supplement the digital switch panel. This second “fail safe” panel can be hidden out of the way for emergency use. Always a short recommendation to have, because boating is adventurous enough as is.
Outside of digital switching we have really taken a liking to automatically re-settable push button dash face breakers. With their modern and high end finish these switches can turn any traditional looking dash to a pleasant, professional helm. And the functionality of them being reset able breakers makes them easier to use for the clients as well. With many amp rated options and multiple back lit color choices they are wonderful.
Some other great ideas we took away from the show are CNC machined acrylic panels which can machined in a way to resemble tile. We have already ordered our first batch of panels to install in the bathroom space of a 31’ Full Cabin. Results will be shared around Christmas time. For those of you who have also been following our latest 2018 builds you would of seen our commitment to incorporating more direct glazed glass panels. The look has been superb, and the water tight integrity is the best for spotter windows. Taking this commitment to the next level, we focused in on slider windows systems incorporated into the direct glazing glass. They provide a frameless finishing to the boats, and provide a true yacht level finish. While not a practical solution for all clients, we are extremely excited to integrate this system first into our Yachtline of vessels.
Speaking of Yachtline, this month on our website we unveiled a new line of vessels we are featuring as our Yachtline of products. These vessels are distinguished for their look, form, and function. It will compliment our traditional and professional series models.
29FT Full Cabin XLT
There has never been a more exciting time to be a boat builder. The technology gap between the automotive industry and marine industry is shrinking. We are seeing huge improvements in all aspects. But don’t we fooled with all the glitz and glam as the new shinny gizmos, boats need to perform in extreme conditions. Our safety depends on it. There is something to be said for dependability and proven products. So if you adventure to be the first on the pier with the latest tech, just have the expectation that you may find unexpected issues.