There is a growing collective of young entrepreneurs who are innovating and helping boost the economy and create potential jobs too. The Innovation Council and Innovation Island have spearheaded the move to technological industries. This year is the second anniversary of Square One. Square One is a high tech collective, home to a number of different companies. The space itself is creative, and fosters an imaginative working environment.
The Minister of Technology and Innovation for the area, Amrik Virk is thrilled to see tech tacking off in the area, as it continues to grow month on month as a sector. He says that wages are higher in the technology sector and so it has a positive knock on affect for the rest of the area. He is also keen to encourage economic diversity projects such as this to ensure that Nanaimo and surrounding areas are making the most of the talent pool.
He was quoted in the Nanaimo Bulletin recently:
So this got us thinking here at Nanaimo, what tech innovations have there been in the sailing industry? Well lots over the last 40 years apparently. Let us walk you through some of our favourites in no particular order…
Pod Drive Manoeuvrability
These devices are for power boats. They enable better manoeuvrability in docking but also in other tight situations – aiding in propulsion control. Dock’N Go started the trend with their Sense 50, and Saildrive technology. There are now lots of other versions on the market, and they have become the power boaters favourite tool.
Sounds simple, as we all use it all the time now on our smart phones to help us get around –even when walking! But the complexity of the systems available now for use on board a vessel when at sea is simply mind-boggling. There is celestial navigation, underwater navigation, and all manners of chart maps. The accuracy of weather reports is also really useful, as you can get the latest information straight to deck thanks to satellites. The geek in any sailor gets excited by the options. You can also download so many apps now (see our other post) which help you navigate the seas whilst on board one of our yachts. Which brings us on to…
Sat Phones and Wifi!
Long distance communication is key when yachting in Nanaimo and Vancouver. You need to be able to get hold of people on land, maybe a friend on board another vessel somewhere further away, and of course in the event of an emergency. These innovations are also useful for racing and other boating events.
You can even email on board your yacht now – but surely that is something you are trying to escape from right?
AIS, PLBs, EPIRBs, and GPIRBS
What? Well these are all types of GPS devices. Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRBs) can be manually or hydrostatically activated in order to send SOS messages to nearby sailors to help them pinpoint your location. The Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) is for a person, as opposed to a whole vessel and so can be useful should an unfortunate overboard incident occur. The Automatic Identification System (AIS) will then report to the ship that the person is lost too. These devices have been saving people since 1982.
What boats are made of
In the 60’s fibreglass was all the rage, in the 60’s resin and vacuum bagging were becoming popular in the boating world. These innovations were transformative to the world of sailing, and are still widely used today. Although we still to like the look of wood on a boat!
The design of a boat
Yachts have not only changed in material but also in space and design. With the technological advancements available today, everything is smaller and more compact meaning there is more lounging space available on board such vessels.
Wireless Boat Controllers
Sounds a little scary right? But these handheld boat remotes are proving increasingly popular. From this device you can control the throttle, bow and stern thrusters from anywhere on board. Apparently they are particularly handy when docking – it means you can do it all safely without the need for a third person!
Yachting is about luxury, but also about comfort. LCD and Plasma TV’s are now a staple for any yacht. They are pretty durable so last on board very well, but the most important factor about these new style of TV’s is undoubtedly their smaller size – we all know space is at a premium when on board! They can pop up from almost anywhere. LED lighting has also helped the ambiance of a yacht – they last longer, give off less heat, and look pretty too! Having engine displays in electronic form is also a bit kinder on the eye, and a bit more natural to navigate for novices!