Explaining the benefits of Excelerate to the yachting industry is tricky, without a first-hand demonstration. So the company has bought a Sunseeker. Here, David Savage, group executive chairman, explains the brains behind this pricey investment.
In today’s digitally-driven world, staying connected is pretty much non-negotiable. Even on a yacht, isolated in the middle of the ocean, owners expect to be able to continue to run businesses, make phonecalls, stream videos and everything in between. Of course, all of this is already possible to some degree, but away from the relative safety of a marina, WI-FI and mobile networks can fail – leaving owners and their guests frustrated.
Enter Excelerate, the global market-leading provider of satellite and wireless solutions. Whilst their core business concentrates on providing instant ground technology across the government and emergency services markets, they’ve recently spotted a gap in the marine sector. “Excelerate owns substantial amounts of satellite capacity and we control that in real time,” explains David Savage, group chairman. “There is no reason why that same capacity can’t be applied to yachts.”
That unrivalled level of connection in the yachting world would surely relieve a lot of headaches, but is it really necessary in the popular hotspots of the Med? “Surprisingly, there are many areas with very poor 4G,” explains Savage. “Monaco is famous for having a terrible network and it’s the same with St Tropez; you can forget making a call or streaming your music – the only way to achieve it is by some other, more reliable, means, which we can provide.”
Sunseeker Z, which will be on show at both the Cannes and Monaco yacht shows, was purchased from Ocean Independence as a demonstration yacht. “In our core business we realised we weren’t going to succeed unless we could show people what we did, instead of just pointing to a brochure,” explains Savage. For that reason, the company used demo command vehicles to allow customers to experience the technology first hand. “Why wouldn’t that same logic work in the maritime industry?’ says Savage. “Rather than just taking our word for it, customers can come on board Z and try it for themselves.”
Toby Maclaurin, sales and marketing director at Ocean Independence shares Savage’s enthusiasm. “With rave captain reviews and a very commercial approach, we are certain Excelerate will be a welcome newcomer in the yachting communications market. A company so dedicated to cracking open the market, they bought a yacht to prove it. We were delighted to have acted for them in the buying process.”