On the Hard? Inspect, Clean, and Update Your Yacht’s Satellite Communications System

It’s refit time.

That means the yacht is hauled out, and you can fix what’s broken or improve what you already have so that your experience onboard is top notch, with all the comforts of home.

A satellite communications strategy that gives you high-speed Internet, 24/7 connectivity, the latest news and entertainment, and technical support for peace of mind wherever you cruise can be part of the refit plan.

If you already have a satcom system onboard your yacht, refit presents the perfect opportunity to focus on two important aspects: the monthly service plan and preventative maintenance.

Joe Nocon, KVH Service Manager - Americas
Joe Nocon, KVH Service Manager – Americas

Resist the urge to fly solo on this mission; such endeavors are best left to an expert like Joe Nocon, service manager for KVH Industries.

“Think about whether the boat travels primarily along the coast, farther out regionally, or globally,” he says in “Captain’s Log: Tech Talk,” in the August 2016 issue of Dockwalk.

“This will affect whether you can go with a regional satellite Internet provider or a global provider,” Nocon adds. “Check recent airtime bills to see what the yacht’s current typical monthly data usage is, and think about what your needs are likely to be in a year or two.”

And, as any car owner who’s faithful to regular oil changes knows, preventative maintenance is the best medicine for all technology, including sophisticated satellite antenna systems. Exposed to harsh marine environments, systems such as KVH TracVision satellite TV antennas and TracPhone satellite communications systems benefit from periodic checks to maximize uptime and identify possible failure modes before they impact vital operations.

“Satellite communications is a critical piece of the marine experience,” Nocon says. “Selecting the best technical solution and ensuring that the solution is maintained in a reliable fashion is crucial to keeping the experience a positive one.”

A preventative maintenance program is part of the KVH OneCare global support program launched in 2015. It’s delivered to clients by KVH’s professional services team and its Certified Support Network (CSN) partners.

“Performing preventative maintenance is a key part of guaranteeing the reliability and integrity of your KVH SATCOM solution,” Nocon says. “Having a certified technician perform preventative maintenance allows the vessel owner to catch potential failure points before they happen, and ensures that they have the most up-to-date software and the most suitable airtime plan for their needs.”

For more of Joe’s invaluable expertise, download his column in the August 2016 issue of Dockwalk.

About Chris Watson 73 Articles
Chris is the senior director of marketing for KVH Industries. A lifelong sailor and storyteller, he's a self-professed geek who finds all of this technical stuff fascinating.