By Joseph Adir, Founder & CEO, WinterHaven
Following a long career as a successful technology entrepreneur as well as 15 years of involvement in finance, infrastructure and energy, Adir, has developed a multidimensional disruption in the superyachting industry, WinterHaven. Having spotted a gap in the market, where traditional models were holding back innovation, Adir pursued the opportunity to present a paradigm shift in the way superyachts are operated, managed and maintained.
Adir entered the superyachting Industry back in early 2015 equipped only with his maritime knowledge as a keen sailor for 30 years and have previous involvement in the yachting industry on a smaller scale during the early ’90s. The entry into the superyachting sector was driven by being in the right place at the right time. It was the result of a friendly request for assistance in fundraising for a shipyard.
Following a year of research and analysis, he realised that this industry represents an opportunity for disruption in many areas. The clear lack of utilising data was the clear sign that there is enormous scope for improvement. It became clear the technologies as well as the core business model are behind the curve due to a resounding belief in the industry that is – “Don’t fix it if it isn’t broken”.
Disruption drives growth to all stakeholders – outline the two main areas you are focusing at
The first is WinterHaven Superyachts Marine Centre. It is a new platform for yacht owners, yacht managers and captains looking to base their yachts in a highly diverse and multifunctional enablement platform. WinterHaven is offering all necessary technical services and amenities to successfully maintain and operate a superyacht as well as providing crews with all the support services they require.
WinterHaven is not a marina and not a refit shipyard. It is the best of both. It will focus on being a home with the best neighbourhood for running a superyacht and its personnel efficiently and economically.
WinterHaven’s fabric made of seamless partnership among; superyacht shipyards, strategic partners (OEMs and leading sub-contractors), superyacht management companies and brokers as well as the WinterHaven-Viking Maritime Academy.
WinterHaven is a replicable business model. The IP and domain expertise are on offer to 3rd parties for implementation outside the Western Mediterranean area.
A year ago, WinterHaven made a strategic decision to add another element to its superyachts marine centre – WinterHaven Technology. WinterHaven Technology is creating a unique technological environment based on three core pillars:
(1) Enablement Centre OEMs
- Enabling the deployment, installation and integration of superyachts related advanced technologies
(2) Integration Centre
- Multivendor platforms
- End to end integration of leading-edge solutions – Glue Logic development into IoT and Edge ML
(3) Acceleration Facility
- Cutting edge / Blue Sky
- Full support for new start-ups in the superyachting ecosystem
Transforming WinterHaven Technology into WinTech.ai
As WinterHaven was already working on a platform based on AI/ML to manage and operate its facilities, it was a very natural synergetic expansion, the creation of WinTech.ai.
The focus of WinTech.ai will be the creation of the “thinking superyacht” based on the implementation of IoT and AI/ML technologies that Adir is passionate about.
Why? It’s because this kind of technology will be offering two key benefits; The ability to manage and control the whole superyacht from a single, smart platform and the enablement of reliable and accurate fault prediction algorithms for the mechanical systems of the yacht.
“Most breakage is electrical or mechanical, motors and breakers, generators, engines, stabilisers, hydraulics and water pumps, to name a few. The use of technology allows the team on board to assess whether a component or sub-system is behaving normally,” Adir explains. “Fault prediction algorithms show trajectories of behaviour, and when certain parameters occur, they indicate the probability of a fault and that soon a problem may develop. The awareness of that problem enables the team to avoid that fault and address it ahead of time. It’s “preventative maintenance.”
Adir goes on to explain that the superyacht industry is behind the curve in comparison with other sectors, such as the aviation industry, which has always been at the forefront of technology adoption and is already utilising AI/ML to support predictive maintenance.
In the superyacht industry, though owners are buying an asset that costs as much as a jetliner, it doesn’t have the depth and breadth of intelligence behind it. The technology is needed in order to allow all stakeholders to access live data, be in a position to offer extended warranties while offering predictive maintenance to address potential maintenance issues in advance.
“Thinking superyacht” – How do you see the way forward and are you creating the big data to support the future autonomous superyacht?
Technology-wise, WinTech.ai is developing the AI/ML Core Platform and creating an “open system” approach allowing a vast number of vendors to interface with their monitoring, data logging and integrated solutions into the Core Platform, enriching the overall integrated solution.
Utilising WinTech.ai advanced AI/ML with its integrated devices and systems will provide advanced BI, and automation engines integrated with the most advanced security and communication systems. WinTech.ai will deliver a fully integrated solution that seamlessly fuses data and operational capabilities of both offshore and onshore elements, capable of complex autonomous response to a broad spectrum of operational, security, and safety scenarios.
The main challenge onboard a superyacht is the fact that you cannot rely exclusively on the ”cloud” and you must architect an “on-prem cloud”. The second is the fact that you cannot expect the team on board to be able to run the core software embedded into the platform and therefor a SaaS model must apply.
Adir is a great believer that his team is capable of delivering a platform that will be a game-changer in the superyachting Industry. Not only affecting operation and maintenance but also enabling the enhancement of future designs by mining the Big Data accumulated via the platform.
WinTech.ai road map is looking to perfect the full integration of the AI/ML with its associated network of IoT devices to integrate all systems and equipment aboard the superyacht. WinTech.ai vision is making the “thinking superyacht” as the first step into the next decade where the challenge will be the establishment of standards and guidelines for the autonomous Superyacht.
The future of superyachting
Adir’s vision is to be a driving force for a change that will lead to a dramatic change in the ownership business model. The primary focus is the reduction of the total cost of ownership while allowing shipyards to offer extended warranties based on robust data. For the owner’s experience, the substantial reduction of the downtime driven by faults and failure of systems and devices will be a blessing.
The superyachting industry will be changing faster than most are predicting.
We will experience the entry into the shared ownership models, we will see the increase of the number of ultra-luxury pocket cruise ships which are “a superyacht”, we will see the reduction in the shipyards manufacturing costs via the introduction of Industry 4.0, and above all, we will see advanced technologies such as “thinking superyacht” being implemented not only at the very high end of superyachts but across the whole range down to the production superyachts from vendors such as Ferretti Group, Princess and Sunseeker.
The future is dependent on sharing and transparency, which will allow the sharing of the big data among the Shipyards, the Equipment manufacturers and the owners of the superyachts.