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High-tech on the high seas

Mike Clark reports on the Streamline, an Italian-built 50m motor yacht with an impressive AV specification - including full control via handheld units.

Mike Clark reports on the Streamline, an Italian-built 50m motor yacht with an impressive AV specification – including full control via handheld units.

As well as its international standing in the motor yacht sector, Elio and Ferruccio Stroppiana’s Mondomarine shipyard in the north-western Italian port of Savona is a member of the select group of shipyards also able to provide full-service refit facilities.

The fifty-seventh new-build recently launched by Mondomarine is the sleek 50m Streamline which, thanks to a pair of MTU of 2,480 HP each, reaches a speed of 17 knots.

The Streamline (concept design and exterior styling by specialist Dutch studio Cor D. Rover and interior design by Frederic Mechiche and Luca Dini) hosts an impressive array of AV hardware, installed by Mess Engineering Srl, a company based in Genoa whose roots go back to the early 1970s. Based on a long-standing specialisation in marine electronics, the firm’s activity focuses on two main fields: ships’ communication, entertainment and security systems and on-board automation systems, offering turnkey solutions in both sectors. As well as the yacht market, the company works on cruise liners and civil installations.

Regarding the Streamline, Mess Engineering project manager Piero Milano explains, “We submitted various systems to the owner and his consultants, who took the final decision on equipment installed. Apart from the standard of the hardware on board, the most interesting aspect of this project is the possibility of controlling all the AV systems of the entire yacht with handheld units!”

Lighting designer and programmer Davide Trentacoste, called in to program the yacht’s Remote Technologies Incorporated remote controllers and Xantech keypads, explains that each remote controller or keypad has a dedicated zone: “An RTI T3V system controller, with custom graphics on its high-res 3.5 inch touchscreen, is used for the upper deck salon and another for the owner’s stateroom. The addition of wireless Ethernet and a built-in web browser allows the user to access web pages, IP addressable devices and utilise IP control for web-based integration applications. An RTI T3 handheld controller (also with custom graphics) is used for the Main Deck and features full-colour TFT LCD display, powerful 32-bit MCU and 32MB of memory.”

Seven RTI T1 Universal System Controllers are used in the captain’s stateroom, two guest staterooms, two VIP staterooms, dinette and galley, providing powerful one-handed command of the relative media systems. Seven Xantech Keypads are used on the main deck (dining and aft zones), upper deck (dining and aft zones, sun deck, pool and the owner’s cabin.

Trentacoste continues, “All the controllers and keypads can command the AV hardware installed locally and remote AV sources in the main rack. For example, in the owner’s stateroom, turning on the Loewe Individual Compose 46in TV, it’s possible to watch and control the sat feed dedicated to that cabin or watch that from the receiver shared with the others, watch and control the local DVD player or the one shared with the others, watch and control the digital terrestrial TV, listen to and control satellite radio, listen to and control the radio installed in the cabin or the radio shared by the other passengers and listen to and control the local CD player or the MultiCD player shared by the entire boat. It is obviously also possible to listen to and view the audio and video via the cabin’s dedicated iPod.

Audio in the owner’s cabin and main salons is courtesy of Tannoy CSV6 speakers and TS8 subwoofers, powered by Yamaha RX-V 1800 amplifiers, whereas the CSV6 speakers in the guest cabins, captain’s cabin and crew’s mess are powered by NAD Viso TWO amps. External stern zones on the main and upper decks have Tannoy CSV5 speakers, are ‘slaves’ of the relative salons and controlled via RS-232 with weatherproof Xantech WPK (Waterproof Programmable Keypads). The fly bridge and bow pool areas are independent, with APart PM 1122 preamps, PXQ 2215 EQ and InOut DA 480 R amps, with access to centralised audio sources and local iPod players, and control via Xantech WPK.

Satellite reception is ensured by a pair of Sea Tel antennas: a 4004 for ‘HDTV at sea’, a 4006 for broadband communications and a dozen Humax decoders. A Lutron lighting control set-up and a five-camera Panasonic CCTV system completes the Streamline’s impressive array of equipment.

Milano enthuses: “In spite of the capillary nature of the AV installation, thanks to the boatyard’s organisation, the great spirit of collaboration of all the people involved in the project and the careful detailed planning in advance of the entire project meant that no difficulties occurred before or during installation work.”

Picture: Archivo Mondomarine