Smart Yachting

The Smart-Yachting use case will enable a touristic port to offer advanced and attractive services to yachts. The port will be seen as a unique platform, an infrastructure, exposing data and services that symbIoTe compliant vessels can automatically interact with.

Motor yachts all over the European part of the Mediterranean are about 5000 units in the class over 24mt length, and approximately 3 million around below 24m length. According to the “Study on the competitiveness of the recreational boating sector“, published in 2015 by the European Consortium for Sustainable Industrial Policy (ECSIP), Marinas in Europe realise a yearly turnover of almost €4 billion and employ approximately between 40,000 to 70,000 people. Even after the economic crisis of 2008, Marinas continued to invest since it is paramount for them to keep their standards high, in order to continue to attract customers. The report also noted that in this regard little has been done so far to fully exploit the advantages of Information & Communication Technologies in touristic ports, leaving therefore a significant space that can be filled with innovative proposals.

The port is an organization/authority and public space for which it is crucial to implement smart systems that can automate business workflows, to simplify and reduce the costs of their manual execution. The Smart Yachting use case focuses on facilitating, through automation and by exploiting data from sensors, the processes between the personnel on-board of a boat and the various actors of the Port; these processes are based on the communication and data exchange between yachts, port authorities, port operatives plus the supply companies in the yachting cluster. The vision behind the use case is to see the whole port as a unique “platform”, an infrastructure that exposes data and common services to visiting yachts (but in perspective also to tourists coming from inland): thanks to symbIoTe it will be possible to automate a significant set of processes by exploiting the interoperability between the IoT platforms of the ports and those of the yachts.

The Smart Yachting use case includes two showcases, the Smart Mooring and the Automated Supply Chain.

The former aims to automate the mooring procedure of the port, simplifying a quite bureaucratic process (it is important to point out in fact that Marinas operate in strongly regulated contexts). Also in its workflow, a significant number of machine data can be acquired and exchanged: some of them are actually needed by the authorization procedure (e.g. the latest route of the Yacht); others (e.g. fuel consumption, pollutants emissions, …) are extremely valuable for the Port Authority, in order to produce more accurate analytics about the situation of the port.

The Automated Supply Chain on the other hand is based on the idea of identifying, through IoT sensors, the needs for goods and services on board, so that automated requests for offers can be issued on the marketplace platform in the Port, provided by the Navigo Digitale platform, that can manage any kind of resupply, from maintenance services to consumables.

For a Yachtsman in fact the resupply, possibly in an unknown territory, can be quite problematic. The service proposed can provide a much needed help, since:

  • a significant list of “needs” on-board (products, services) can be automatically detected by sensors. This spans from the general need of technical maintenance (for an unexpected fault or for a warning condition detected on a system on-board) to the lack of certain goods, identified by high-end, sensor-based, appliances (e.g. a smart refridgerator).
  • the corresponding requests for proposals can be transmitted to the providers nearby the port, even without directly knowing them
  • offers can be received, evaluated and accepted/rejected by the yachtsman, without even leaving the boat! In general, the smart yachting use case is useful for all kinds of boats with internet installed in different ways (e.g., communication, navigation, data exchange).The envisioned goal is to attract first and foremost a great technological value and great excellence demand in services (especially for mega and superyachting over 24 meters length), using it as a leading role for the expansion of other nautical sectors.

symbIoTe, in both cases, allows the full interoperability of the IoT platforms, of the Yacht and of the Port. In particular the software applications of the Port (“Portnet” for the Mooring Workflow Management and the Marketplace “Centrale Acquisti”) will integrate with symbIoTe through the Smart Space Middleware (Level 3), while the Yacht will be seen as a whole as a Roaming Smart Device (Level 4).


The showcases will involve the following platforms:

  • Navigo Digitale (Port): Navigo Digital is a platform created to manage digital assets and services pertaining to harbours used for boating and yachting. Its scope embraces both physical (objects) and immaterial entities (documents and workflows).
  • Symphony (Yacht): the Yacht IoT platform is based on Nextworks’ Symphony line of products. It is capable of supervising a large amount of aspects of the life on board, from mechanics to navigation and comfort (brightness, temperature, supplies in smart appliances).
  • Navigo Digitale Yacht: an alternative, low-cost, yacht’s IoT platform (not existing yet: its development – which should target small boats – is currently under evaluation).


These are the sensors that are envisioned for both showcases:

  • Boat Identification sensor: we are currently investigating the possibility of using a LoRa sensor to transmit the boat unique identifier (e.g. the MMSI – Maritime Mobile Service Identity – code or the IMO – International Maritime Organization – number) to the Ship Detection System installed in the port (see below). This transmitter will be controlled by the Symphony platform on board.
  • Ship Detection System: the ship detection system might be based on a LoRa Antenna, capturing the ID of the yacht sent from the Boat Identification Sensor. It will interact with the Port IoT Platform (Navigo Digitale).
  • Wheelhouse & Navigation systems sensors: GPS and other navigation sensors will be used to track the latest routes of the ship, an information that must be provided in the Smart Mooring workflow. They will be controlled by the Symphony platform on board.
  • Positioning Sensors: positioning sensors for the wharves will detect when the berthing of the yacht has finally taken place. The details of the actual strategies to use (e.g. installing in the berths high-sensitivity infrared proximity/ultrasonic sensors or exploiting the positioning data of the yacht transmitted through LoRaWAN) is still to be defined. In any case their information will be managed by the Port IoT Platform (Navigo Digitale).
  • Engine Control Room’s sensors: sensors in the Engine Control Room (Engine RPM, Fuel level, Bilge pumps status, …) will be used to identify defective conditions and maintenance needs. These sensors will be controlled by the Symphony platform on board.
  • Sensors from Smart Appliances: they can identify the need for resupplying goods on-board (e.g. a smart fridge detecting when wine stocks are getting low). They will be supervised by the Symphony platform on board.
Involved partners Navigo
Countries involved in the trials Italy
Platforms involved (not finalized) Symphony
Navigo Digitale
Number of test users planned 15-20


This scenario is still in the implementation phase and the symbIoTe partners Navigo and Nextworks are working to finalise it before the actual integration with symbIote components takes place.

The trial will be implemented in the Port of Viareggio, in the Tuscan coast of Italy, where Navigo’s headquarters are located and where Navigo has already established a partnership with the local Port Authority.
Nextworks on the other hand currently works with some important Italian Yacht manufacturers, so it will be possible to test the use case in a real-life context.