Crestron provides a home away from home on sea

Crestron provides a home away from home on sea

This impressive super-yacht project perfectly illustrates how Crestron control is suited for the marine environment. Integrator, AV Synergy, recently won a Crestron Residential Integration Award for the project. The automation specialist won the Best Marine Project category for their work on a 50m Palmer Johnson yacht that delivers the ultimate in comfort and convenience.

Originally built in Southampton as a new project for Palmer Johnson Yachts, this stunning vessel combines strong lines with sleek sophistication; the interior is extremely spacious, making the charter experience onboard both luxurious and comfortable. It accommodates up to 12 guests, and features two Jacuzzis, an outdoor swimming pool, an open air cinema with projector as well as a piano in the main saloon – and, of course, all elements are totally controlled by the Crestron system.

As is extremely common in the marine market, yachts are constantly upgraded and this case was no different. The brief was for a revised, higher specification AV system. AV Synergy’s solution was to specify a fully integrated Crestron system, designed to offer charter clients a fabulous experience, without having to spend hours learning how to operate the system. Clear, intuitive control was a must. The system incorporates a number of source devices, streamed to 15 separate areas, 6 satellite boxes, five music players, four audio streams from one music player, two FM Tuners, ships passageway PC and CCTV.

Within each of the TV areas there is a docking station for the iPod and Blu-ray player. Video and audio distribution, as well as amplification and control, are all centrally rack mounted. The streamed source devices were set up with a priority system to allocate the next available source. This feature was to help reduce the required menus displayed on the Crestron control interface, making it an easier system for clients’ to use.

The system was originally specified before Crestron had introduced its DigitalMedia system. However, as programming for the system was in progress, DigitalMedia became available. This resulted in AV Synergy as the boat was already pre-wired with CresFibre to ensure the upgrading was possible. The two CNX-PVID 8x4 systems distribute video to each room where it is then converted back using the CMXRMCLV. This also serves Infrared and RS232 serial control for the local source devices and TV’s. The saloon and master cabin are equipped with 5:1 Cinema surround sound and HD video using fibre HDMI convertors. The stereo audio rooms are fed using a CNXBIPAD8 and Crestron CNXAMP16X60.

“For this Palmer Johnson vessel, we designed an extensive AV package and selected a Crestron system to provide the very high level of control required to realise our vision,” says Darryn Jacobs of AV Synergy. “It was necessary to be able to control display screens and source devices in the main rack, as well as localised plasma lifts, lights, blinds, CCTV, door bells and a fully motorised awning. This in itself was a complicated system to execute but we also had to consider the fact it was all mounted on a boat and, therefore, a moving platform which is subjected to the most extreme weather conditions. Secure mountings and strain relief for cables were an important factor we had to consider to ensure reliability. Additionally, available space within marine installations is always a difficult restriction to overcome. The Crestron system was easy to install and adapted well to this difficult installation.”

As a result we required four racks that needed to be located separately, due to space restrictions. This added further complications to the cabling and distribution of sound and video. So having the Crestron system and networking in place offered us and the client more peace-of-mind, as we were able to trust in the reliability of the Crestron technology.”

Within the build, several changes were added - the first being an exterior cinema. Not only were AV Synergy faced with the obvious elements of the weather to consider, but the housing of the equipment was also restricted for a permanent feature. AV Synergy designed the system to be simple to erect to ensure the crew had minimal efforts to set up for the customer.

The other factor was the ambient light considerations. This was always going to be a night viewing only option. Ambient light from surrounding marinas and boats meant a high-brightness projector was required. AV Synergy opted for a Runco VX3000D high-quality system. There was another even more challenging aspect to the build – two fully waterproof LCD screens to pop up from the edge of a Jacuzzi. Not only did the screens need to be suitable for the marine environment, but the lift mechanisms needed to cope with large amounts of water.

Other required control features were integration of the ships lighting and blinds, as well as a service call feature so that guest areas could page the crew mess. A doorbell was integrated into the system to provide a chime over the AV speakers in the crew mess and wheelhouse. This is an impressive feature that illustrates the size of the yacht and need for integration.

AV Synergy impressed the judges of the Integration Awards with this fantastic Crestron install. The project truly highlights what can be achieved when a top-class system is specified and installed professionally.