The future of yacht security may just lie in unmanned surface vessels (USVs), if 5G International and Al Seer Marine have anything to do with it. The two companies are jointly producing a few USVs, one of which has already been acquired by a megayacht.
Hundreds of USVs are in use around the world, primarily by militaries. They are used mostly for harbor patrols and protecting ships. Yacht owners and crew can employ USVs for the same security purposes. Since 5G International’s founder is a pioneer in the field of these robotics, Al Seer Marine sought its assistance in producing a model that would appeal to both military and private interests.
An unnamed megayacht recently took delivery of the first model available, the Hydra. Measuring 13’8” (4.2 meters) and with a beam of 5’2” (1.6 meters), the Hydra is manufactured to fit in most tender garages. It also can be launched and retrieved by typical yacht equipment. For advanced security, it can make quick work of getting to an anchorage to check things out, even miles ahead of the yacht. 5G International and Al Seer Marine say its maximum speed is 52 knots. Skinny water isn’t a problem, given a draft of 10 inches (0.3 meter). Furthermore, the Hydra is powered by a waterjet-equipped Yamaha inboard. A video camera and a suite of communications and surveillance equipment feed data back to the crew on the mothership. It also comes standard with sonar and radar.
The Hydra USV is suited to being kept in a dedicated garage. The radar arch can fold down, to make the vessel low profile: 4’3” (1.3 meters). With the radar arch back up, the Hydra stands 6’6” (2 meters).