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To spy or not to spy: techno utilities aboard a €65 million James-Bond-inspired superyacht

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Dal Kikin
July 16, 2019

Along with the recent press hype over the forthcoming episode of the James Bond film series, Italian Videoworks Group has revealed the technologies they deployed on-board a 69-metre James-Bond-inspired Benetti superyacht Spectre, delivered in 2018, according to Yacht Harbour.

Even bearing her name after a James Bond film, the yacht represents a steel-hulled vessel with aluminium superstructure, pool and "touch ang go" helipad. Spectre features exterior design by Benetti, Mulder Design and Giorgio Cassetta, able to demonstrate a maximum speed of 21.2 knots.

Even bearing her name after a James Bond film, the yacht represents a steel-hulled vessel with aluminium superstructure, pool and "touch ang go" helipad. Spectre features exterior design by Benetti, Mulder Design and Giorgio Cassetta, able to demonstrate a maximum speed of 21.2 knots.

The indoor design concept has been created by the Benetti Interior Style Department, while Videoworks has built a highly technological installation that comprises audio-video, network, telephony, home automation and CCTV systems. Below is more information on the yacht’s amazing techno features.

AUDIO-VIDEO

The AV system is fully centralised, installed in a small dedicated rack room, with 7 full-height racks. Their super-customised frame has been specifically designed to fit into the available space (the cabins have only TVs, speakers and iPads). 

A full-height rack is in the wheelhouse, whereas a small deck rack is dedicated to networking and communications.

Audio-video contents are transmitted via fibre-optics. In addition to the Kaleidescape film and music server, there is a server dedicated to the crew, who can access it via iPads. With the Kaleidescape provider, Videoworks has managed the pre-loading of approximately 1800 DVDs and Blu-ray discs (music and films), complete with covers, metadata, info on actors, trailers and special content. In this way Owners are guaranteed a customised service that is certainly convenient to use.

Every room in Spectre has its own HDMI socket near the TV, to display files from local sources. The skylounge hall in the upper deck has two TVs (with 75” and 49” screens) with independent audio systems, although they share the same group of sources. Everything is managed through a matrix that allows to configure the area with multiple combinations, depending on the purpose (party, show, institutional video + satellite channel, etc.). The Sea Tel 100 TV HD satellite dishes (SAT TV) can receive European and American HD channels. This kind of satellite dish works worldwide, which means there is no need for LNB replacement when changing hemisphere.

HOME AUTOMATION

Internal and external LED lights are managed via Crestron keyboards and DALI protocol, with customised silk-screen printed buttons. Videoworks’s sister company, Itworks, has created a customised software for light management, which allows to restore previously saved settings and to save the new configuration as setting, uploading it when requested. A 'secret' procedure, known only to the crew, allows to return to the original settings and to easily restore the system. 


Owners can use an iPad to call staff from any part of the yacht; the call is received and displayed in the crew mess and in the pantry. The super-silent Lutron blinds can be controlled via Crestron touch-screen and iPad with customised silk-screen printed keyboards. NMEA navigation information (wind speed, direction, cruising speed, sea depth, etc.) can be viewed using the specific Myinfos App developed by Itworks.  

NETWORK AND CYBERSECURITY

Onboard network security (firewall, bandwidth manager, connection manager, etc.) is guaranteed by the Kerio NG500 system, which allows to surf securely while on board and to manage bandwidth as needed, e.g. if the Owner needs to work aboard, the system allows to limit bandwidth access and use. To guarantee the greatest security possible, the system uses Cisco products from the Catalyst and Aironet professional lines.

TELEPHONY

The telephone switchboard is managed through a Cisco Router and the Cisco Unified Communication Manager software. The system includes 17 cordless telephones + 17 landlines, buzzer, fax line and light signals for calls from the Engine Room.

CCTV SYSTEM 

The closed circuit television system manages 10 cameras, two PTZ cameras (one interior and one exterior), a number of external fixed cameras and a 360° fisheye camera, two observation and management stations (one in the wheelhouse and one in the crew mess), through a dedicated Panasonic software and PC touch panel. The Network Disk Recorder allows the captain to make recordings for security, control and surveillance purposes. The CCTV system is integrated in the entertainment section through the Itworks 'Myinfos' app.

The yacht, which is a winner of the 2019 World Superyacht Awards category ‘Displacement yachts between 500 and 1,999 tonnes,’ was built for US entrepreneur John Staluppi (net worth $500 million, Celebrity Net Worth) with a passion for speed and technology in mind and as a part of his James-Bond inspired-fleet. Nevertheless, Staluppi sold Spectre in February 2019 asking €65,000,000.

Meanwhile, the James Bond theme has been driving inspiration for numerous yacht enthusiasts through years. Some yachts have even become ultimate attributives of the story, with Spirit 54 Soufriere appearing in Casino Royale, or Sunseeker Sovereign 17 filmed in Quantum of Solace.

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