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Using Autopilot Technology to Your Advantage

Autopilot Technology

Whether it’s with a commercial mariner or a recreational boater, the autopilot technology in use on the water has become an invaluable resource. The system’s ability to maintain a steady course in favorable sea conditions has alleviated significant concern with operator fatigue. As a result, the potential for boating accidents is diminished. The use of autopilot and other marine technologies provides mariners with several advantages, though increased safety is the most beneficial.

What Kind of Safety Concerns Can Technology Address?

In addition to autopilot technology, autonomous systems add another layer of safety to mariners. Autonomous systems are more advanced in areas of collision detection and avoidance than a standard autopilot system. Many higher-end systems rely on GPS, computer or camera visions, and radar and vessel tracking data to watch for potential obstacles and reroute the course to avoid the hazards. Boating accidents are a major concern, with the long-term impact affecting more than just personal health. There are several financial liabilities that accompany an incident on the water, whether it be a bodily injury to you or another party, damage to your vessel or another, or property damage that occurred during the incident. Using technology can reduce the risk of accidents. 

What About Acquiring OC Boat Insurance?

The liabilities mentioned are stressful to deal with, particularly when you consider the financial cost of addressing each area. You could be looking at paying thousands of dollars in repair costs for your own vessel, compounded by potential litigation brought by any other individual who suffered some form of loss because of the incident. Rather than worrying and asking “how much is full coverage on a boat?”, try asking, “how much will a lawsuit cost?”. Insurance is an expense well worth the investment.

What Kind of Benefits Does Technology Bring?

Autopilot or an autonomous system can be used onboard many different vessel sizes and types. For example, racing crafts to entertainment yachts require technology to improve sailing conditions. Here are some various benefits of these systems:

  • Assistance with maintaining rudder headings during challenging seas or high speeds
  • Freedom to step away to change a sail or assist with short-handed sailing needs
  • Improved steering efficiency through intelligent sea readings
  • Increased comfort through consistency in speed
  • Automatic adjustments in speed or movement between waypoints
  • Obstacle detection and capabilities for collision avoidance
  • Integration with onboard systems

The ability of a system to provide all of these benefits depends on the type of system purchased. It also depends on how much a mariner is willing to trust technology to improve sailing. The majority of systems are still highly responsive to human control, though autonomous systems can guide an unmanned vessel. These systems are useful when a particular mission or required work could jeopardize crew safety.

Equipping your vessel with autopilot or other technology is a move toward a better sailing experience. You can enjoy increased safety and comfort as you spend time on the water.

About Mariners Insurance 

Mariners General Insurance Group was founded in 1959 to protect boat owners and marine business clients. We are marine insurance experts and insure boats worldwide – in every ocean on the planet. Marine insurance is critical if you own a boat or nautical business. Trust the professionals with all of your Boat Insurance needs – trust Mariners Insurance. Call us at (888) 402-5018 any time you have questions or concerns about insurance for your vessel or marine business.