With summer coming up a lot of people think about getting their boats out of storage and into the water. Very soon the lakes and coastlines will be teeming with motorist making wakes. What you don’t often expect is those boats to be outfitted with advanced audio, video and home automation systems. Of course, this is no ordinary boat.
The steel boat was built in Lincolnshire, and when the owners experienced difficulty finding someone who could meet their A/V needs, they called on AV Candy to install a system that would fit into the limited space afforded by the vessel and deliver a high standard of visual and audio entertainment.
AV Candy in Kenilworth, U.K., has developed a new business division thanks to one of its most unlikely projects: outfitting a 69-foot canal boat with a state-of-the-art broadband, satellite TV and audio system.
The boat’s owners requested a home cinema system in the main saloon, with five zones of audio and an additional video zone in the bedroom.
The larger components, such as the TVs, antenna mounts, in-motion satellite tracking system and the woodwork around the rack holding the control center, were all fitted while the boat was in dry dock, while the rack equipment, including the Sky+HD, Denon Blu-ray player, Naim music server and Apple-based organ simulator were all installed while the boat was moored along the Grand Union Canal.
AV Candy supplied a full specification and wiring schematic so the work could be carried out and several designs were required to ensure the equipment rack could slot into the space available, which proved to be the biggest challenge.
Following the completion of the project, AV Candy, which normally provides cinema and audio systems for private homes, has since begun developing more robust systems that will allow people to live aboard boats and in mobile residences and still enjoy the latest technology.
“We’re used to dealing with complex projects and delivering bespoke, high-quality A/V systems, but we would usually work in domestic settings, installing home cinema and surround-sound packages,” says AV Candy director Simon Redfeam. “Fitting a 69ft canal boat ... was a huge task; not least because the space was so limited.”
“We really had to find our ‘sea legs’ for this job,” Simon continues. “The space available to us to work meant that only one person could work one the vessel at any one time. We also had to park our vehicles several hundred meters away from the mooring which meant there was also lots of lifting and carrying involved in the job and our levels of fitness increased dramatically.
“However, although the job was a challenge, it was a hugely enjoyable experience and we learned an awful lot. Not least that people who live in, or on, mobile vehicles have very specific requirements, not only in terms of reduced space, but also because the very act of moving can adversely affect Internet connection,” Simon continues. “As a result of this project, we embarked on an intensive program of research and development to create ways to connect to the Internet that aren’t compromised by the movement of vehicles and the process of traveling. Since this first job, we’ve worked on a number of other canal boat projects, and along with motor homes and caravans, it’s now a sector we’re targeting more seriously.”
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