May 01, 2008
by Steven Castle
There are 16 zones of audio, eight LCD TVs, eight high-definition satellite sources, a Kaleidescape hard drive–based music and movie server and a 55-inch plasma that rises out of a cabinet. That’s enough cutting-edge entertainment for a large house—except this setup is on a boat.
Though we really should say yacht. The owner already had a home system from electronics installer Atlantic Stereo, and he wanted the same quality on his 92 footer from Paragon Yachts. As with any space-consuming system on a seafaring vessel, that was more easily said than done. “What made it complex was that the system had to be installed in a tight space,” says systems designer Xeven Zorra of ArchiTechKnowlogy Design Group, whom Atlantic Stereo called in to plan the system.
Custom bundles of cables containing five Category 5 high-speed data cables, an RG6 video cable, and a Cresnet cable for the Crestron “home” control system were made so the boatbuilders could add them easily during the yacht’s construction in Taiwan. The final trim-out and programming of the systems were completed in California.
Atlantic Stereo had to build custom racks set in an array above the pilot house for the 800 pounds of electronics. The components within the racks serve up music and video to four staterooms, a crew quarters, the galley and the forward and aft decks, and there’s a rockin’ surround-sound system in the salon.
In the plush and well-appointed salon, a 55-inch Fujitsu plasma HDTV rises from the woodwork on an Auton motorized lift, as in-ceiling Dynaudio and Sonance speakers crank out the sounds powered by a Krell 7.1 surround-sound processor.
Each of the guest staterooms and the crew quarters has a 20-inch widescreen Sharp LCD, with two Sonance Symphony Extreme in-ceiling weatherproof speakers. In the closet of each cabin and on a stainless-steel bracket is an Xbox 360 game console that can be used as a DVD player. The steel bracket also supports a Crestron Cat-5 room solution box hidden behind the closet wall; it receives the audio/video signals over Cat 5 wire from the central racks. The master stateroom features a surround-sound system with a 42-inch Fujitsu plasma.
The yacht owners can call up movies and music over the Kaleidescape system. One Kaleidescape player in the upper pilot house area is used for playing DVDs purchased abroad (DVDs are encoded by region).
A 17-inch widescreen Crestron touchpanel in the galley functions as a HDTV and can show a blueprint of the boat and highlight which speakers are currently on, for instance.
The back main deck is served by four speakers and two subwoofers built into the headliner. Two pairs of speakers pipe music to the forward deck, and four more speakers are on the flybridge for those enjoying the Jacuzzi and the views. Waterproof Crestron remotes command the entertainment on deck, and an iPod dock in the salon allows music to be inserted into the system.
That’s a whole lot of whole-house—or we should say whole-yacht—entertainment.
Steven Castle is Electronic House's managing editor. he has been writing about consumer electronics, homes and energy efficiency topics for two decades. He is also the co-founder of GreenTech Advocates