Electrical engineering and the superyacht industry

With thanks to Atlas Marine Systems


The world of electrical engineering on board yachts and superyachts can involve a host of electrical problems, technical faults and replacement works. With this in mind, Atlas Marine Systems provided some advice on common requests they receive, information on what a shore-based electrical engineering company can offer to on-board engineers, as well as explaining the benefits of their ShorPOWER® systems.

The hull of a superyacht on the water

Electricians and engineers on board

Most yachts will include a team of on-board engineers who are able to deal with many electronic and technical day-to-day requests. Some of the larger superyachts may have an Electrical Technical Officer (ETO) to deal specifically with all electrical requirements on board. This can include anything from rewiring to fixing the guest toilet or a laptop. However with such a vast array of complications possible on board, especially when it comes to load analysis, generators and shore power, support and assistance from a professional company is often needed.

Electrical engineering support companies

Specialist companies exist to be able to help on-board engineers on a complete range of issues which may occur during the yacht’s time at sea. If it involves electric power on a boat, for example circuit checks, diagnostics, re-wiring, replacing battery chargers and inverters, installing bow thrusters, refrigeration, VHF, satellite phones, navigation equipment, televisions, control and monitoring systems, support companies will be able to help, and get you back underway quickly, efficiently – and above all, safely.

Common requests for electrical engineering companies

Atlas Marine Systems, who offer a worldwide electrical engineering support service, provided some of the more common requests they deal with on a day-to-day basis:

  • To refit yachts with higher levels of automation and upgrades to more advance digital electrical systems
  • Load analysis to determine the total power requirements of vessels
  • To refit yachts equipped with converters that are too small for the power requirements of the vessel
  • Clean power networks to condition the power from generators for sensitive electronics
  • Create 50Hz power on a 60Hz vessel or create 60Hz on a 50Hz vessel for guest rooms and salons
  • Requests from some of the largest yachts to supply power to support a helicopter

Avoiding problems with electrical faults

Atlas Marine Systems also explained how the majority of electrical problems and deficiencies they encounter could have been avoided by consulting with an electrical engineering services firm to perform basic functions, such as load analysis to verify and validate the total power requirements of the vessel.

ShorPOWER systems by Atlas Marine

The failure rate of electrical components is three times higher for equipment this is not part of a regular maintenance programme.

Shore power products

A popular choice in recent times

Even in a recession the Atlas Marine’s ShorePOWER® converters prove a popular choice for yachts and superyachts. All electric ShorPOWER® frequency converter products offer a cost effective alternative compared to fossil fuel (diesel) based power generator systems.

When yachts are docked in a marina, shutting down the generators and connecting to the utility power is especially desirable in a recession when all cost cutting measures are pursued by owners and their crew. In addition, it is an environmentally friendly solution that allows yachts to comply to marina “8 to 8” restrictions that require vessels to shut down generators from 8:00pm to 8:00am.

How ShorPOWER products work

Many years ago Atlas Marine Systems created the Classic I ShorPOWER® product line as a new technology to increase the availability of dockside electrical power for owners, captains and engineers of existing yachts.

Installation of an Atlas ShorPOWER® Classic I enabled yachts to operate from any electrical voltage, phase, and/or frequency present at marinas worldwide using the available utility power. This technical advancement in solid state power conversion promoted by the Atlas products has been awarded a number of patents. This is due to its novel and inventive attributes, which allow thousands of yachts worldwide to reduce air and noise pollution by shutting down their on-board diesel generators and operating instead from utility power while docked in marinas.

Atlas became one of the most recognised brands for ShorPOWER® converters on board private yachts worldwide. Atlas Classic I ShorPOWER® had been developed to provide a solution to the number one problem that confronted all yachts as they sail around the world from port to port; that being the fact that the electrical power was different in each foreign country they visited.

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