DP-systems for yachts

Today I was pointed to this article about DP-systems for yachts on the allmighty Interwebs, As costs for DP-systems are falling and more & more vessels of various types & sizes are equipped with DP-systems it was just a matter of time before it was introduced to the smaller size yachts. Interested in everything DP as I am I watched the above Youtube-video and my heart just stopped beating at a certain moment.

As we in the professional seafaring community already know: a good part of the people on yachts, either sailing or motoring are amateurs and are looking at piloting a vessel in the same way as driving a car: just get on & do it. Some have the knack for it, some actually educate themselves before going onto the water but, let’s be honest, most haven’t. And these are the people to look out for.
Just an example: The vessel I work on just just finished a survey project involving a WROV in the Baltic, showing the appropriate signals & AIS settings, Navtex warnings & all. But if you gave me a Euro for every yacht that crossed our path at a very close distance (20-50m) I could stop working now. And that was with us using all available means of trying to contact them, short of firing warning shots in front of their bows.

And now a good part of these water sport enthusiast, the socalled MAFI’s (Motor Assisted F**king Idiots) are able to get their hands on DP-systems. Oh god…..
I’m sure that for a part of them it will increase the chances of mooring the vessel safely in the marina but I’m already worried for what will happen if it goes wrong.

As you can see in the above video the lady piloting the vessel leisurely walks away to assist the gentlemen in hanging the fenders before bringing the vessel alongside. The yacht is laying there in a quite confined space with not much ways out.
My heart sank at that precise moment.
In the professional world if a vessel is on DP in a relatively similar situation, close to an offshore platform and the DPO just walks away from the desk it is, in my book, grounds for the immediately ordering of a ticket for the Never-Come-Back-line. Goodbye & good luck in your future career.

So what’s going to happen now: people having this system on their yachts will start doing the same, in the marina, to show off to their friends & colleague W/M-AFI’s, put their vessel “on DP” and will start doing other things. Look Bill: without hands!
And then the DGPS will hick-up. Que a fast accelerating yacht towards anything unmovable and a hurrying skipper to stop his pride & joy about to make very serious & expensive crunching noises.

And then you’ll have the idiot who, due to the lack of room in their marina of choice, will stay outside, leave the yacht “on DP” for the night and, not hampered by a bit of knowledge, lays himself & the rest of the family to rest. Waking up at a certain moment in the middle of the night wondering what those banging & creaking noises are while his yacht is busy parking itself on the jetty of the above mentioned marina.

Await the video’s about these bloopers on Youtube very soon!

In the mean time I’m going to see if I can buy a canon for those warning shots.