Cyber Crew

Jan 25, 2022 by Jim Bronstien

How will yachts function 50 years from now, and who — or what — will be working on them?

It is 2072 and there are yachts all over the world, running on alternative fuels with alternative styling we cannot even fathom, using alternative technologies we don’t even grasp. Artificial Intelligence has taken over the way yachts are designed, built and used.  

Owners fly personal drones to their yachts at marinas in the middle of the oceans. They get on board and are greeted by……robots! They have the owner’s requests programmed in their system, and they serve drinks and food and music to perfection. 

The yacht is washed and detailed with exact precision. The interior spaces are spotless, and laundry is pressed, folded and organized with exactness. The “Power Source Laboratory” (no more engine room!) is mathematically programmed to take the yacht to the next destination.

Destination options are described in great detail to the owner by any one of the “crew,” with all the specific data anyone could want: where to anchor, where to dock, water temperature for swimming, depths for diving, exact weather forecasts, etc. 

Dinner is prepared by the executive, Michelin-level robot chef, and it’s served to the guests by a group of perfectly coiffed mechanical figurines programmed to act exactly in the style of that owner and/or guests. They speak with American or European or Australian accents. Blonde one day, brunette the next. Males and females in whatever mix is requested each day.

Trash is dumped into “Fuel Tanks” and used to power the yacht. Docking is done with lines that automatically deploy and attach to “cleats” on the docks and adjust as needed. Water toys are readied by talking to the 2072 version of Alexa, and launched by pushing a button. They are retrieved the same way. And the list goes on.

Crew quarters? Not needed. But there is ample room in the “Charging Station” and “Software Update Lounge.” 

Captain? Maybe the one human crew member, but he/she is a computer programmer.  

Fantasy or reality? Maybe a little of each. Either way, yachting will change. 

What won’t change is the pleasure derived from using a yacht. That’s the point. It’s about people having fun. We need people on yachts. We want people on yachts. Yachting is an experience to be experienced by people, for people. 

But just in case, we all better brush up on alternative options.