Blue Moon Yacht

Taking High Tech To The Open Seas

Richard and Judi Duchossois were pursuing a dream when they commissioned the Blue Moon, an ocean-going yacht able to take the Chicago businessman, his family and guests literally around the world. The 198-foot vessel is the family's third and largest yacht by that name, but Mr. Duchossois went to great lengths to ensure that the Blue Moon was significantly more advanced and sophisticated in both technology and design.

We use the AMX system to distribute and control all the audio visual functions on board – from a centralized rack area in the bridge, to every cabin or room on the boat.

Taking Luxury To Sea

Blue Moon entertainment areas include two large salons, a dining room, bar, six guest rooms, a commercial-quality kitchen and extensive deck areas. With 23 plasma / LCD displays and an extensive lighting and shading system on board, the need to keep operations simple for family and guests was essential. To streamline management of all this technology, the family decided on an AMX control system consisting of Modero Touch Panels, NetLinx Integrated Controllers, Mio Modero Keypads, and MAX Digital Media Servers.

"We use the AMX system to distribute and control all the audio visual functions on board – from a centralized rack area in the bridge, to every cabin or room on the boat," said Emile Bootsma, Captain of the Blue Moon. "We also use the AMX system to control our Lutron lighting system, and in the owners' suite, we use it to control the Silhouette blinds."

Perhaps most effortless for the Duchossois family and guests is how they can easily organize, select and play all of the digital media they have on board. There is no need to shuffle through mountains of DVDs and CDs, thanks to the MAX Digital Media Server system from AMX.

Bootsma says, "The AMX MAX system enables the guests to select and watch movies or listen to a music CD or playlist from the comfort of their suites with the simple push of a button. If you take into account that we have almost a 1000 DVD titles and as many music CDs onboard, the pure logistics of organizing and storing these discs and having them ready on demand really saves us a lot of time and improves the service we can provide to the guests!"

Creating a relaxing, yet luxurious setting for guests is another task that has been greatly enhanced due to the AMX system, according to Bootsma. "The centralized control of background mood music and lighting scenes simplifies our tasks immensely and allows us to be consistent in the settings of these scenes or moods."

"Having the various audio visual inputs to the guest areas controlled from a centralized area makes things easier when we lose a satellite signal or have a malfunction of equipment, I am able to swap the sources with the push of a couple of buttons, without disturbing the guests in their cabins."

Special Design Services

One of the most challenging aspects of integrating extensive A/V equipment aboard a yacht is space. For example, to receive broadcast television as it travels internationally, the Blue Moon has to have three different satellite TV systems on board. With no room in the equipment racks for all these receivers, UK integrator Wall of Sound designed a series of pull-out rack components. Because of the advanced capabilities of the AMX control system, within 30 minutes a crewman can slide one set of receivers out, slide the other one in, then touch a button where they are. The AMX control system automatically reconfigures everything.

Partly to conserve space and partly to emphasize the clean lines and beautiful artwork on board, AV components are hidden when not in use. Using the AMX Touch Panels, family members or guests can make the plasma or LCD displays fold into the ceiling, and in bedrooms and other private spaces, the displays can be hidden behind artwork or motorized panels.

"The Duchossois family has all been very impressed with the beauty and simplicity of the user interfaces as well as the level of integration we have managed to achieve," says Bootsma.

The Blue Moon is an impressive piece of art and engineering – good enough to win a Monaco Showboat International "Best Yacht" award last year, and good enough to handle a Duchossois granddaughter's recent wedding reception. For this family-centered businessman, that was perhaps the more impressive achievement.

Blue Moon Yacht
PDF | 416 KB | 2006-09-14

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