Capt. Doug Meier saw the look on the grandparents’ faces, and he knew he’d made the right purchase for the yacht’s toy box. The 116-foot Hargrave Renaissance — now launched and open for charter this summer — was still under construction at the time, so Meier was aboard the owner’s previous yacht in the Bahamas, testing his new tech. He watched as the grandparents stood on the aft deck, grinning at the LCD images a remote-operated vehicle was transmitting from beneath the boat.
“The grandparents on the aft deck can see what the grandkids see when they’re snorkeling,” Meier says. “And the high-powered lights at night are amazing. We had adults playing with it for hours. Just hour after hour.”
The toy is called a Deep Trekker DTG2 Smart ROV, and Renaissance is believed to be the only charter yacht that has one. The model’s display communicates not just images, but also heading, depth, water temperature, battery levels and more.
Deep Trekker ROV
The DTG2 line of ROVs includes four versions. The Starter model is ideal for shallow-water exploring; the DTG2 Pro version adds nearly 250 feet of tether for deeper-water exploration; and the DTG2 Worker has a two-function grabber arm for taking things back to the yacht. The Smart model aboard Renaissance falls just behind the Worker model in the lineup. It has sensors that give heading data and more, making it easier for beginners to maneuver from the LCD controller on board.
Deep Trekker says operating the ROV is like flying an underwater drone by remote control to depths of nearly 500 feet.
“Drones are neat, and we’ll have one of them too, but they only show you the boat from a new angle,” Meier says. “The ROV can explore coral reefs. It can explore shipwrecks. It can chase schools of fish. This is the same technology that they used to find the Titanic.” And, now, to create amazing forms of family time during a yacht charter.
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