New innovations are understandably rare in the marine technology sector, so it came as no surprise when Kymeta flat panel antennas started making headlines a couple of years ago with the success of the sea trials.
Since then, and despite critics in some quarters of the industry, they have maintained a high profile through their initial launch and continued to inspire the development of products and services designed to complement their use.
Palma and Florida-based e3 Systems have been central to bringing the Kymeta panel to market, organising sea trials, developing airtime services and building up a global network of distribution partners and installers. With more than 20 vessels now adopting the technology, with many more installations in the pipeline, while the cost of airtime is dropping drastically, Kymeta flat panels are well on their way to becoming a real alternative to traditional antennas.
What better time to speak with the early adopters to see how the installations are performing in real-world situations?
Captain Vareek Breaden of MY Three Forks
We spoke to Captain Vareek Breaden of the motor yacht Three Forks, a 49m Christensen which had a Kymeta panel fitted at Rybovich shipyard in Palm Beach, Florida, and runs KALO airtime.
What are your initial impressions of the Kymeta panel?
I am delighted with the quality of the product; the bandwidth and costs are very similar to what I would have paid had I purchased a traditional VSAT service. To date we have travelled to Antigua and the Bahamas using one panel and, rather than activate our domes, we topped up with 4G as we remained Stateside.
Of course, every new product has its issues, but the customer service has been there to resolve any of our issues. Both e3 Systems and Kymeta have been awesome. I also liked the monitor that shows the online usage – that was very helpful.
As a captain, my job is to protect my owner’s investment and what’s important to the owner is to make sure I obtain the very best and at a cost that is considered value for money. I also look for transparency. If I make a mistake, the buck stops at me. With that in mind, having done my due diligence, I’m happy we moved to flat panel technology; for our boat I felt I made the right decision.
What did your guests think of the Internet service?
I like to educate people, before they come onto the yacht, that the internet is never the same at sea as it is on land. I like to under promise so I can over deliver and the fact that the owner and guests on board never commented on the quality of the Internet implies they were happy. Like most things, you only hear if there’s a problem.
What advice would you give to yachts boats considering taking on Kymeta flat panels?
Once the installation is complete, reality sets in on any new product and, by its inherent nature, there’s always something that may go wrong, so be patient. However, once those little issues go away and you are up and running, enjoy the simplicity of the system.
Hands down, this is the easiest system I have every used! There is no programming, it’s very user friendly, and it’s truly ‘plug and play’. You don’t need to be a technical specialist to manage Kymeta, unlike other systems where you have to check the azimuth range, or the DAC (Antenna Control Unit).
eSAT from e3 - making Kymeta flat panels an unbeatable solution!
For more information on Kymeta flat panel technology:
Europe: +34 971 404 208
US: +1 954 368 9980