Exploring new areas is one of the pleasures of owning a superyacht but keeping it safe when navigating unknown waters can be a major concern. With the number of superyacht owners on the rise, the need for highresolution sonar is pressing. 

New Zealand company ENL introduced WASSP in 2004: the acronym stands for Wide Angle Sonar Seafloor Profiler – a multibeam sounder that profiles at up to one hundred times the speed of a conventional single-beam echo sounder, which only measures one point at a time. 

With various models covering the military, survey market, and fishing industry, it’s the W3 model which has proven most popular for mega yachts. 

The system can be installed in the tender or support vessel of the yacht, which uses a wireless link to send realtime seafloor data back to the bridge. Installing WASSP into the tender means the mothership does not need to go into drydock, with minimal interruption of day to day operations. The sounding transducers are compact, and a custom mounting pod or block may be needed to integrate into a vessel’s hull. 

Multibeam sounding gives a 120degree wide-angle view of the seafloor and water column, displayed in realtime, so you can make on-the-spot decisions. Depending on the model, WASSP Multibeam measures up to 224 points per ping, allowing captains to locate the precise size and location of shoals, debris, and structures. Captains using WASSP can be sure of a more confident approach into unknown areas.  

The 3D visualisation software has a recording feature, so you can record your runs, overlay them onto charts, and build up a map of the seafloor and water column. In highresolution 3D, and rotatable from different angles, it takes the risk out of the equation for the captain. 

WASSP Multibeam Sounders are already installed on superyachts from leading manufacturers including AmelsLürssenFeadship, and Damen, which includes vessels from 29m to 190m in length. One reason for the success of WASSP is superior performance – the resulting 3D bathymetric map is both detailed and easy to understand. Captains are able to trust the system when under pressure and making quick decisions. When weighing up the price, a system such as WASSP can be much kinder on the pocket than a repair bill from a grounding so it could pay for itself very quickly.  


WASSP multibeam provides captains with the confidence to try different locations, allowing them to build their own bathymetric maps and use them to navigate, knowing they can trust them,” says WASSP Global Sales and Marketing Manager Rufus Whiteford. 

“Yacht owners are wanting to explore more with their vessels, and get off the beaten track so to speak. Detailed bathymetric data allows for yachts to safely enter bays, lagoons, fjords or any area where depth information is not available or unreliable.” 

“We are experiencing increased enquiry levels from Captains and owners looking for the latest in sonar technology and with that are now seeing the systems installed on a large number of vessels globally – totalling 1500m of yacht length.” 

See the whole article and many more in the Superyacht Technology Winter Blueprint.