Case Study: Cruisers Yachts

Cruisers Yachts is one of the world's premier providers of midsize to luxury pleasure yachts. The company is based in Oconto, WI, and produces 13 models of yachts ranging from 30 to 56 feet. Cruisers has a global reach  with 31 national and 27 international dealers.

PROBLEM
•    Cruisers Yachts uses two different brands of diesel and gas engines, plus several other customization options.
•    Each brand of engine can require its own type of wiring and monitoring system.
•    As a result, they need a multitude of different panels to ensure compatibility.
•    This slowed down the assembly line as they built panels to specifically match the given combination of engine brand and options.

“We had a huge amount of variance with each yacht we built. In order to reduce that, we elected to run our panels on the NMEA 2000 CANBUS. Then we needed a display that could tie it all together and be compatible with our engine options. That’s why we’ve made the HelmView the standard display on all our diesel engine models.

IMPLEMENTATION
•    FW Murphy developed the HelmView display, a full-featured engine monitor and display for the marine market.
•    The HelmView display fully integrates engine statistics, transmission, NMEA2000 devices and GPS. It is also plug-and-go compatible with all major gas and diesel engine manufacturers.
•    Murphy launched a partnership with Cruisers Yachts to make them a beta tester and development partner.
•    Cruisers Yachts redesigned their dash panel around the new display.
•    When the finished product was ready, Cruisers Yachts decided to use the HelmView display as standard equipment on all diesel-powered boats they built. It is also available on gas-powered boats as a special-order option.
•    Murphy hosted a series of seminars with Cruisers’ dealer network to train them on the HelmView display and how it can be a competitive feature.

“We combined Murphy’s experience with engine monitoring with our direct experience with boaters. We worked together on product design and testing. We didn’t have just a technology advancement. We had a major user-friendly advancement.

RESULTS
•    Cruisers Yachts now has one instrumentation package, regardless of what engine is used
•    They have been able to streamline production on the panel subassembly.
•    Dashes are now sub-assembled at the same time as the boats, with full confidence that it will be compatible with the vessel’s engines and options.

“The HelmView display reduced our instrumentation packages dramatically. I’ve been able to reduce the number of helm designs by 50%. And we’ve had a 40% reduction in the number of items to stock.

“It also simplified our production assembly and training. We assemble one helm configuration instead of several.  We’ve seen a reduction in manhours, less training time and higher reliability at the final install.

“The HelmView cleaned up our dashes. It eliminated several different gages with one screen. It also gave us a GPS navigation package that our competition doesn’t offer. With the HelmView, we set ourselves apart from the competition. We have the cutting-edge stuff, and our customers get to feel like they’re buying a boat with the most up-to-date technology.”