Navetta 68 – Glass bridge integration success

Absolute – the Italian luxury yacht maker – sets out to create innovative craft which introduce the latest technologies. Take, for example, the stylish Navetta 68 which boasts a multi-function display (MFD) which allows at-a-glance energy management information – such as power consumption and battery State-of-Charge – to be viewed alongside navigational information right there on the vessel’s Glass Bridge instrumentation. From now, the skipper has all operational information concerning his/her craft right at their fingertips.

The aim of combining these dissimilar information systems is to simplify the presentation of power-related data; and to make it easy to find. All data is now directly accessible on the MFD up on the Bridge; the Flying bridge; and in the Crew’s Cabin – in a clear and simple format.


In the past, the need to display navigational information alongside other critical data such as tank-levels; communication monitoring; environment information; safety data; etc has been hampered by the fact that the information from these services all use different data-communication languages. Most importantly, systems information about the ship’s power generation, storage and supply has been completely isolated from all other services. Systems Manufacturers working within their own disciplines haven’t previously worked with each other to harmonise their products. The not-very-pretty result has been a dashboard cluttered with different shaped, sized and coloured displays, all vying to grab the attention of the eye. Not any more:

How is integration achieved?

Integration with an MFD is as simple as connecting an ethernet cable. Although any Victron device with a VE.Can port can be connected to an NMEA 2000 network, most installations include one of our GX Products – Venus GX; CCGX; Cerbo GX etc. and the connection should be made to that device. The GX product acts as a hub, collecting information from all other power devices connected to it – such as Inverters, Battery Monitors and Chargers – and makes that information available to the MFD. Here’s a cool screen shot of the basic information at-a-glance.


The  power supply and storage system aboard the Navetta 68 was designed by UFLEX SRL – an Italian company specialising in maritime power management and supply systems and part of the ULTRAFLEX GROUP, which is a worldwide manufacturer of steering and engine control systems.

The  power supply and storage system they designed for the Navetta 68 comprises:

  • 2 x Skylla-i 24/100 
  • 2 x Phoenix Inverter 3000
  • Shunt + Battery monitor BMV-702
  • Venus GX
  • GX GSM
  • Blue Smart IP22 Charger 12/30 (3) (genset battery)
  • Phoenix Inverter 24/3000 (2+1) (engines batteries)
  • 2 x DC/DC converters Orion 24V/12V – 40A

Navetta 68 – Italian styling and pedigree

As its name implies the vessel is 68 feet in length and has berths for 16 people. Four cabins are available for the owner and his/her guests with a further cabin for two crew. The light and airy accommodation is extended right through to the engine room – where the Navetta 68 is powered by either: Two Volvo Penta D13-IPS1350 (2×735 Kw) units; Or, Two D13-IPS1200 (2×662 Kw).

Venus GX

The Navetta 68’s Garmin GPSMAP8400 navigation system combines information from the ship’s electrical power installation thanks to a Victron Venus GX device which is connected to all power generation, storage and supply equipment; and can further be configured to monitor tank-level gauges; engine room temperatures; alarmed areas; Bilge/Fuel/Water pumps etc.

It provides at a glance infomation on a wealth of information – including power consumption, battery State-of-Charge, Time-to-go, AC power source – via an ethernet connection to the Garmin navigation system.

Leading Navigation system manufacturers

Glass bridge integration is not only possible with Garmin, but also: Navico; Simrad; B&G; Lowrance; Raymarine navigation systems; and Furuno.

Victron’s Cerbo GX?

For commercial shipping using SCADA control-system architecture, MFD integration is also possible via the Modbus TCP protocol. For this application the new Cerbo GX communication device would be a good choice as it offers many and varied communication ports which can be connected to: Tank level indicators; Alarmed areas; Bilge/Fuel/Water pumps; AC circuits; DC circuits; Electricity Generator charging; and of course Navigation equipment.

In common with other GX devices the Cerbo GX can act on the data it receives: Pumps can be automatically activated in response to tank-level conditions; generator start-up can be triggered by low-voltage conditions or low/high temperature alarms – to give just two examples from a very long list of interventions. The Cerbo GX has a dual-core processor allowing intelligent and programmable automation and control of systems which can be uniquely configured for each ship (or remote installation).

System status information can be viewed and settings changed right there on the bridge, from nearby …or from anywhere in the world, and its ports can be used for:

  • Monitoring the Victron power & battery system
  • Programmable relays (stop/start a generator)
  • Digital inputs (Door/Burglar/Smoke/Fire Alarms)
  • Temperature sensing (Battery/Engine bay/Ambient temperature sensing)
  • Tank level inputs. (Bilge/Fuel/Water/Waste tanks)
  • Connecting to the NMEA2000 network
  • Network (Ethernet connection to router or Multi-Function Display (MFD))
  • HDMI (Media Connector to the GX Touch 50)

By Justin Tyers