Building a custom seaworthy vessel from scratch is challenging and rewarding, but perhaps an even more interesting proposition is refitting an existing boat to create something better than new. This was the challenge presented to several teams who recently garnered recognition for their outstanding efforts at the recent Refit International Exhibition & Conference in Fort Lauderdale. These teams worked together to meet unusual owner specifications and wowed judges with their unique visions. Lumitec was a proud partner in one of the award-winning refits, and congratulates all the winners.
“Yacht refits are often more complicated than new constructions. The Refit Excellence Awards give the industry the opportunity to honor the people who take on these complex projects and deliver like-new vessels to happy owners,” said Jim Miller, show manager of the conference and publisher of Professional BoatBuilder magazine.
Refit teams behind the 66-foot sportfish Reel Steel, the 148-foot motoryacht Scout, the 80-foot sailing yacht Swan 80-002 and the 52-foot powerboat Cuttin’ Up received Refit Excellence Awards during the two-day conference.
The award for “Best Poweryacht Refit between 50 and 100 Feet” went to Reel Steel, submitted by Jarrett Bay Boatworks. This prized vessel re
ceived extensive updates from buggy top to props, anchor locker to underwater lighting and everything in between. Lumitec helped refit the 66-foot sportfish boat by supplying the team with Mirage down lights, Nevis engine room lights, Rail utility lights and SeaBlaze underwater lights. In addition, the iconic Hines-Farley sportfishing vessel was given new life by her owners by reconfiguring her cockpit to allow more functionality and adding two Seakeeper gyro stabilizer units.
The award for “Best Poweryacht Refit Over 100 Feet” went to Scout, submitted by Bacchus Yacht Consultancy. The award for “Best Sailing Yacht Refit” went to Swan 80-002, submitted by New England Boatworks.
Lumitec is very honored to have taken part in an award-winning boat refit. The company is committed to delivering performance, reliability, quality, and unparalleled support in all facets of business to create lighting solutions for the most extreme environments. Our reputation in the marine industry among top builders and end users is second-to-none. In our tireless pursuit of excellence, Lumitec constantly innovates new techniques where necessary. Founded in 2007, Lumitec was conceived, designed, and built to leverage new technologies in the development of innovative, high value products. This vision of who we are shapes everything about our company.
For the new 42’ Lexus Sport Yacht concept, every detail had to be perfect. The luxury carmaker was bringing its renowned penchant for quality to the boating world, and required customized components. Unfortunately, customized parts do not always lead to satisfactory results. But bespoke, crafted components were part of the brand DNA for the 42-foot luxury yacht.
One of the key feature Lexus desired was dimming LED lighting for the engine compartment. The design of the luminaires had to reflect the design aesthetic that extended even to the engine compartment, while delivering lighting that helped technicians maintain the 885 horsepower twin V8 engines.
That’s where Lumitec stepped in. Lumitec’s product development and engineering teams deliver deep technical expertise and use cutting edge technology such as the Rapid Prototype Lab, Electrical Lab, Testing Suite, and Optics Lab.
Due to Lumitec’s unique qualifications, Lexus partnered with the company to develop a custom version of the Rail2 utility lights with a 5K white dimming option for the engine compartment of the Lexus Sport Yacht Concept.
Although Lumitec’s custom products usually center on the visible light spectrum in whites and colors, the company has produced systems spanning 250nm to 900+nm, with required power from 1W to 150+W. Custom projects have ranged from as few as one piece to several thousand.
The Rail2 LED Utility Lights are water sealed and IP67 compliant, which means they are approved use in both interior and exterior applications. The Rail2 is available in a high CRI warm white and three-color versions, including red for improved night vision.
The Lexus Sport Yacht is a running “proof of concept” that extends the Lexus brand to the marine world. It features the latest technology found in the road cars, including color touchscreen panels for the cockpit controls and monitors, as well as GPS, digital charts, radar, sonar and a full galley.
The Sport Yacht was constructed with a mix of traditional yacht building techniques and hand-laid woven carbon fiber cloth and composite carbon fiber reinforced plastics used in the LFA supercar. These techniques not only improved the overall strength of the Sport Yacht, but reduced drag at high speeds and saved more than 2,000 pounds.
For such an exquisitely designed project, Lexus couldn’t call on just any lighting manufacturer. The exacting standards of Luxury on display in this Sport Yacht concept required a company similarly dedicated to precision and excellence.
Lexus called on Lumitec because their deep technical expertise, extensive resources, and on-site manufacturing make them uniquely qualified to deliver custom solutions to customers with demanding technical requirements. The Luxury Lexus Sport Yacht Concept stands as a testament to the commitment to excellence that make Lexus and Lumitec acknowledged leaders in their respective fields.
Our customers asked for full color underwater lights, and we delivered. Lumitec expands the best-selling underwater light line with the full-color RGB SeaBlazeX Spectrum! Spectrum delivers 2 to 3 times the “dollars per lumen” value as all other full color underwater lights, with the same reliability, quality, and support that has made SeaBlaze the top selling LED underwater light in its class. However, Spectrum goes even further, with nearly infinite color output options and user-selectable modes, easy surface-mount, two-wire hookup and no external control boxes.
Where others make claims, Maxillume x500 delivers. 50,000 (FIFTY THOUSAND) true measured lumens. For ship board applications, fixed locations, or terrestrial vehicles, the Maxillume x500 illuminates your work space and beyond. Unlike high pressure sodium or HID, Maxillume x500 delivers clean, bright light without hot-restrike issues or work shut downs related to blown bulbs or ballasts.
Conforms to UL STD 1598, ETL Listed, fully sealed, and tested to military standards for shock and vibration.
For more information on the complete specifications download the infographic HERE
Jump on board the Jean C. fishing vessel, and power up the west coast on a test run to Seattle with Captain Harley Ethelbah. The commercial fishing industry is no yacht club and the Gulf of Alaska is one of the toughest environments on the planet. The men and women who work there are a breed apart. There is no time or latitude for guesswork, you need to know what you are doing and that the equipment you use will perform without failure, no questions asked. In extreme marine environments such as these, heavy duty LED lighting is a must.
In the past, affordable lighting options for recreational and commercial applications offered low utility. The available options consisted of high-pressure sodium, halogen, fluorescent, and HID lights. Today’s newer advancements bring an array of better lighting options!
Naturally, advanced technology hits the market priced high, but eventually the prices begin to fall. According to Mick McDonald, marketing manager at Lumitec, “The initial investment of LED is still more expensive than traditional light sources; however, that margin is getting chipped away every day with more efficient manufacturing processes and better performing LEDs at lower cost, in the long term LED is now a better return on your investment.”
The team at Lumitec keeps their eyes on developing lighting for extreme environments. With an interdisciplinary understanding of electromechanical, thermal, and optical principles, their team develops and manufactures LED lighting products with exceptional performance. Thus, Lumitec offer improved quality and reliability.
LED lighting produces an ultra-bright light for its compact size. It provides a more versatile light source without the issues of traditional lighting, is more efficient with a lower amp draw and shock and vibration resistant. As prices have become affordable LED provides more reliability, more versatility and is practically maintenance free.
Let’s look at the traditional light sources.
Incandescent lamps are cheap to produce, but inefficient. The lamp produces light by heating a metal filament. It converts most of the electricity (~95%) to heat instead of light, wasting heat. The life span is 750-1000 hours. Turning the light on or off reduces its life.
Fluorescent lamps convert electricity into light more efficiently than incandescent lamps do. They produce light by stimulating the mercury vapor with electricity inside the lamp to produce ultraviolet light. Fluorescent lamps last longer, up to 10,000 hours. They exceed about 100 lumens per watt compared to the 16 lumens of the incandescent lamps.
High-pressure discharge (HID) lamps
Some of the most powerful outdoor lights are high-pressure discharge (HID) lamps. These lamps often illuminate shops, parking lots, stadiums, warehouses, arenas, and other large facilities. HIDs contain pressurized gas, such as mercury, sodium, argon, krypton, neon, or xenon, in a tube inside the lamp. The gas acts as a conductor inside the tube. Electrons circulate between the electrodes in the electric field; and the gas molecules, emitting energy in the form of radiation, emit light. Some of these lamps reach temperatures as high as 3000° C (5400° F) and can be made in smaller sizes to reduce the intense discharge.
LED advantage – Lumitec offers more than traditional lighting
Apart from the stated benefits of efficiency, reliability and no maintenance LED lighting is also programmable. This means aesthetic effects, such as changing color to set a mood or change light intensity can be programmed into the light without external control modules. Lumitec can thus accommodate the special needs of their clients. With expert engineers, their staff can design solutions that combine software, thermal management, usability, materials science, optical systems, embedded control circuit design, and power supplies to work in the most abusive environments. With cutting-edge tools, on-site manufacturing, and resources, Lumitec build the prototypes and fulfill the order. The financial savings is perhaps the biggest benefit, however. Lumitec lights perform better for longer and requires less maintenance than other light sources. They are also versatile in their applications to various industries.
Lumitec leads LED lighting for the marine industry
Lumitec’s vision drives staff selection, tool attainment, and equipment procurement. All the while, Lumitec leverages new technologies to build superior marine lighting products, making it a world leader in providing light in the marine industry. Lumitec build LED lights for the U.S. Coast Guard and for commercial fisherman to help them perform optimally even in the most extreme temperatures and with the greatest exposure to corrosive salt and moisture.
To find out more about our marine lighting solutions and how we can greatly improve your marine vessel – visit us online at lumiteclighting.com.
You’re gliding through the water, wind in your sails, and night begins to fall. This may be where you start to think about turning in for the evening. Or, you have outfitted your sailboat with some of the huge array of LED lighting products from Lumitec that are perfect for sail boats of all sizes. Many in the boating community associate lighting in extreme marine environments with Lumitec and power boating. For those who live their lives letting the wind take them on their way, Lumitec has developed a wide array of LED products for sailboats including the Zephyr spreader light, interior down lights, courtesy and mechanical space lights, and of course the class-leading SeaBlaze series underwater lights.
To see this lighting in action, check out the video below. We caught up with the captain of a Lagoon 440 catamaran who keeps wind in his sails day and night with Lumitec LED products lighting the way.
You’re out on the water and the sun starts to go down. It’s a long ride back to the docks. Time to turn on your lights – are you prepared? Lumitec Lighting allows you to be safe and be seen with a range of flood and spreader lights. With a combination of power and aesthetics to accent your boat perfectly, LED lighting from Lumitec creates a floating lighthouse in dark, unpredictable marine environments.
Lumitec LED lights shine the brightest guiding boats through extreme marine environments, but what about under the sea? Our customers have asked for the same beautiful lighting installed on their boats to also help them add flair below the water as well, and our research & development team made it happen. Through a constant dedication to innovation, Lumitec introduced the SeaBlazeX Spectrum full-color RGBW underwater lights. These lights have the same reliability as the class-leading SeaBlazeX while delivering two to three times the “dollars per lumen” value as all others. Color options are nearly infinite and can be selected and set for rotation or to one color by the user. SeaBlazeX Spectrum lights are easy to surface-mount with just a two wire hookup and require no external control boxes.
Light up the night, light up your life on the water. Lumitec has introduced Spectrum Color ™ (full-color RGBW) to our down lights, utility lights and underwater light series. Products with Spectrum Color ™ will offer infinite color selection options along with a continuous color spectrum cycle mode, while retaining the performance, reliability and quality you expect from our product range. With RGBW Full-Color Lights, you can move through the water while setting the mood for an evening of beauty both above the water and below.
Lumitec Lighting customers and partners talk about their satisfaction regarding the LED products both aesthetically and while in use in extreme marine environments. We hear from Shallow Sport Boats, EdgeWater Power Boats, and Intrepid Powerboats.
In today’s global economy, the United States is importing an unprecedented number of products which have been manufactured overseas. Furthermore, much of the design of those products has also moved overseas. While these scenarios may equate to some success in volume and profits, overall it has been damaging for U.S. consumers and the U.S. economy. When production moves overseas, so do jobs, producing a ripple effect on local economies when residents, some now unemployed, have less to spend on goods and services. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to find a manufacturer who hasn’t abandoned America for the sultry temptation of foreign climes.
One company that hasn’t succumbed to the siren call to farm out everything overseas, is Lumitec, an LED lighting manufacturer, based in boat-friendly Delray Beach, Florida. Lumitec products are designed, tested, and assembled at the Delray Beach facility, and many of their vital components—LEDs, circuit boards, glass, housings, wiring, hardware, adhesives,— are supplied by U.S. companies. Lumitec is very cautious about sourcing outside of the USA because they recognize not only the disadvantages of sending work overseas, but also the advantages of keeping it at home.
For some companies, sourcing overseas might lead to lower costs, but the drawbacks often outweigh the apparent savings. Quality control, for example, is an aspect that would suffer. Monitoring quality thousands of miles away in factories in countries with different laws, standards and different expectations is often troublesome and the end result is typically dissatisfaction from the customer. Very often one of the sacrifices to get to that lower cost is quality, as short cuts from suppliers and sub-suppliers are fairly common. They don’t get uncovered until they are caught, very often by the customer, when it’s too late.
Customer service also takes a hit when companies do not have real control over the design, production cycles and processes. With issues in customer service and product quality, the brand suffers and business is lost. As for the supply chain, outsourcing is vulnerable to higher shipping costs, large minimum buys, customs delays, production delays, trade taxes and high inventories that can directly affect the availability of products and generate unforeseen costs (the hidden cost of sourcing overseas). Finally, sending work overseas further erodes an already struggling U.S. economy.
In contrast, there are numerous advantages to keeping manufacturing in the U.S. A more tightly controlled supply chain is not nearly as vulnerable to the pitfalls of overseas sourcing. American manufacturing is well known for its superior quality in design and manufacture. In addition, since facilities are local, customer service is typically superior and issues can be resolved quickly. Relationships with customers are excellent as a result. Perhaps most important is that the jobs stay in the U.S., and when domestic suppliers are used, the U.S. economy further benefits.
Lumitec has enjoyed the advantages of staying in the U.S. For example, a recent collaboration with Hydrasports Custom, a boat manufacturer, led to innovations and solutions otherwise impossible had Lumitec sent its design and manufacturing overseas. Hydrasports need a headlight that could be seamlessly integrated into the bow of their 4200 Siesta and 5300 Suenos models. After just a few weeks of design, prototyping, testing, and in-house custom machining,
Lumitec presented the finished product to Hydrasports, who were extremely pleased with Lumitec’s innovation: the unique design is profoundly useful for docking, running in channels, or entering harbors at night. In the future, Lumitec will use the knowledge gained in the collaboration to develop similarly useful products for the broader market. This innovation and collaboration succeeded because Lumitec designs and manufactures all under one roof in the U.S., and not scattered across the globe.
Lumitec’s reputation for quality and innovation has made it one of the fastest growing manufacturers in the U.S. It directly employs forty-six people in Delray Beach, and supports the employment of countless other Americans through its practice of buying components for its products from U.S. companies. Over two-hundred boat manufacturers, including Intrepid Powerboats, Viking Yachts, and Boston Whaler, use Lumitec as a lighting supplier, attesting to the high quality of Lumitec’s products.
For innovative lights designed, tested, and assembled in the U.S. by a company that supports American business and creates American jobs, look to Lumitec. We are online at lumiteclighting.com.
Professional boaters know accessories and their wiring can be a true blessing or an absolute nightmare. A blessing when it is simple and easy to connect and works the way you thought it would. A nightmare when you are stuck in a hull trying to make several connections to and from various parts of a system, then it doesn’t work and you have to go back in. No matter what you do, boat accessories and their wiring will also be exposed to damaging elements including salt air, moisture, vibration, electrical noise, wind, sunlight, and chemicals throughout their life cycle.
“The salt air alone is enough to corrode and render most wire connections inoperable,” said Hank Johnson in Louisiana Sportsman. “Boat bilges can be contaminated with fuel, grease and other chemicals that will eat away at your wires. It is extremely important that you purchase quality marine switches, wire, terminals and all other superior components for your accessory system.”
One way to mitigate the degrading effects of the elements is to have fewer things that could go wrong. Keep things simple and reduce the amount of accessories and wiring needed. Lumitec Lighting has eliminated the need for external controllers with simple wiring for their lights. In many cases you can retain the original wiring system and control colors, dimming, and other functionality such as strobing effects with a simple toggle switch. This is made possible by their proven Timed Toggle Protocol (TTP) technology. TTP enabled lights make it possible to provide sophisticated lighting features without the need for additional external control modules. Using this one-of-a-kind innovation, you can sidestep the entire process of rewiring by using Lumitec lights with TTP. TTP uses simple brief off/on toggle of your switch to control your lights.
Many boat lighting solutions come with bulky control modules that are expensive, takes up precious space, could be highly confusing to wire, and can require more wiring and connections, and are thus expensive to install. Lumitec’s TTP allows for an easy to install option, with simply the two power wires, making it easy to use and integrate with the boat’s existing wiring system.
“TTP is Lumitec’s innovative solution for offering the end user the ability to dim lights, change colors, or invoke other cool features using a standard two wire hook up,” said John Kujawa, President of Lumitec. “Installation is just like any other marine light: red to red and black to black. Any normal on/off switch can be used to control the light.”
Lumitec has grown from a small start up in 2007 to a market leading international LED lighting manufacturer because of its dedication to meeting high performance and reliability demands with innovative solutions. Their products are now found on many of the finest boats and yachts in the world because of this dedication to performance, attention to aesthetics, and ease of use.
“The dimming of a Lumitec TTP enabled light is pretty easy,” Kujawa said. “The light is turned on and it ramps intensity over the course of about three seconds. If nothing else is done, that peak intensity will be held until the light is turned off. If the user wishes for a less intense light, they can dim the output by interrupting that ramp. You can turn the light off and immediately back on and the light intensity will be held wherever it was interrupted by the brief off/on toggle.
“Color change is also really easy. The user simply turns the light off and on, quickly. Each quick, off/on toggle cycles the light to its next available color.”
Because the lights require nothing more than a simple two wire hookup and require no external control boxes to support the changes, TTP enabled lights can be easily retrofitted into an older system without rewiring. New boat manufacturers can streamline the lighting installation process by saving on both supply cost and installer time while also conserving space onboard. With fewer parts to deal with, there is less risk of component failure while still providing extensive functionality.
While many manufacturers continue to use large control boxes for their lighting solutions, or are attempting to integrate complicated Bluetooth or WiFi technology into lighting control, TTP offers a beautifully simple solution immediately capable of integrating into new or older systems with no learning curve. More than 200 boat manufacturing clients that include, Intrepid Powerboats, Contender, Grady White, Edge Water Power Boats, Viking Yachts, and Boston Whaler to name a few, are using Lumitec lights with TTP technology.
Lumitec’s TTP technology changes the boat lighting game with a quick, easy solution that will fit into even the tightest of spaces without additional equipment or expensive rewiring endeavors. With fewer components and wires to connect, there are less opportunities for incorrect connections and their associated frustrations and damage from the elements, resulting in a more reliable but simply elegant solution. Lumitec’s pursuit of innovation is constantly pushing the boundaries of LED lighting technology, right here in the USA at their development lab at Delray Beach, Florida.
If you’d like to see more of how Lumitec is changing the LED lighting game, visit lumiteclighting.com.
Can innovation occur without market motivation? Yes, if companies allow their employees to experiment without fear of repercussions for failed explorations. Soren Kaplan, of USC’s Center for Effective Organization describes most market-driven corporate visions:
“Become the number one provider of blah, blah, blah. These generic, broad-based goals might rev up sales teams, but they do little to spark ingenuity.“
In other words, when sales is the sole emphasis of a company, engineering and design are left behind, leading to a lack of innovation.
To encourage ingenuity, companies must create a culture of innovation from the top down. In the best-case scenario, the bulk of activity – planning, sales, engineering, manufacturing – all take place in one building. To maximize sharing of ideas, the top person, the president or CEO, must be accessible to the new hire on the assembly line. Engineers and sales people should be able to interact freely with each other to suggest improvements. Machinists should be able to confer with the R&D team regarding better ways to fabricate parts. Further, the company should encourage future-thinking experimentation by designers.
Lumitec, a leading international LED lighting manufacturer, fits this description. Named to INC Magazine’s “500 Fastest Growing Companies” in 2012 and their INC 5000 list for the last 4 consecutive years, Lumitec credits its culture of innovation for its success. As with any successful company, the impetus starts at the top.“
John Kujawa, Lumitec’s president, is the spark behind Lumitec’s achievements. An avid boater and engineer, Kujawa has a natural knack for tinkering and improving things. He understands that most innovation does not come from following a certain segment of the market, but from looking at a product and finding a way to improve it. The market will respond to innovation. Mick McDonald, Lumitec’s Marketing Manager, describes Kujawa as “… an engineer at heart who lives and breathes the mechanics of everything. This, paired with his avid love for boating, created the perfect storm for him to see a niche in the market at the advent of LED technology going mainstream.” This forward thinking approach has made Lumitec the one of the fastest-growing manufacturing companies in the U.S. and a supplier of LED lighting to over 200 boat manufacturers, including Intrepid Powerboats, Viking Yachts, and Boston Whaler.
Kujawa’s propensity for innovation and improvement is evident in Lumitec’s iconoclastic corporate culture. Pairing the brightest engineers with a state of the art manufacturing facility in Florida, Kujawa provides his engineers with the space and freedom to experiment with new ideas. Called “play,” this experimentation often results in ideas that never make it to market. To Kujawa, a few failed experiments are not just expected, but necessary for the development of new technology.
Kujawa has opted for an “open structure” form of internal organization. Because all of the important activities are under one roof in an open-door system, assemblers can freely speak to designers to work out problems or suggest improvements. Likewise, salespeople have no qualms about sharing ideas with the people in Production. This crossing of lines in the hierarchy can naturally lead to creating a community of cooperative imagination. No doors are closed to employee interaction. In fact, a central conference room, called the Mosh Pit, is glass walled so that everyone can see what is going on. This unique room, combined with open workspaces instead of offices and enclosed cubicles, accelerates idea sharing and collaboration and leads to innovation that otherwise might not have occurred. Customers who visit the facility are pleased to find that the design team is in close communication with every department involved in the manufacturing process.
Furthermore, the company plans meetings outside of the workplace – fresh environments like beaches, go-kart tracks, and even pinball competitions – where self-critiquing takes place and everyone can offer ideas about how to improve the company and its products. The “Team Lumitec” atmosphere of communication is further promoted by Kujawa, who regularly eats lunch in the lunch area alongside his employees.
With a president at the helm who is always open to ideas and suggestions and a design team that is encouraged to innovate, it’s no wonder that Lumitec is the leader in LED technology for marine applications. While Lumitec’s products are not always the cheapest, they are widely accepted as class-leading for their advanced features, higher outputs, remarkable reliability, and ease of installation.
Want to know more about Lumitec’s lighting solutions and how their innovation can dramatically improve your lighting needs? Visit online at lumiteclighting.com.
Quality is everything. When boaters are in extreme environments, lighting is of the utmost importance. When boat owners are looking for products that are both high quality and function in these environments, they turn to Lumitec.
With our R&D facility and manufacturing located in Florida, we take great pride in manufacturing all our LED lighting for our partners and having those parts there when they need them the most.
We were able to speak to the owners of several boat manufacturers at IBEX. They shared the “why” behind the choice to install Lumitec LED lights in their products. Lumitec is very proud to partner with only the best. Come inside to see what our partners think separates us from the rest.
If you haven’t had a chance to read the amazing story of how the boating community came together recently to solve the mystery of our stolen boat, check it out here. We caught up with Lumitec company President, John Kujawa, for his thoughts after the recovery and who the real heros were.
What separates Lumitec from the others within the marine lighting industry? Understanding what LED technology is capable of, and then pushing beyond that. Company president, john Kujawa compares the differences in thinking to the differences in power between a Ferrari and a lawnmower. When Kujawa, founded Lumitec in 2007, he did so because he saw what was possible with LED technology. Where others saw an alternative to a lightbulb (lawnmower) he saw much more- brilliant source for illumination (the Ferrari). And what continues to separate Lumitec is the never ceasing pursuit of innovation. It is inside Lumitec’s Research & Development headquarters that longevity, stability, and beautiful brilliance are put to the test every day, in the pursuit of making something even better.
Today’s technology enables more imaginative, higher performing lighting than ever before. Lighting in harsh marine environments has been a challenge on many different levels. From being able to withstand the elements, to safety and compliance, to a level of what looks aesthetically pleasing, the proper lighting is one of the most important parts of boating. It’s because of these reasons that a partner like Lumitec is paramount to manufacturing lighting for the world’s best, highest performing crafts. Not only does Lumitec lighting crown some of the most prestigious boats and yachts in the world, but the lighting is also utilized by special forces, emergency services, construction, industrial, and agricultural industries. It’s through constantly pushing the realm of what is possible through research, product development, and innovation, that Lumitec continues to light the way for the industry today.
Today, the power of social media can produce profound results. We know that when our communities incorporate the latest technology into their organizing efforts – they can do anything from crowdfunding relief efforts in the wake of a local tragedy or natural disaster, to launching national awareness campaigns. At Lumitec, we never expected our social media network to catch a boat thief in the course of one weekend.
“Again, thanks everyone who contributed to the very quick recovery of this vessel. Sorry for the delay in the update but as you’d imagine there were a bunch of things that needed to be buttoned up,” began Lumitec CEO, John Kujawa on his company Facebook page.
For a saga which unraveled over the course of multiple days across niche boater Internet forums, shared screenshots and texted tips, Facebook was a fitting mouthpiece for the post-mortem directed at all those who had contributed to, or simply followed, the weekend-long online boat hunt.
“Here is a start-to-finish recap of what transpired.”
In the late hours of Friday, September 23 – the unlikely happened.
Lumitec Lighting had just transferred its flagship Intrepid 375 down to a Delray Beach facility in order to prepare for the International Boatbuilders Exhibition and Conference, or IBEX, the largest gathering of its kind among marine professionals in North America – then, one week out.
The unveiling of the Intrepid 375 promised to be a collaborative triumph – seven years in the making. Not only did it house Lumitec’s own experimental Power Line Instruction (PLI) technology but the end result featured a Mastervolt intelligent power management system, Yamaha Y-COP theft deterrent and GOST security installations, as well as a beautiful contribution from Blue Water Towers.
In fact, the team behind the state-of-the-art boat had proudly and meticulously recorded each step of their hands-on manufacturing process: pictures detailing the beauty of the bow and the tower, a technician wiring the freshly molded console, a craftsman measuring beams.
“Hi all,” one of the designers posted on The Hull Truth – a popular forum among boat enthusiasts. “I work for Lumitec, and we’ve been working on a new Intrepid 375 center console for the Miami show and some tournaments. We’ve done a lot of custom work and trying to do some new stuff with system integration and controls along with a power folding mini-tower, so I thought I’d share some photos. I’ve watched several of the build threads on here and always enjoy them. Let me know if you have any questions.”
The boating community in Florida is a tightknit one—and the response was immediate.
“That mini tower is going to be awesome. I know you guys and all of the team at Bluewater put a lot of time into it. I can’t wait to see it at the show,” wrote SeaShot; to which Latebreaker added, “Now we’re talking! Subscribed.”
Nearly a year and a half later, Lumitec’s IT Systems Manager took to the community forum with a much different update to share concerning the very same boat:
“At roughly 11:45 PM last night in Delray Beach, FL., our boat and truck were stolen off our loading dock. This is a boat we use to demonstrate our products at trade and boat shows. We have reason to believe the thieves might be heading south into Broward or Miami Dade County. Security footage screenshots are attached. Thank you in advance for any information/support.”
And with that, in show of support true only to social media– the chase was on.
Hours earlier, Company President John Kujawa had woken up to a series of texts alerts from the GOST system installed on the missing boat notifying him that the geo-fence had been breached and the boat, moved. Kujawa immediately logged into the GOST tracking interface which revealed a “sickening breadcrumb trail of the thieves heading south.” Fortunately for the Lumitec team, the onboard security system also provided high resolution footage of two of the thieves.
While Kujawa enlisted the help of a chartered helicopter and the local police, the Lead Designer and IT Systems Manger hastened to the Delray Beach office to review security footage from the night prior. Screenshots in hand, the office team posted what leads they’d wrangled up on social media–to their online community. And did the community ever respond in a time of need! In the hours following the Facebook post had over 67,520 hits, 564 likes and 221 shares. And over on the Hull Truth message board there were 74,721 views and 192 replies from the worried, yet determined boating community “I got dozens of emails and texts from throughout the state and beyond, even the Bahamas, from people who jumped into action,” says Kujawa, at the time still fearful that they’d lost the boat to a Cuba run.
Following the outpour of support and advice on social media and a local evening news story which played a clip of the recovered security footage –tip number one rolled in. Early on Sunday morning, a post accompanied by a photo taken on a smartphone claimed: “”I found ur boat!!”
Here’s what happened.
Jeff, the man behind the tip and an avid boater, himself, caught a glimpse of the Intrepid 375 wedged in between two charter buses nearly 36 hours later and 60 miles away in a parking lot in Miami. He thought its location was odd for such a nice, new boat. Flipping through a handful of message boards later that day, he got chills: “I couldn’t believe had I found it…”
He then proceeded to return to the site where he waited for 3 hours next to the boat until Kujawa could retrieve it. Only then did more clues begin to pour in and solidify the story of the previous two days.
“I think the truck and trailer shown in the video you posted belongs to my friend – Call me,” wrote a second user on The Hull Truth.
“I know who stole the boat,” wrote another social media user.
“As we’re standing in the otherwise empty lot, evidence just falls into our laps,” recounts Kujawa. “It was like an episode of Scooby Doo where you could faintly hear ‘…and we’d have gotten away with it if those meddling Internet people hadn’t gotten in the way.’””
In the last decade alone, social media has revolutionized the way people connect with each other. Without the help of the dozens of users who added their tips on The Hull Truth forum, The Man Cave, Facebook, and all the other Internet sites which pitched in to help – the Intrepid would have been lost.
Thanks to those “meddling Internet people,” as well as the team at Lumitec and its engineering partners, this year’s unveiling of the Intrepid 375 at IBEX 2016 still promises to be a collaborative triumph – only now one much larger in scope.