SilverHook Powerboats 2019-04-03T09:23:18+00:00



The world’s most radically engineered monohull sets a world record using machine learning and AI from DataSkill ACUMI and IBM Watson.

“Real time” data isn’t fast enough when you’re flying across open ocean waves at 168 mph. Offshore powerboat racing represents the most unpredictable, rugged computing environment in the sports world. Despite pounding ocean waves and extreme engine heat, the entire racing team must operate flawlessly and share biometric, mechanical and environmental data.

SilverHook Powerboats, lauded as the most intelligent and efficient powerboat ever designed, has collected multiple championships and speed records both nationally and internationally. Nigel Hook, Captain and Owner of SilverHook, is a 30-year veteran of powerboat racing. He controls the throttles and telemetry for the highly decorated SilverHook 48GP monohull, sponsored by Lucas Oil.

When Hook designed the boat, which produces 3,100 horsepower and a top speed of 168 mph, he set out to equip SilverHook with proven, predictive software. “My office exists on the open ocean, soaring across violent waters,” shares Hook. “To achieve peak performance, I needed data that was going to tell me what was going to happen before it happened.”

The Challenge.

Total team performance is essential in any sporting endeavor. Communication between SilverHook’s onboard computer, the onshore team and the cockpit team is crucial. In the open water, waves can run from 3 to 30 feet high, and spotters are needed to avoid other ships or floating debris, such as tree trunks. Instant and accurate sensor data, combined with predictive alerts, is critical to avoid mechanical failures, open water hazards and potential crew injuries. This data must be interpreted in split seconds while the crew controls the throttles, pitch, steering and more.

With a world-class boat like SilverHook, there’s also an investment to protect. Blown motors cost $75,000 each to repair, and new motors cost upwards of $250,000. Not to mention, during a race, mechanical failures often mean the difference between a win or a loss.

The Solutions.

To achieve peak performance and build “the perfect monohull,” the SilverHook team deployed ACUMI DataConnect, the predictive AI software from DataSkill, which harnesses the power of IBM Watson IoT. The boat is equipped with 200 IoT sensors to instantly transmit biometric, mechanical and environmental data. The ACUMI DataConnect advanced machine learning model grows in intelligence—with every decision and every piece of data. The world-record-setting SilverHook solution digested five years of detailed racing data, which makes ACUMI DataConnect the most intelligent team performance AI system in the world for offshore motorsports.

ACUMI’s predictive AI alert system speaks to the SilverHook captain with voice notifications broadcast into his helmet. This allows him to avoid issues, such as blown motors and safety threats, before they occur.

ACUMI DataConnect enables us to capture the right data, make the right decisions and go faster—and it’s all done in split-second time to give us every advantage to win. ACUMI with Watson IoT makes smarter decisions than we do as humans.

-Nigel Hook, Captain and Owner, SilverHook Powerboats

Enhanced visualization is also a key benefit of the ACUMI IoT solution. The technology is redefining offshore powerboat racing by processing AI transactions and broadcasting streams to the cloud, race teams, race officials and even fans who desire a more intimate viewing experience. ACUMI has also made a measurable impact on the SilverHook P&L statement by evading and mitigating large-scale maintenance costs.

“The SilverHook team asked DataSkill to push the limits of the boat with ACUMI software, so we did just that—and they set another world record!” said Ed Evans, Chief Operating Officer at DataSkill. “As SilverHook continues to pursue new speed records, we’re now pushing the limits of ACUMI DataConnect to ensure they do.”

ACUMI Markets

  • Motorsports
  • Team Performance
  • Industrial – Manufacturing

ACUMI Product + IBM Solution

  • ACUMI DataFind
  • ACUMI DataConnect
  • IBM Watson
  • Watson IoT

Cognitive Science

  • Deep Machine Learning
  • IoT Predictive Analytics
  • Telemetry


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