Hacking the high seas

Updated 1:13 PM ET, Thu January 17, 2013
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Hackerfleet is a Berlin-based collective of volunteer computer hackers, software developers and programmers crafting a new generation of ultra-smart sailing software on their own sailing yacht out in the middle of the ocean. Courtesy Hackerfleet
Founded by the covertly named Ijon (in yellow) and Riot (in Red), the group set sail to carry out their work at sea when they can. Courtesy Hackerfleet
Most cruises last between three and five days and can be attended by as many as 15 to 20 people depending on the scale of the work expected to be done. Courtesy Hackerfleet
The bridge aboard the Hackerfleet vessel, which doubles up as a hackathon hub. "It's intense and we get very little sleep but the method is overwhelmingly beneficial as a source of ideas," says Ijon. Courtesy Hackerfleet
The group's ultimate aim is to popularize its Mastbox technology -- a completely new type of sailing software that will connect all boats at sea, essentially transforming them into floating data-collection devices. Courtesy Hackerfleet
The Hackerfleet vessel sets sail with Mastbox attached to the crossbar for testing. Ijon says he expects the technology to be ready for commercial use in either 2015 or 2016. Courtesy Hackerfleet
Repairs are made to the MS0x00, another Hackerfleet project that tests autonomous sailing technologies. The hacker group have also created an android app that charts the location of buoys and sea signs. Courtesy Hackerfleet
A member of Hackerfleet follows the MS0X00 as it makes its maiden voyage, ensuring no mishaps occur. Courtesy Hackerfleet
The Hackerfleet yacht rests at a port before setting out on one of their many "missions" in October 2012 Courtesy Hackerfleet