Most people have heard of LoJack, a stolen vehicle recovery system, or On-Star with security features and an expanded range of services including vehicle diagnostics, hands free calling, turn-by-turn navigation and more.
But what services do boat owners have to help remotely track, monitor and control their floating investments? And what cost and heartache can be saved when fast responses avert potential nightmares?
Saving Boat Owners from Headaches & Worry
Now boat owners lying in bed at night worrying about their investment can simply reach for a smartphone, pull up an app and check any number of real-time variables or receive automatic alerts. All settings are completely customizable to meet even the most paranoid and worried boat owner.
According to Dan Harper, founder and CEO of Siren Marine of Newport, Rhode Island, designer of remote monitoring systems, owners typically ask the following:
- Is the battery still charged?
- Is my boat sinking?
- Where is my boat?
- Is someone on my boat?
- Is my boat still connected to shore power?
- Is my anchor still holding?
Remotely Monitoring, Tracking and Controlling Vessels
Harper has been designing and prototyping electronic boat monitors for the past 8 years. The original prototype design hardware and sensors ran on the Arduino platform.
Siren Marine has now partnered with another passionate yachtsman and electronics manufacturer and designer to manufacture the Siren products on robotic assembly lines with precision craftsmanship. Harper has a long history of working with machines, electronics and software and has a lifetime of boating, racing and professional captain experience.
According to Harper, “Siren Marine devices come with customizable outputs for accessories such as solenoids for a remote battery switch, remote activation of spreaders/courtesy lights when coming aboard, text message activation of bilge pumps and operation of a variety of on-board electrical accessories.”
Siren Marine currently uses the Global System for Mobile Communication network, a robust worldwide cellular network. Siren equipment communicates messages and receives commands from text enabled cell phones and operates on easy to remember SMS commands.
Harper’s system currently uses the 2G communication protocol which has translated into highly dependable, inexpensive, reliable, low battery consuming, low bandwidth operation. The desire to add video and higher levels of data exchange has led the company to begin development of a 3G version of the hardware which will be available at the end of 2014 or early 2015.
Boat Owners are Now Getting the Data They Need
Boat owners now have nearly perfect information in regards to their boats:
- Receive text alerts when the main or backup battery falls below a preset level, receive scheduled reports on battery status or query at any time.
- Monitor the bilge pump and water levels so that if a leak occurs, action can be quickly taken. If a bilge pump overruns, a text alert can be sent to the owner.
- GPS allows the boat owner to see where his boat is at any time and receive course, speed, longitude, latitude and position information on Google maps. Owners can set up “geo-fencing” coordinates to send alerts whenever the boat moves outside the designated area.
- Through the use of motion sensors, hatch sensors, canvas snap sensors, etc., an owner can quickly be alerted if someone has entered the boat.
- Through the use of float switches, resistance probes and on-board high water alarm circuits, boats sinking can be avoided by notifying the owner that something is awry.
- Boat owners often depend on shore power to keep their boat’s critical systems operating. A shore power sensor can alert the owner if power is out or has been disconnected.
- A boat owner may moor his boat in a harbor and head into the city or town for provisions or entertainment. An “anchor drag alarm” notifies the owner of movement and can trigger audible or strobe signals automatically.
For more information, visit Siren Marine.
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