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BoatSecure taking care of boats for worry free sailing

by John McDermott 28 Sep 01:56 NZST 28 September 2019
BoatSecure is a remote monitoring system that checks the critical systems on your boat when it is at a marina berth or mooring with no one on board. © John McDermott

BoatSecure is a remote monitoring system that checks the critical systems on your boat when it is at a marina berth or mooring with no one on board. BoatSecure monitors for any issue and warns boat owners, boat managers or marina operators if attention is needed to keep boats safe.

BoatSecure is based in Auckland, New Zealand and has been developing the technology system since 2017. John McDermott, CEO, explains the purpose of the system and how it operates, “The biggest headaches for boat owners that ruin a planned day of sailing are often related to the on board electrics and connected equipment.”

The system regularly sends a data report back to the owner’s smart phone using an app developed by BoatSecure. If an alert is triggered the boat owner or manager receives a pop-up notification to warn them that an issue needs attention.

McDermott explains, “The number one issue is frequently Shore Power connections. Power from the marina is out of the control of the boat owner and may fail for a number of reasons. It may be scheduled marina maintenance, but other causes can be circuit breakers tripping from damaged cables and sockets, neighbouring boats that overload the power pedestal, or even a neighbour swapping cables to steal metered electricity.

A lack of power to the boat can result in a cascade of problems that puts it at risk. Boat batteries will completely discharge eventually and the cost to replace may be many thousands of dollars. Without power on board other equipment will fail, for instance freezers will defrost resulting in rotting fish soaking through cabins This is immensely unpleasant and can take weeks to clean out at a very high cost. Worse case scenarios are on board power inverters catastrophically failing and initiating a fire.

BoatSecure also checks other on board systems such as Bilge Pumps. A situation such as a Bilge Pump running continuously is not immediately obvious, and a marina security guard or passing boat is not going to notice anything wrong. But eventually the pump or batteries will fail and the boat is at severe risk. BoatSecure will alert within minutes that there is an issue, allowing time to check and fix the issue.

By installing switches on cabin doors or motion detectors it will alert when an intruder is on board. McDermott adds, “We are fortunate that boat theft from marinas and moorings is relatively rare. Theft from boats is far more common, and the annoyance from missing tackle and equipment is significant. BoatSecure is designed to help boat owners and managers have greater peace of mind that unauthorised entry will be notified.

The BoatSecure system also reports on GPS location in case of Anchor Drift or boat theft.

A small device is fitted onto the boat and interconnects with existing wiring. A data report is automatically sent at regular intervals so that the boat owner can check status from their smart phone. If an alert is triggered, the phone app will pop up a notification. A fleet dashboard is available for boat manager or marina operators to allow them to monitor many boats simultaneously.

McDermott says, “We’re here to keep an eye on boats when the boat owner is not around. We also help boat managers and marina operators so that they can provide a service to monitor boats automatically and check on issues for the boat owner. We’re using a new generation of technology that is simpler to use, lower cost to operate and is scaling globally. It’s an exciting time for us to be working on this purpose and it’s very pleasing to have the support of boat owners and other marine businesses”.

Every day that a boat owner gets on the water is precious time for enjoyment and relaxation. But with maintenance often getting in the way, BoatSecure is ready to catch any issues before they escalate. Required maintenance, especially if a professional service is needed, can then be scheduled at the owners convenience rather than interfering with that important time with family and friends.

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