SECURITY, SECURITY, SECURITY

I was reading a Delos post the other day about their BRNKL Security System and this prompted me to do something about Spec’ing up our own system. In the past, we’ve used Jeff’s Pirate Lights system, which gave us excellent service, but this time we wanted to include a more comprehensive set of requirements and find an integrated system that met all our “must haves”. 

So this is the requirements we’ve come up with broken down into “Must Haves”, “Nice to Haves” and “Not Really Required”.

MUST HAVES

  • I’ve often felt a level of anxiety when we have anchored our boat and gone to shore. Whilst we use an Anchor Alarm when we are on board, we really do need an Anchor alarm that works whilst we are away from our boat. One that uses geofencing on a map displayed on our mobile phones. We originally thought we could use our PEPWAVE system to do this but it turns out that this is really more suited to Fleet Management of the land variety rather than the marine environment.
  • IN the same vein, this needs the ability to track our boat if it is ever stolen. 
  • The system needs to works internationally everywhere we cruise.
  • Like Pirate Lights, it needs to sound a Siren and turn on Strobe/Deck Lights if an intruder gets on the boat, with motion detectors in both the cockpit and the saloon. 
  • We also need to be able to track the dinghy if its stolen (we will probably use SPOT Tracker for this). 
  • We need to monitor Engine Room Temperatures and raise an alert and sound an alarm when too high. Our house batteries are also in the engine room so we need to be able to monitor engine room temperatures for the health of these babies. 
  • We want Cameras to capture videos of the bad guys. 
  • We want to monitor Fridge and Freezer Temperatures and alert if high – both whilst on the boat and off the boat. We lost a freezer full of meat in Cartegena whilst we were on a trip to Medellin .  
  • We want to monitor the Automatic Bilge Pumps when away from boat, so that we can detect any problems. 
  • Whilst on land, we want to receive alerts to our mobile if the house batteries are low.    
  • We need to keep the Insurance Companies happy so they give us discounts from having a security system installed.  

Nice to Haves

The following requirements are ones we felt would be nice but we could live without.

  • Battery backup if power is cut
  • Ability to turn on deck lights when dinghying back to boat.
  • Collision Detection (0.5G or higher impact) whilst boat is on anchor and we are ashore. 
  • FOBs to arm and disarm system (otherwise will need to use phone). 
  • NMEA2000 Integration for engine and tank monitoring. 

Not Really Required

We’ve decided we can do without these:

  • Shore power monitoring. Charging and power management done remotely with VRM. 
  • Remote monitoring of starter batteries. 
  • High Water Monitoring in Bilge. The extra cost is not really warranted  given we are already monitoring the bilge pumps (see must haves) 
  • Motion Detectors inside Hulls. Just in cockpit and saloon.

With this in mind, we have narrowed it down to two suppliers that were reasonably priced, and did the following SWOT analysis. It feels good to be back in Solutions Mode…..

Strengths

  • The BRNKL Mate add-on helps future proof the system – can use Samsung SmartThings and other appliances built for home security, which is a bigger market than marine security.
  • Therefore, adding Additional Sensors and Accessories is cheap (not paying BOAT Dollars for marine componentry).  
  • Comes with a FOB to arm and disarm system (as well as using the Mobile App)
  • Can get detachable motion detector for front of boat

Weaknesses

  • Subscription Plan is more costly that Siren Marine’s. 
  • SmartThings aren’t necessarily manufactured for Marine environment.

Opportunities

  • Can connect up sensor pads for intruder detection. 
  • Can connect up to an Iridium satellite solution. 
  • Smaller Company run by founder = usually equals more Personalised Customer Service

Threats

  • Motion Detector False Alarms from Cockpit Sensor.
  • Small Company risk.

SIREN MARINE

Strengths

  • Sensors are manufactured for marine environment
  • Has satellite comms option for where mobile phone access is not available. It is also good to use satellite, as professional boat thieves sometimes use blockers to disable cellular tracking. 
  • Subscription service is cheaper ($180 per year for international coverage)
  • Have internal backup battery (48Hours) for when power is cut. 
  • Bigger company – sells through West Marine, Hodges etc., and partners with other marine suppliers.

Weaknesses

  • No Camera (coming in Winter)
  • Extra Sensors are expensive (marine pricing)
  • No FOB – everything turned on and off with phone  app.
  • No Water Proof Motion Detector for front deck .

Opportunities

  • Can buy through West Marine Port Supply for an extra discount.
  • Siren Marine are releasing their new Siren 3 Pro next month, which is their latest and greatest.
  • Siren Marine are working on having a beam sensor which is supposed to be better suited for outdoors but they do not have any more information at this point as it is still in development

Threats

  • Motion Detector False Alarms when installed outside (see above).

As usual, I wanted to get this out there so I can get some good feedback. There’s a bit more work and research to do to come up with a decision and place an order, but I need to do it next month and have it sent to East Coast Shipping who will include it in our shipment to France.