Not all Marine Security Systems are made alike. Some of them are actually designed for home or office use, and not adapted to successfully handle the often harsh marine environment. When you choose a boat security system, you’ll want to be sure that the system you select truly functions in a marine environment.
First of all, make sure your system’s alarm controls are contained in water resistant NMEAIII enclosing devices. Check to be certain that the electronics themselves feature an epoxy sealant over their components. And when it comes to sensors, home oriented devices just won’t do. A boat’s simple rocking against a dock or anchor can set off a false alarm. Even wind and waves can trigger a false alarm. Motion detectors for marine systems must utilize hidden pressure devices that are placed under decks, near door ways or under ladders to successfully alert you should a potential intruder get on your water craft. Motion detectors installed in an interior cabin should be dual technological devices that are triggered only when two motion violations occur to prevent false alarms. And besides hidden pressure sensors on decks, you’ll want your system to utilize marine standard contact sensors on doors, hatches, and lockers to restrict entry in certain areas.
You can set up your marine security system to use as a stand alone device that utilizes a siren and flashing lights, or you can connect it to a monitoring system to notify you of any problems from a remote location.
To keep your marine security system in true ship shape working order, you’ll also want to look into optional security devices that can keep your vessel safe. Bilge sensors are an excellent investment as they’ll alert you in case your bilge pump fails. These sensors trigger an alarm if high water is detected. AC detectors work in a similar fashion, monitoring shore power and signaling an alarm if power is lost or low. DC detectors trigger an alarm if low battery is indicated. Temperature monitors are used to detect extremes in temperature or major shifts in temperature in both cabins and engine rooms. For interior fire protection, smoke detectors are a safety and security must.
Another security device worth considering: GPS tracking antennas, which monitor and alert you to changes in a water craft’s speed, course, and heading.
Looking at marine security monitoring options, you’ll have several marine-standard choices. A cellular system can be triggered from your alarm system to notify you by text message or with a voice message option should an intrusion or violation occur on your vessel. You can remotely arm or disarm your system as well as adding a GPS unit to track your vessel on the Internet. However, if your boat is going to be away from cell signal, this may not be the most effective monitoring option for you.
Another choice is satellite communications. Satellite systems have a world-wide communications network and provide essentially the same services as a cellular system.