The End To an Era Of Jury-Rigging & False Alarms
Marine Security Equipment and Installation Tips
By Kenneth Murray Flagship Marine Security - Boatalarm.com
To meet boat owner demand for quality marine alarm systems, a tidal wave of security equipment has flooded the market. Unfortunately most marine alarms are nothing more then modified home and car alarms. The following provides a brief description of marine alarms, security sensors and installation tips to help boat owner’s select quality marine security systems.
Main Control Module
The state of the art marine security control module manages the alarm’s operation and security sensors. To operate in a marine environment, control modules should incorporate features for quiet remote arming/status, adaptive siren run time, activating boarding lights, pre-intrusion warning, notifying owners of on-deck activity, and turning off cabin motion sensors for overnight stays.
Control modules should be mounted near the boat’s main electrical area. Never mount control modules next to gas tanks, engines or in the bilge where they may be subjected to saltwater, high humidity, oil and corrosive fumes. For high impact boats, control modules can be free mounted to dampen harmful vibrations. Do not mount control modules next to VHF radios, cellular phones, pagers or long range radios that may interfere in system operation. Due to limited installation areas in most boats, select a control module with a small mounting footprint.
Control modules should be wired directly to a boat’s 12V battery. This eliminates disruption by battery switches, eliminates costly backup batteries, maximizes reliability and reduces electrical noise to the control module and system sensors. When powering loads over five amperes such as multiple lights and sirens the power feed should be at least #14Awg wire to reduce voltage drops. If loads are higher then five amperes consider running a separate fused feed to power relay loads such as lights and sirens over 40 watts.
Preparing the power harness that distributes connections for control modules and accessories is essential to installing a clean reliable alarm. If the boat has limited battery power, total alarm power consumption should not exceed ten milli-amps @ 12Vdc. All control module connectors should be gold or nickel plated. Beware of tin plated molex connectors that corrode rapidly in a salt water environment. Solder all connections. After the system has been fully tested, coat exposed wire connections with silicone grease or other sealant to prevent corrosion. Terminate connections with insulated caps.
Diagram one outlines a two or three conductor, #16 or #14 AWG, jacketed, power cable connecting the boat’s battery to the control box. This layout provides single point grounding to reduce noise and supply connections for accessory grounds and power terminations. The power harness can be prepared in the shop and brought to the boat with enough wire to reach the boat’s battery. The extra wires should be #20Awg or #18Awg and soldered to the main power cable. If terminal strips, buss bars or crimp connectors are used instead of soldering, confirm all mechanical connections are solid and protected from corrosion. Do not daisy-chain connections or terminate multiple wires at the alarm’s control box connector.
Control modules are usually armed and disarmed by a keypad, remote or a combination of both. Some can now arm/disarm via an internet connection or cell phone. Systems that use key-switches are harder to install and were used in ancient times to reduce power consumption or cost. In most cases, the key-switch would corrode leading to an alarm failure. Avoid systems that incorporate mechanical on-off switches to bypass sensors, arm, disable ignition systems or select sirens.
No matter what the arming method, control modules should have functions for multiple zones of auto-shunt sensors, siren reset, automatic siren runtime adjustment, 24 hour high water zone, flashing lights, low power usage, communication triggers and simple installation. Beware of house and car alarms modified for marine use. House alarms are designed for stable dry environments and car alarms do not connect easily to security sensors used in most marine applications. House alarms require 120Vac in most cases and should be bonded to earth ground to protect against lighting, electrical transients, transfer switches and on-board generators. Modified alarms generally result in increased cost, excessive wiring, questionable modifications, longer installations and poor performance. For instance a modified home alarm can draw up to fifty times more power, can be damaged from extreme vibration and the keypads are easily destroyed in hostile marine environments. If the boat is over a hundred feet, has unlimited power and minimum vibration a commercial alarm may work. Many vacation homes located by the ocean utilize marine alarms to eliminate failures due to high humidity and salt corrosion.
Whatever control module is used, always keep it simple and never complicate installations with excessive sensors or intricate wiring. Most boats were designed to facilitate wiring for onboard electrical systems, adding a marine alarm should be a breeze. The difference is the equipment and the quality of the installation. The following chart compares typical features of a quality marine alarm to a modified home and automobile alarm.
Most large boat owners favor keypads due to the ability to program user codes and visually confirm system status. Keypads can provide temporary codes to marina and service personnel so they may gain access to the boat without providing extra remote controls. Keypads are very useful aboard corporate and commercial boats that experience large amounts of traffic. A surface mount keypad is desirable for easy installation and separation from the control panel. The keypad should be tamper-proof, high immunity to radio interference and consist of a sealed membrane or rubberized magnetic switches to survive in a marine environment. Quality marine keypads are expensive. Keypads installed outside the cabin should be placed in lockers or in dry places away from sunlight and rain. Advanced deck sensor systems activate pre-warning and lights when the boat is boarded to disarm alarm. If the boarding was accidental and the violator leaves the alarm does not activate the main sirens. If the intruder violates a second zone, such as a cabin door deck sensor all systems and sirens activate. Some boat alarms combine remote and keypad operation for the best of both worlds such as the Flagship Marine Security FS301KDSP-Z series of alarms. Some wireless alarms use wireless keypads that should be mounted as close to a receiver or repeater as possible.
Remote automotive and remote marine security systems share the same advantages, reduced installation time, 24-hour panic, low-cost, arming is undetectable and eliminates any entrance delays. Remote arming can be used on any size boat and is most advantageous aboard small boats and cruisers. Most remote systems utilize code-hopping technology that changes the remote code every time it is used so the code cannot be copied by a thief.
Quality watertight remotes should disable cabin motion detectors for overnight stays, test sensors, utilize quiet arming, implement custom arming modes, panic alert and activate boarding lights for easy boarding. Most remote systems work with up to sixteen remotes. Remote marine alarms main drawbacks are the severe abuse encountered by transmitters in a marine environment and the need to purchase multiple remotes.
Wireless Control Modules
Marine wireless security panels in all cases are based on wireless commercial house alarms modified for marine operation. What most boat owners do not realize is that wireless panels still require a large amount of wiring. For instance, wires are still needed for power, siren, receiver, keypad, communications, signal lights, between sensors and transmitters, flashing lights, boarding lights, etc.
Wireless panel also suffer from PIR only cabin motion detectors due to limited transmitter battery power and therefore cannot take advantage of redundant Dualtec cabin motion detectors. Most wireless systems do not work well with advanced pre-warning sensors that sound the alarm before the boat is vandalized or eliminating false alarms from accidental boarding. Other reported problems with expensive marine wireless alarms include excessive programming, transmitter’s signal blocked by a boat’s sound insulation, expensive signal repeaters needed after installation and system jamming or loss of GSM signal at various ports of stay. Low cost wireless GSM based alarms common in the international market are being adapted for boats and have the same drawbacks as above, along with zero preparation for vibration, power consumption and hostile marine environments.
Reliable wireless panels and sensors are very expensive,
require battery maintenance and suffer from all the
drawbacks of any modified home security system. The
latest wireless marine systems incorporate GPS/GSM cellular
based tracking systems but this does little to prevent
vandalism and can cost thousands of dollars without
installation. GPS/GSM alarms also require expensive yearly
contracts. To avoid cellular roaming charges I recommend
that customers use standalone satellite systems such as the
programmable one from SeaTrax systems in Canada.
Marine Security Accessories
Cabin Motion Detectors
The most reliable motion detector for interior cabin use is the Dualtech sensor. A single Dualtech sensor can secure a boat’s cabin without the need for other time consuming sensors such as magnetics on multiple windows or port hatches. Dualtechs combines infra-red and microwave technology into one redundant sensor. When the infra-red sensor detects the presence of radiant body heat, it activates the microwave sensor. The microwave sensor scans the boat’s cabin for movement. If the microwave sensor agrees with the infra-red sensor that there is an intrusion, the alarm is activated. The Dualtech eliminates false alarms stand alone infra-red, ultra-sonics, microwave and glass sensors have in a marine environment. The DualTec’s only disadvantage is the typical high power consumption of 30 milli-amps and should not be used on boats that do not have dockside power or solar chargers. Dualtechs should be installed in dry stable environments facing away from metal curtains. Many boat owners have reported Dualtech sensors working well in outside salons or other stable environments but I believe in most cases, Dualtechs mounted in partially closed or open areas are guaranteed to false.
The Flagship Marine Security series of alarms provide a special motion detector zone that automatically disables the motion detector and adjust the length of siren runtime if it feels the alarm may be false.
Outside Look-Out Motion Detectors
Some alarms such as the FS301DSP-Z series from Flagship Marine Security provide early notification of on-deck activity that could cause a false alarm utilizing Quad-Tech motion sensors. Look-Out motion detectors incorporate four internal microwave and PIR sensors that all must agree with each other before the alarm is activated. Look-Out motion detectors are usually used by larger vessels that are traveling internationally, boats anchored in unpopulated areas that can be boarded from many directions or for monitor boarding traffic.
The Flagship Marine Security alarms activate a mini-siren and boarding lights for six seconds instead of sounding the main siren output. This eliminates disturbing fellow boaters and the sudden fright of a large siren response. During the six seconds, if another zone is violated all sirens sound. Only quality outside Quad-Tech motion sensors should be used. Look-Out motion sensors can also be connected to pre-warning zones.
Deck Motion Sensors
Deck motion sensors are miniature electrical strain sensors that are designed to detect intrusion before the boat can be vandalized. The FA1 slim line deck sensor from Flagship Marine Security measures 3.0” x 0.25” x 0.25” and weighs less then an ounce. Deck sensors are strategically epoxy underneath a boat’s deck and can secure up to five square feet depending on the type of deck. Deck sensors are extremely easy to install on boat’s that do not have aft cabins, sealed or hollow decks. A typical twenty foot ski-boat or thirty-five foot cruiser can use just one deck sensor while mega-yachts and commercial vessels can use as many as two hundred sensors. When an intruder steps on the secured area of a boat’s deck, the strain sensor changes resistance and the deck sensor processor activates the alarm.
Deck/Strain sensors have been around since 1930 and are extremely reliable. Physically most deck sensors are encapsulated and protected from wet hostile marine environments. Beware of manufacturers who claim deck sensors do not have false alarms if installed properly or in other words it is the installers fault. A deck sensor merely provides information of a changing environment and cannot tell the difference between sudden large boat movement, violent storms and an intruder. It is the job of the deck sensor processor to eliminate false alarms due to changing environments. Unfortunately the biggest shortcomings of commercial deck motion alarms are the processors that convert the deck sensor’s change of resistance into an alarm signal. The typical processor is set for a trip level and cannot identify false alarms caused by boat movement, high deck temperature variation, electrical storms or the shifting of on-deck equipment. Advanced marine deck motion processors, such as the FS301DSP-Z from Flagship Marine Security compares the boat’s deck movement caused by an intruder against the boat’s stored deck movement signature and activates the on-board alarm. The FS301DSP-Z proprietary adaptive analog to digital filter constantly changes system sensitivity in real time as the boat’s environment changes and virtually eliminates false alarms.
Another shortcoming of commercial deck motion processors is the difficult installation, sensor balancing and testing. Marine deck motion processors, such as the FS301DSP-Z are part of the main control module which eliminates mounting and excessive wiring. The FS301DSP-Z uses plug and play technology that accepts any loop of unbalanced strain sensors eliminating the need to test, balance and match sensors. The FS301DSP-Z auto calibrates and provides the sensitivity level for each sensor on a scale of zero to five via low volume audible sensitivity chirps. The FS301DSP-Z is the only active alarm motion detector in the world that can used aboard boats with limited battery capacity such as moored boats and professional ski-boats without false alarms or discharging the boat’s battery.
Decks sensors are very reliable and most failures occur during installation. Installers should not bend, flex or apply pressure to the sensor while epoxy is drying. Measure the deck sensor’s resistance before and after mounting, if the sensor resistance changes more then fifteen per cent the sensor may have a problem. Deck sensor resistance should always return to within one or two per cent of the original resistance after sensor is stepped on. Deck sensors are directly affected by temperature, if a deck sensor measures 1100 ohms in the morning but rises to 2500 ohms during the heat of the day the deck sensor is defective. Typical deck sensor resistance change from a cool morning to a hot afternoon should be less then fifteen per cent.
Always select stable flat areas to mount deck sensors, such as open rear decks and walkways where intruders must walk. Pressing the sensor to fit a curved area may damage the deck sensor. Typical placement of a deck sensor is in front of the cabin door so the alarm sounds before the door is damaged. Do not mount deck sensors in high stress areas such as main support beams, next to cleats, davits, sail mast, under fishing chairs, areas where mooring lines may squeeze the boat deck when docked and areas where the deck flexes more then 1/2” of an inch when stepped on. Always wire deck sensors with shielded tinned wire and home run to the processor. Choose deck sensors that incorporate Teflon wiring and twist connecting wires to reduce noise pickup. Deck sensors should be mounted in concealed areas to avoid damage during routine service or the repeated opening or removal of hatches. If the deck sensor is mounted to a hatch that opens pay special attention to securing and supporting the shielded connecting cable. Deck thickness is usually not a problem as long as it is solid. Mega-yachts and commercial ships that incorporate thick steel decks and truss beam construction should mount deck sensors directly to the peak loading points of the truss beam.
Deck sensors used as pre-intrusion sensors should be located in boarding areas such as transom steps so that a person boarding cannot activate other nearby sensors. To utilize pre-intrusion deck sensors the alarm must has a two zone deck sensor processor such as the advanced FS301DSP-2Z from Flagship Marine Security.
Miniature photo-electric beam
When an intruder breaks the beams the alarm is activated. These systems are easy to hide and can secure aft decks, doorways, cockpits, interior cabins and flybridges. Photo-electric beams can be used when it is not possible to install pressure mats or deck movement sensors. Typical beam span is a maximum of fifteen feet.
Photo-electric beams main disadvantages are the high power consumption (typically 50 milliamps), high cost and labor intensive installation. Photo-electric beams should not be mounted where rain may disrupt the beam and cause a false alarm. There are two major manufacturers of this product on the market. Only use the one that has the auto beam calibration feature. Processors must be housed in a dry non hostile environment. Make an extra effort in sealing the connections to the photo-eyes and protecting the processor from the marine environment. Consider sealing the photo-eye processor in a protective plastic box. Avoid inexpensive reflective mirror systems.
Magnetic switches are comprised of two halves. One half is a magnet and the other a magnetic proximity switch. The magnet activates the switches contacts when it is removed causing the alarm to sound. There are many types of magnetic switches such as surface mount, flange mount, wide gap, narrow gap, magna-pulls, roller ball and recessed switches. They can be used on doors, hatches, windows, jet skis, storage compartments, electronic equipment, canvas covers, and dock security. Avoid the use of normally open magnetic sensors because they are prone to false alarms due to boat vibration, are harder to filter and cost twice as much as normally closed. Marine magnetic switches are sealed and mount with rubber tape, epoxy or stainless steel hardware. Never mount magnetic sensors with foam tape as seen in most commercial applications. Foam tape decays rapidly under high moisture and UV exposure. Magnetic sensors should be pre-wired with long leads to provide factory like installations while eliminating messy wiring.
Magna-pulls or instrument sensors can be used to secure outboards, jet skis and swivel mounted instruments such as depth finders. A magnetic enclosure is mounted to the item to be secured and the magnetic switch is inserted into the holder. When the magnetic switch is removed from the holder the alarm sounds. Concealing the magna-pull’s switch wire can be difficult and in some cases the wire can be housed in armored cable to protect it from tampering. I do not recommend armored cable because it is difficult to work with and has a high sensor failure rate.
A canvas sensor is a direct replacement for the existing canvas snaps that hold a boat’s canvas cover. When the boat’s cover is removed the alarm is activated.
If the boat is completely open, do not attempt to use more then four canvas sensors. More then four sensors tend to be expensive and wasteful because the thief can cut through the canvas and never activate the alarm.
Canvas sensors are very effective when they are use to secure covers that protect electronic equipment on helm stations, center consoles, electronic pod and cockpits. There are various types of canvas sensors and you should choose one that is completely sealed, easy to install and designed to survive in a marine environment.
Never use a boat’s horn as a siren because it will fail under long siren runs and are usually expensive to replace. Always select a siren that is weatherproof, cosmetically pleasing and extremely loud such as the Flagship Marine Security’s ES30 thirty-watt electronic siren. The ES30 looks like a typical P.A. speaker and it is always best to conceal the siren under gunnels, seats, helm stations or behind vents. If the ES30 is mounted on hardtops or radar arches it may be possible to disable the siren. Smaller fifteen watt sirens such as the ES15 are easier to conceal underneath gunnels and helm stations. For boats requiring very small sirens or multiple sirens to maximize noise, miniature ES7 seven watt sirens and ES10 ten watt sirens can be added to the ES30 or ES15 without the use of driver relays. For open boats such as bass boats and ski-boats the ES10, ES7 and ES1 miniature siren is extremely easy to hide and mount.
If a surface mounted siren is desired the ES10 low profile siren can be mounted in many exposed areas. For installations requiring a strobe the ES12 combination strobe and siren reduces wiring and also surface mounts.
For applications where loud arm/disarm chirps are undesirable, Flagship Marine Alarms use a miniature waterproof miniature 89db siren indicator (ES1). The low volume ES1 siren provides low volume chirps for arming and other modes such as Deck-Sentry. During intrusions both the ES1 and the main siren sound. In all cases a marine alarm should be able to turn off loud siren chirps and use some form of LED indicator or display for alarm status. In high security applications sirens should be concealed and fused so a thief cannot short the sirens wires together causing the alarm to fail.
Driver relays enable alarm control modules to drive high power loads such as spreader lights, flashing lights and multiple sirens. Most driver relays can activate loads up to twenty amps @ 12Vdc. For higher reliability keep relay contact current below fifty per cent. Relays should be sealed and supplied with a dedicated 12Vdc feed if loads exceed five amps. Always fuse relay feeds appropriately to prevent damage. Diodes can be added to the relay coil in series to protect control boxes from accidental battery reversal.
Driver relays can also activate devices that require dry relay contacts such as cellular dialers and long range radios.
Pressure mats are thin vinyl mats that activate the alarm when they are stepped on. Pressure mats come in various sizes and must be weatherproof. Typical sizes are 6”x18” and 18”x24”. Pressure mats are normally open and should be placed on waterproof connectors so they can be removed to service the boat. The biggest advantage of pressure mats is that they do not consume any power and can be used where deck sensors cannot be mounted such as above aft cabins or on a flybridge. Pressure mats are easily damaged by sharp objects such as water skis or if they are bent in the wrong direction. Extra sealant should be added to the pressure mat’s wire entry to ensure moisture cannot enter.
Strobes and Flashing LED Indicators
Bright red strobe lights can be used to maximize alarm response and immediately identified the vessel in trouble. Most installations incorporate driver relays such as our FS401 to activate and flash boarding lights instead of using strobes. If you decide to use both or just a strobe, choose a strobe light that is easy to mount and uses LEDs instead of xenon bulbs. LED based strobes are more reliable because they are less affected by vibration and do not wear out.
Red LED status indicators can act as a visual deterrent while providing alarm system status. The typical red LED can tell you if the alarm is armed, system diagnostics and what sensor zone triggered while the alarm was active. When mounting an LED always seal the wire leads and use a resistor to reduce power consumption especially aboard boats with minimum power sources. The only downside of adding an LED is the increased battery power consumption and in most cases it cannot be seen in bright sunlight.
Dock Disconnect Sensors
Typically most boats that are towed from the docked are stripped clean before the vessel can be found via GPS or by the police. The DDS1 Dock Disconnect Sensor from Flagship Marine Security combines a magnetic switch along and end of line resistor to detect when the vessel is untied from the dock. When the dock disconnect sensor is vandalized or removed from the permanent dock mounting port the onboard alarm activates immediately. At foreign docks the sensor can be routed through cleats or around dock poles and back into the boat to the DDS1’s plug base. The dock disconnect can also be connected to dinghies and jet-skis. On trailer boats such as bass boats, the sensor can be looped through gas tanks, trailer wheels, coolers, around mooring covers and other equipment to prevent theft and vandalism. Some installers protect the disconnect cable with nylon tubing or disguise it as a dock rope. DDS1 sensors utilize Flagship Marine Security’s Marine Link make the sensor virtually tamperproof.
Dock disconnects that utilize armor cable have a tendency to fail and corrode due to the marine environment and constant use. Armored cable can also be very difficult to roll up, store away and may leave undesirable rust stains.
Trailer sensors mount inside the boat’s bow near the trailers winch hook. When the trailer incurs vibration or movement it activates the boat’s security system. Trailer sensors are normally open and are not sensitive to the position of the boat like mercury switches are. Trailer sensors should be set for high vibration to avoid false alarms and cannot be used while the boat is docked.
Securing Outboards and Lower Units
Flagship Marine Security’s OB1 outboard sensor utilizes a mercury switch and pull-apart connector to trigger the alarm when the engine cover is removed or tilted to vandalize outboard motors and lower units. The OB1-W works with the wireless Marine Link transmitters for tamper proof wireless installations. Some outboard companies incorporate remote engine ignition cutoffs into their outboards. Unfortunately ignition cutoffs do little to prevent motor theft and vandalism. If the outboard comes with a remote ignition cutoff the dealer should provide detailed procedures on bypassing the ignition disable system for emergencies.
The outboard’s trim & tilt switches can also be monitored by using Flagship Marine Security’s FS401-ISO relay kit and isolator to sound the alarm when the outboards are lowered. You can try putting locks on the outboard’s mounting brackets and propeller. For small motors mounted on rails consider using locks, OB1 outboard or a DDS1 dock disconnect sensor. Some small outboard owners run a small wire to the outboard that must be cut to activate the alarm. If you do this, run a three conductor wire and use two wires for a normally closed loop and the third wire for a normally open loop. If a vandal tries to jump wires, there is an excellent chance that the alarm will sound.
High Water Switches
Always use a marine approved bilge switch to activate a 24 hour high water alarm. Do not use the magnetic float switches that can be jammed with debris floating in the bilge. Quality marine alarms do not activate the alarm until the bilge switch is activated for a minimum of four seconds to eliminate false alarms due to normal boat movement. Once activated, the alarm should provide an intermittent siren pulse. The pulsed siren informs the boat owner that it is a high water alarm and not an intrusion so they can react appropriately.
Voice communicators can monitor outputs from alarm control panels, high water sensors, battery monitors and relay this information via a cellular phone or land line to notify boat-owners of a problem. Most auto-dialers can dial up to eight numbers and relay messages in your own voice describing the problem.
The disadvantage of voice dialers is that most docks do not have phone land lines. In this case you must use a cellular phone and pay for the monthly service. This system is not designed for marine use, but if housed in a safe dry area aboard large low vibration boats they work well.
Low cost GSM cellular communicator sends text messages directly to your cell phone providing system status such as burglary, arm status or high water utilizing pre-paid SIM cards. Some GSM systems can be programmed by a cell phone or through a PC’s serial port. Typical SIM cards from AT&T cost about a hundred dollars for one year of service. No contracts or monthly fees required. GSM communicators should be mounted as high as possible in dry secure locations. When the boat is traveling internationally, SIM cards should be removed to eliminate expensive roaming fees. Most GSM communicators have internal backup batteries in case the boats power is disconnected. GSM communicators can dial multiple cell phones or activate on boards systems.
Pagers consist of an on-board transmitter that is triggered by the boat’s alarm and activates a handheld receiver that is usually located inside the boat-owners house. Most pagers are car alarm pagers placed in a secure area of the boat away from wet areas. Unfortunately system performance is nowhere near the four or five miles advertised. If the boat is within a thousand feet line of site, the system may perform well. Proper transmitter and antenna placement is critical. The newest pagers use FM communications and again have limited range. Longer range systems are very expensive. Typical pager should consume zero power until activated and be reliable to a thousand feet line of site. Flagship Marine Security’s pager is housed in PVC tubing including the antennae to protect it in a marine environment. The receiver in the house plugs into normal 120Vac power.
Long Range Radios
In many parts of the country a small long range radio can be placed aboard the boat that communicates with a central monitoring station for a monthly fee. If the boat is located close to the owners house or business a long range radio can link the boat to the house or commercial alarm panel without increasing monitoring fees.
Wireless cellular cameras mounted in and around the boat allow you to send live shots of your boat to a PC, PDA or cellular phone. Cellular cameras can be triggered by internal motion detectors, change in ambient temperature, on-board alarm systems or by cellular phone. All cellular cameras require a dedicated cellular account that uses multimedia messaging and are powered by 120Vac or 12Vdc.
To eliminate cellular fees some cameras use a memory stick that can be downloaded at a later time to a PC to review passed events captured by the camera. Some utilize a pre-paid SIM car to eliminate contracts and monthly fees.
Global Positioning Systems
There are many companies that manufacture global positioning systems that can be used aboard boats. Most GPS tracking systems are systems used for tracking vehicle fleets that are modified for marine use. Flagship Marine Security GPS Marine is pre-configured to report intrusion, high water or high temperature. Typically a GPS costs approximately $300 to $1200 and a monthly fee ($10 to $50) for a satellite or cellular link. When the GPS system is activated by the alarm or other emergency sensors, the GPS information is transmitted to a custom server that contacts the boat owner of the event. Some GPS alarms come with limited alarm features but usually require a dedicated alarm to be connected to it for complete security. Roaming rates apply to GPS/GSM systems so be careful where you travel to avoid expensive fees.
Marine Alarm Installations Hints
If you have any questions about your installation the alarm manufacture should provide 7 x 24 support and custom schematics for your configuration. If outside contractors or a manufacture is installing the alarm, provide them with a custom schematic and the alarm manufacturer’s contact information so they can provide accurate and quality installations. This type of preparation virtually insures a reliable and high quality alarm system that will be headache free for years. If you have any installations suggestions and want to help your fellow boater, please feel free to send them to www.boatalarm.com.