SAIL

Boat Oversight

In a world where you can track your friends’ locations in real time and stream yourself live on the internet, it should come as no surprise that you can also keep a close eye on your boat from the comfort of home. In fact, not only is there a plethora of options out there, but most of them go a lot further than simply telling you where your boat is. As for you Luddites who think this kind of thing is a bit much, be aware that many insurers offer a discount of up to 10 percent if you have a boat monitor, which means a basic system can even pay for itself in the end.

RAISING THE ALARM

At its simplest, a monitor is just a GPS tracker that relays your boat’s position to a computer, tablet or smartphone via a dedicated app. You can also pre-set a specific boundary—so-called geo-fencing—in which case it will warn you if your boat ever strays too far, much like an anchor alarm.

Most units raise an alarm via their local cellphone network and therefore only function in areas with reasonable coverage; even with a booster aboard, your range will be just a few miles. Many have built-in SIM cards with a set monthly subscription. Others allow you to choose your own. In either case, you should check the coverage for any areas you want to cruise. If you’re sailing off the beaten track, a more foolproof approach is

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from Sail

Sail3 min read
Bareboat Racing
If not all who wander are lost, then not all who charter are content with sailing between snorkeling spots and sinking a few Painkillers at beach bars. Some want a dose of hard-sailing action blended in with their sunshine and warmth—the kind of acti
Sail3 min readTech
Gear
Standard Horizon’s HX890 handheld packs a lot of technology into a small package, including DSC and 66-channel WAAS GPS. It’s available in black or Navy Blue and not only floats, but is equipped with a water-activated strobe, providing an extra measu
Sail5 min read
Boatsitting 101
Many cruising sailors find themselves having to leave their boat unattended for an extended period from time to time, and that’s where people like me come in. For some reason, people trust me. My home, Brunswick, Georgia, hosts hundreds of cruising b