Everything was fine; the surveyor was purposely filling the bilge with fresh water to test the automatic bilge pump float switch. Each time a bilge pump went off, the installed pump notification program sent alerts to my seller’s phone. We laughed when I told him what was going on, and this story not only had a happy ending with a successful sale (and working bilge pump system), but at the same time it showed me how important it can be to keep track of your boat when you are away.
We have all seen the transformation in our lives of smartphone apps allowing us to communicate with our cars and our homes. It only makes sense to adapt some of that thinking to better look after your boat when you’re no longer aboard. There have been a number of marine equipment providers offering this type of service for boats over the last few years. Once installed, all they require is Wi-Fi and electricity to connect.
The idea of using apps to keep in touch with your vessel is not new, and most trawler owners I know have some sort of digital game plan to take advantage of the mobile technology that is available. When you are away from your boat, it can be unsettling because you don’t know what’s going on. So, before you jump in and spend a lot of money to install a new system, ask yourself this, “If your boat could talk to you, what would you like it to tell you?”
A useful nuisance?
Smart technology has transformed every facet of our lives and can be annoying — remember when you used to think of a cellphone as a method strictly for making mobile phone calls? Our dependence upon our smartphones is overwhelming. Adding another reason to surrender our attention and interrupt our lives is not necessarily what we want. But doesn’t the convenience of knowing the status of your vessel from afar become a nuisance that makes sense?
Boats seem to be slower to adapt to the risks and benefits of new technology (though, admittedly, the marine sector is a smaller, less profitable niche for developers), but good ideas eventually filter down from the mainstream. I have a Ring doorbell and Nest camera installed at my house, and my initial reaction was to marvel and be amazed at the newness. Now that I’m accustomed to the technology, it is very reassuring to know that I can glance at my phone and see what is going on when I’m not home. Staying connected is very popular with houses, and it is gaining momentum with boats.
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Satellite phones have evolved a full ecosystem of gear and services
Thoughts on voyaging responsibly
Yankee sails on
The steel ketch Yankee in the Connecticut River.
TRANSPAC RACE PREP
How a group of determined mostly military veterans built a race team
NOAA upgrades its global weather model
More data and a better global weather model should make for improved weather distributed to users, like this temperature gradient map.
From North Sea fishing to Sea of Cortez voyaging
The former Dutch fishing vessel turned power voyaging yacht Varnebank in Mexican waters.
IN 2019, MY HUSBAND, DOUG PASNIK, AND I RACED OUR first Transpac together with a team of 10 on our Andrews 70, Trader, comprised primarily of military veterans (see story on page 22). This year we are doing the race again and inviting four mentees from The Magenta Project to race with us.
Doing it all with one screen
The steering station on this Gunboat cat is equipped with large-screen B&G Zeus MFDs.
Don't scrimp when it comes to the crimp
Solid crimp connections make your power voyager’s electrical system more reliable.
Maritime Publishing acquires Ocean Navigator
Be a Constant Learner
Sheila Stanley spent years as a schoolteacher. Now she runs a boating franchise. What do the two have in common? A love of learning.
Ocean Proof - How To Prepare For (Nearly) Anything
In the first of a two-part series on planning for bluewater cruising, vicky ellis looks at how to be prepared for almost anything
5 Expert Tips To Win A Protest
How to win a protest
All-Electric Tugs And Pilot Boats: Are They Ready For Prime Time?
There are electric ferries and tour boats, along with proposals for fully electric containerships, bunker tankers, and barges. But how will all-electric vessels measure up to the extreme power demands of harbor tugs, or the distance and speed requirements of pilot boats?
Like The Odyssey, But For Drones
A startup’s robot sailboat just returned from Antarctica with some troubling climate clues.
5 Tips Improving Boatspeed
How to get your boat on the pace
Trout Fishing Tips From An Expert
When trout are feeding happily, you can catch a few or a boatload. Here's how to have an epic day
The Yacht Guide
The yacht space is getting bigger and better with time and with waterways being a safer way of commute amidst the pandemic, here’s a list of what is new for you or what has been updated or what a totally new segment has to offer.
The Rebirth Of Recluta
How multiple generations of the Frers family came together to reproduce the classic sailing boat, Recluta.
How To Build Yourself A Mini Tugboat For Fun
Determined to build a small, fun boat for his young grandchildren, Ian Royston made one in the style of a cheeky tugboat