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It turned out to be very difficult to find security companies that could address the problem. But in the end, I learned that Ultra Secure Direct were due to import a system from the Far East that sounded interesting. Above all, they were prepared to discuss the issues, though they would not travel to do demonstrations - I had to go to them (to keep costs down, they said).

I have purchased a kit for £150 which includes

- A control panel

-one PIR sensor (which was upgraded to a pet friendly version - click here to find out why)

- one door sensor

- 2 remote control units

- all necessary batteries

The only thing I had to buy was a pay-as-you-go simcard.

Now here are the interesting aspects of the system

- it runs on 12v (too many domestic systems are designed for 240v ac)

- the sensors are wireless, so there is no need for tricky cable runs (each has its own little battery)

- the units are so light they can be attached to the boat with velcro, allowing for experiment regarding position.

-in passive mode, the battery drain is only a few milliamps. This is critical  for boats on a mooring.

The only constraint is the 12v  supply to the control panel, which in most boats should be easy to do. (Of course it needs to go to the batteries direct, bypassing any battery switches). I have opted to take the power from the service batteries for 2 reasons (a ) they are maintained by the wind generator, even when switched off, and (b) the existing passive system is run from the engine start battery.

So how does it work?

1: If there is an intruder the system will dial up to six phone numbers in sequence until there is an answer (cycling 3 times before giving up), and send up to 3 SMS messages.

2: If I answer one of the phone calls, I will hear the alarm message and I can, remotely

   (a ) reset the alarm

   (b) turn the alarm off

   (c ) listen to what is happening on board

   (d) speak to the person in the cabin

In fact (c ) is the critical one because I will know whether the other alarm has been set off. This corroboration is, I am told,  important to persuade police that the alarm is genuine.

However, using (d) imagine the effect of saying to the burglar “Would you please leave now!”

At least now I am in a position to start taking some action.

This is still at a development stage and there are some detailed issues to be considered

Installation issues..

Alarm location

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