A PIR, flood sensor, smoke sensor and a couple of reeds is plenty for most boats

What’s the best wireless alarm panel for a 45-foot yacht? It’s not a large application – reeds on 2 cockpit hatches, the main hatch and 2 deck hatches, a single curtain PIR, a smoke sensor and a flood sensor. The boat has wind and solar generation and is fitted with an inverter so there is mains power for the controller. What would you suggest?

Given you have mains aboard, it’s really up to you – you’ll need to make sure you select a brand with a flood sensor in the range – not everyone has one. Consider selecting a controller with space to a larger battery to give additional support in the event battery power is lost. Typically, an inverter will switch off if batteries get low so as to avoid damaging them with a too-deep discharge. The ability to continue monitoring the boat for a couple of days unsupported would be worthwhile.

We’d also recommend you install a movement activated camera in the saloon to handle video verification – you don’t want the owner to have to rush to the boat at 2am for no reason – and if there’s power to spare, a CCTV camera will give the owner the ability to check the boat is secure and ensure your customer values their security solution. Camera placement will be important – install the camera on the stern facing forward, giving a view of main hatch, cockpit and cockpit lockers, boom and main sail, with a view of the foredeck and furling genoa. This will allow the owner to check every aspect of the boat during or after stormy weather, as well as just keeping an eye on things generally. If the camera is under a bimini or solar panel, it will have protection from the worst of sun, rain and seagulls.

When selecting a camera, look for a longer focal length – 5-6mm. You don’t need an angle of view greater than 45 degrees for this sort of an application (beam is unlikely to be greater than 13 feet) and the user will appreciate the pixel density the narrower angle of view delivers. If the boat can’t charge a basic security system using it’s own solar or wind generation gear, think about something like Ness’ solar-compatible solution SecurityGuard III solution with integrated 3G and 2-way voice.