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Old 16-09-2017, 09:52   #1
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Security at anchor - camera in top of mast

Hi All,

I am thinking that while you sleep at anchor, it would be great to have a camera keeping a lookout. Could one or more camera(s) be placed - possibly in mast - to detect approaching people, who could be swimming or in a small dinghy?

It would probably (?) be detection by infrared technology, as motion detection would not work at distance and with the unsettled sea as background.

Has anyone done this? Is there a company providing a product?

Cheers,
Dane
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Old 16-09-2017, 10:28   #2
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Re: Security at anchor - camera in top of mast

We use IR break-beam sensors on our gunnels- they trigger the cameras mounted on the mast if interrupted. Motion detection doesn't work above deck-too much going on. We use Iris by Lowes which is a home automation & security system - the hub is 12V (with a transformer plug)...the cameras are also 12v compatible and many of the sensor modules (smoke, monoxide, fire, alarm siren, contact, motion and water leak sensors) are battery operated & wireless...also has cellular only features but really made for a broadband connection (we use a hotspot).
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Old 16-09-2017, 10:28   #3
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Re: Security at anchor - camera in top of mast

Not that I'm aware of.

Sounds like a solution in search of a problem.
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Old 16-09-2017, 10:35   #4
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Re: Security at anchor - camera in top of mast

I just found this post.. Something for me to have a look at. Pricy, but I expected that. Thermal imaging i still not cheap.

Thermal Night Vision Cameras
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Old 16-09-2017, 11:00   #5
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Re: Security at anchor - camera in top of mast

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Originally Posted by Adelie View Post
Not that I'm aware of.

Sounds like a solution in search of a problem.
Interesting contribution... I guess it's your way of asking me to elaborate on the need and potential benefit of having such a system installed. Here goes..

Boardings at night by "bad guys" are - small risk as it is - known to have caused loss of property, injuries or even death. Now, you will need to apply your knowledge about human nature. That being, that there is a difference between "being about to go into action" and "being committed". Consider two situations. One is where "the bad guys" - while sitting in their dinghy 50 feet away - are flooded by light and having someone soon after shouting at them. The other situations is when the armed intruder(s) are face to face with the crew inside the anchored yacht.

In the first situation the "bad guys" can still abort mission, in the second situation they have committed - and it is going down... Can you see it? Some potential very bad situations can be avoided. Not all. Some...
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Old 16-09-2017, 11:37   #6
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Re: Security at anchor - camera in top of mast

Sounds like it's time to sail somewhere nicer.
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Old 16-09-2017, 12:48   #7
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Re: Security at anchor - camera in top of mast

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dane View Post
Interesting contribution... I guess it's your way of asking me to elaborate on the need and potential benefit of having such a system installed. Here goes..

Boardings at night by "bad guys" are - small risk as it is - known to have caused loss of property, injuries or even death. Now, you will need to apply your knowledge about human nature. That being, that there is a difference between "being about to go into action" and "being committed". Consider two situations. One is where "the bad guys" - while sitting in their dinghy 50 feet away - are flooded by light and having someone soon after shouting at them. The other situations is when the armed intruder(s) are face to face with the crew inside the anchored yacht.

In the first situation the "bad guys" can still abort mission, in the second situation they have committed - and it is going down... Can you see it? Some potential very bad situations can be avoided. Not all. Some...
I think you're going to find there is no way of reliably triggering a deterrent...lights, sound, whatever, until someone is either extremely close to your boat or actually boarding it. At any sort of distance you're going to get all sorts of false alarms from wave action, wildlife, etc.

I bet that statistically you have a better chance of being hit by a bus or struck by lightning than being boarded and assaulted. Which means your time is probably better spent reading bus schedules and weather reports.

That said, a light going off and some sign of occupancy of the boat will deter all but the most desperate of thieves even at close range. Some time ago I asked a city detective in Washington DC what the best security system is for a house in the city. He said "A good sized dog that barks at the door." He was very serious. So a dog would probably work best of all.
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Old 16-09-2017, 13:06   #8
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Re: Security at anchor - camera in top of mast

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dane View Post
Interesting contribution... I guess it's your way of asking me to elaborate on the need and potential benefit of having such a system installed. Here goes..

Boardings at night by "bad guys" are - small risk as it is - known to have caused loss of property, injuries or even death. Now, you will need to apply your knowledge about human nature. That being, that there is a difference between "being about to go into action" and "being committed". Consider two situations. One is where "the bad guys" - while sitting in their dinghy 50 feet away - are flooded by light and having someone soon after shouting at them. The other situations is when the armed intruder(s) are face to face with the crew inside the anchored yacht.

In the first situation the "bad guys" can still abort mission, in the second situation they have committed - and it is going down... Can you see it? Some potential very bad situations can be avoided. Not all. Some...
One issue is that you are by definition not a local in these situations. This means that your ability to distinguish "bad guys" from fishermen is really pretty poor at any distance. The cultural cues are not the same as at home. A boat with all the crew wearing balaclavas in one location means big trouble and in another means they are protecting themselves from the sun.

I guess you could use some below deck alarm to wake you every time the video goes on and then make your evaluation. We have under-deck mounted strain gauges that when enabled detect someone on the swimstep or in the cockpit. Lights go on and dog barks at the swimstep. Alarm is added at the cockpit.

We really work hard at cruising in areas where we don't even consider using the alarm system, but sometimes you spend time in some rough neighborhoods. Eastern Caribbean and Central America we used the alarm. We haven't enabled once in the South Pacific.
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Old 16-09-2017, 13:47   #9
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Re: Security at anchor - camera in top of mast

Sigh..

Not to sound too ungrateful, but could we stay a bit closer to my original question please?

- Yes, I know anchoring is not likely to kill me.
- Yes, I am using the inside of my head to choose sailing grounds and not be a fool.
- Yes, I know about systems to detect intruders, WHEN they are already on the boat.

You may - or may not - agree that detecting a possible threat at night and addressing it with light and possibly sound before intruders climb aboard my boat, will give me an advantage. Could you just assume for the constructive progress of this thread, that I will use that information wisely?

OK then. I will be super grateful if someone has SPECIFIC technical knowledge or even experience with such detection technology.

Thank you,
Dane
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Old 16-09-2017, 14:22   #10
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Re: Security at anchor - camera in top of mast

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dane View Post
Sigh..

Not to sound too ungrateful, but could we stay a bit closer to my original question please?

- Yes, I know anchoring is not likely to kill me.
- Yes, I am using the inside of my head to choose sailing grounds and not be a fool.
- Yes, I know about systems to detect intruders, WHEN they are already on the boat.
I consider the swimstep as pre-intrusion detection and the cockpit as intrusion detection. That's why we use different responses in each case

You may - or may not - agree that detecting a possible threat at night and addressing it with light and possibly sound before intruders climb aboard my boat, will give me an advantage. Could you just assume for the constructive progress of this thread, that I will use that information wisely?
Having been in these situations many times, it is hard to 'assume' that you will accurately detect threats in the locations where you do not know the customs or culture

OK then. I will be super grateful if someone has SPECIFIC technical knowledge or even experience with such detection technology.
You had at least one response above about using cameras tied to detection sensors.
If you keep pushing hard enough you may find an example that supports what you want to do.


Thank you,
Dane
..........
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Old 16-09-2017, 14:39   #11
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Re: Security at anchor - camera in top of mast

Paul L,

I still find it better if my lights go on, and a dog barks perhaps, when the possible intruder is say 15-20 meter out, compared to when he steps on the swimstep. So yes, I hope to have some input (already got the FLIR M232 found by own research in the forum).

If I can install a reliable detection system I have options. If local culture includes having dinghies or swimmers passing close by during night, I can adjust to that practice. I don't need to play the dog barking and I could turn on less of a light for instance. That's all details. My approach would be one with a number of steps. Just like yours with both pre-intrusion and intrusion responses.
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Old 16-09-2017, 14:55   #12
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Re: Security at anchor - camera in top of mast

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dane View Post
Sigh..



Not to sound too ungrateful, but could we stay a bit closer to my original question please?



- Yes, I know anchoring is not likely to kill me.

- Yes, I am using the inside of my head to choose sailing grounds and not be a fool.

- Yes, I know about systems to detect intruders, WHEN they are already on the boat.



You may - or may not - agree that detecting a possible threat at night and addressing it with light and possibly sound before intruders climb aboard my boat, will give me an advantage. Could you just assume for the constructive progress of this thread, that I will use that information wisely?



OK then. I will be super grateful if someone has SPECIFIC technical knowledge or even experience with such detection technology.



Thank you,

Dane


And now you are discovering something about this and most other Internet forums, once the thread is started it belongs to the forum and the topic will drift. As long as the discussion remains related to cruising the topic of any thread can drift as much as it likes. The exception being classifieds, if the discussion drifts away from the item(s) being sold the moderators will step in sometimes at the OriginalPoster's request.

I have a suggestion. Rather than seek an answer from the general forum members seek it from a subgroup that shares your level of concern about intruders. Post you question in this thread: Prepper Boat Thread
This thread is dormant currently so you wouldn't be highjacking the thread. Also the people who posted in it are most likely still subscribed so when you make a new post most of them will get an email that the thread is active again.
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Old 16-09-2017, 14:58   #13
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Re: Security at anchor - camera in top of mast

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Paul L,

I still find it better if my lights go on, and a dog barks perhaps, when the possible intruder is say 15-20 meter out, compared to when he steps on the swimstep. So yes, I hope to have some input (already got the FLIR M232 found by own research in the forum).

If I can install a reliable detection system I have options
. If local culture includes having dinghies or swimmers passing close by during night, I can adjust to that practice. I don't need to play the dog barking and I could turn on less of a light for instance. That's all details. My approach would be one with a number of steps. Just like yours with both pre-intrusion and intrusion responses.
One of the biggest practical issues with any alarm system is the number of false alarms. Once this gets to anywhere near say one a night, or for me greater than one a month, then the alarm will stop being used. Getting g woken up 3 times a night is just untenable.

There are no reliable and practical detection systems that will work at 15-20 meters.

You say you will adjust your practice based on the location local culture. If you are cruiser then you will get the local culture after you have been in a location or anchorage for awhile, but unfortunately it is when you first get somewhere that you will not have much of a clue. Think of the anchorage you get in late and are the only cruising boat there.

How will you adjust when between 3am and 4am 15 pangas leave to go fishing and feel compelled to pass as close as possible to your boat.
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Old 16-09-2017, 15:10   #14
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Re: Security at anchor - camera in top of mast

One could place multiple cameras surveying the perimeter of your boat and stay up all night watching feeds from these cameras on monitors inside. Personally, I feel safer from invaders at anchor than at home, but do whatever you feel keeps you safe.
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Old 16-09-2017, 15:14   #15
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Re: Security at anchor - camera in top of mast

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dane View Post
Sigh..

Not to sound too ungrateful, but could we stay a bit closer to my original question please?

- Yes, I know anchoring is not likely to kill me.
- Yes, I am using the inside of my head to choose sailing grounds and not be a fool.
- Yes, I know about systems to detect intruders, WHEN they are already on the boat.

You may - or may not - agree that detecting a possible threat at night and addressing it with light and possibly sound before intruders climb aboard my boat, will give me an advantage. Could you just assume for the constructive progress of this thread, that I will use that information wisely?

OK then. I will be super grateful if someone has SPECIFIC technical knowledge or even experience with such detection technology.

Thank you,
Dane
When you post a question on a public forum, you are bound to get some replies that don't suit you. Criticizing people for not answering exactly as you expected is not going to help things, it generally turns people off.

Now here is my response, like it or ignore it:

Thinking cameras contribute to security is a mistake. Cameras do not stop thieves or people who intend to harm you. All a camera does is give you a video of people carrying your stuff off. Unless you recognize the people, it's not going to be worth the cost of installing them.

Personally, I have to agree with the person who suggested not going to places where you think you need to worry about people boarding your boat uninvited. That's the first step in security, boat or otherwise: Limit your exposure.
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