We installed a packaged alarm
system sold by Marine
Guard. We have no affiliation with this company; just extremely satisfied customers.
MarineGuard Product Catalog - Packaged Boat Alarms
We have pressure sensors epoxied underneath all areas that an intruder might step upon on our deck
. The alarm
kit includes a very loud siren similar to those used in home alarms. The only thing we added to the kit is a bright light. The controller has a wiring
terminal to connect such a light. The alarm can be activated by a switch when we are down inside the boat; or by an alarm decoder which we keep on the key chain with the companionway
key when leave the boat. The original decoders were not waterproof. We purchased waterproof decoders from another source.
When we return to the boat at night, we depress the decoder when we step back onto the boat. The light is mounted over the cockpit
and remains lit for 2 minutes after deactivating the alarm. This provides good lighting
as we unlock and enter the boat. If an intruder steps onto the boat when the alarm is activated, then the light flashes and the siren wails until we turn off the alarm OR until the intruder steps off the boat.
The alarm system also has what I call an "announcer" -- just like most home security
alarm systems when someone opens an exterior door. The alarm bongs as long as someone is standing or walking on the deck
when the "announcer" is activated. I particularly like this feature because sometimes my husband leaves the boat while we are at anchor
; if I am down below then I know instantly if anyone has stepped onto our boat.
This is not an inexpensive alarm system but I believe it is well worth the cost. We have used this system for over 5 years and have never had a false alarm. Except once, when tied stern to a dock
when a night-time storm passed through Cartagena
, and the boat was moving wildly. (We always set the alarm at night, even when docked in marinas
. We have known people who have had their boats boarded and robbed while docked in marinas
.) The pressure of the tight dock
lines as the boat bounced around caused the alarm to activate. We jumped out of bed
, checked the deck, deactivated the alarm, and then experimented until discovering the problem. That is the only instance of a false alarm.
The pressure sensors were extremely easy to install. Only caveat is that each sensor requires a wiring
home run. That was very easy on our boat but might be more difficult on another model boat.
I highly recommend this alarm system. It provides great safety
peace of mind when cruising in certain areas.