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Old 04-03-2021, 00:29   #1
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remote anchor alarm?

I watched this video recently posted by the Sailing Family: in which they tell the story of their Outremer 51 catamaran that broke its mooring at night and sustained large hull damage after hitting for some unknown time on a hotel building across the bay.

The crew was onshore having dinner. When they came back with their dinghy in the dark, they could not find their boat. It took them an unstated amount of time to locate the boat, and by then the hull was already deeply damaged.

This suggests (to me) that some sort of remote anchor alarm may have helped. Some GPS device on the boat would transmit to the crew on shore position information. The receiving device could be a phone, using the cellular network (SMS?), but this may not work in every country. Or the receiver could be a battery-powered Bluetooth AIS receiver connected to a phone.

I searched the net to find some solution for this and couldn't find anything. Did I miss anything?

Granted, in this case, this may have been ineffective. In general, I'm still interested in a remote anchor alarm. Short range is fine: the use case is when you stay close enough to the boat that you still have time to come back in time.
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Old 04-03-2021, 03:13   #2
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Re: remote anchor alarm?

Apple have an app called Anchor Pro which sounds like it would do the job if a wifi network is setup on board. I have the app but, as of yet, not the boat to test it. May be something to consider.
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Old 04-03-2021, 04:16   #3
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Re: remote anchor alarm?

> searched the net to find some solution for this and couldn't find anything. Did I miss anything


How did you search? Entering "boat monitor SMS" in Google finds lots. . Here's the first few hits:

Boatcommand
NautAlert
VesselGuard
BoatSecure
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Old 04-03-2021, 05:50   #4
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Re: remote anchor alarm?

I have an app on my iPhone simply called “anchor”. Great app, so-so interface. What is great is that it is reliable. I’ve been using it frequently for a couple of years. It works even in the background, even if app crashes or is force-quit, it keeps working. I believe it does this by taking advantage of operating system geo-fencing capabilities. I will say in tests it will alarm more quickly when out of area if app is open in foreground, so that is how I leave it at night.

This app has the capability you ask for. You need two phones running the app, both with internet/cell connection. You pair them, and take one phone with you, and leave other on the boat. I have never tried out this functionality, so can’t comment on how well it works.
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Old 04-03-2021, 06:07   #5
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Re: remote anchor alarm?

Wizard, Ohthetrees. I've delayed doing something about this since Spot stopped supporting it's boat system, because I'd need a separate SIM card for any system I could find. I'm also hearing impaired, and have not been successful rigging even a bluetooth connection between the radar/OpenCPN anchor alarms. Leave my cell phone in the wheelhouse, take the Admiral's cell phone below. That would work.
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Old 04-03-2021, 23:10   #6
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Re: remote anchor alarm?

I searched the terms "Remote Anchor Alarm" :-)

Thanks for the pointers.

SMS-based solutions are the least desirable for two reasons:

1- SMS might be expensive and/or impossible to send in countries other than yours
2- Almost impossible to confirm there is a problem. Unless you can have a direct line of sight to your boat, and it's not night yet, there is no way to check whether the alarm is a false alarm. We ideally need a way to query the boat for its current position, or for the boat to regularly broadcast it.

There are solutions that use a wifi network but that is too short a range. In many cases, you can't connect to the boat wifi from ashore.

The more I think about it, the more I believe a portable AIS receiver would be the best option. That is now possible with proper software and an SDR dongle.

Second best would be to use cellular internet: slightly better availability than SMS, and this opens the possibility to exchange data between the boat and the shore over the internet using some protocol.
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Old 04-03-2021, 23:27   #7
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Re: remote anchor alarm?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdmuys View Post
I searched the terms "Remote Anchor Alarm" :-)

Thanks for the pointers.

SMS-based solutions are the least desirable for two reasons:

1- SMS might be expensive and/or impossible to send in countries other than yours
2- Almost impossible to confirm there is a problem. Unless you can have a direct line of sight to your boat, and it's not night yet, there is no way to check whether the alarm is a false alarm. We ideally need a way to query the boat for its current position, or for the boat to regularly broadcast it.

There are solutions that use a wifi network but that is too short a range. In many cases, you can't connect to the boat wifi from ashore.

The more I think about it, the more I believe a portable AIS receiver would be the best option. That is now possible with proper software and an SDR dongle.

Second best would be to use cellular internet: slightly better availability than SMS, and this opens the possibility to exchange data between the boat and the shore over the internet using some protocol.

I have an Australian developed system, Trek Transponder, that sends an sms if the boat goes outside the geofence, it can be queried and provides the actual real time location co-ordinates along with a number of other alarm conditions, including unwanted ingress. Works anywhere sms is available, though will require an appropriate sim.
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Old 05-03-2021, 05:17   #8
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Re: remote anchor alarm?

The anchor app I mentioned isn’t sms based. It is internet based, either Wi-Fi or cellular. An AIS based system does not seem desirable to me. VHF is line of site, and very often very poor range on land because of obstruction by hills, buildings, etc.
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Old 05-03-2021, 05:31   #9
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Re: remote anchor alarm?

https://www2.vespermarine.com/cortex
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Old 05-03-2021, 08:02   #10
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Re: remote anchor alarm?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ohthetrees View Post
The anchor app I mentioned isnít sms based. It is internet based, either Wi-Fi or cellular. An AIS based system does not seem desirable to me. VHF is line of site, and very often very poor range on land because of obstruction by hills, buildings, etc.
+1 for Anchor. I leave my ipad running Anchor in the yacht and the app interfaces with the Anchor app on my iphone. Works anywhere with cellular access.

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Old 05-03-2021, 08:10   #11
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Re: remote anchor alarm?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdmuys View Post
I searched the terms "Remote Anchor Alarm" :-)

2- Almost impossible to confirm there is a problem. Unless you can have a direct line of sight to your boat, and it's not night yet, there is no way to check whether the alarm is a false alarm. We ideally need a way to query the boat for its current position, or for the boat to regularly broadcast it.
.
The Anchor app displays where the yacht is in relation to a circle around the anchor, which you can edit the size. The alarm goes off when yacht goes outside the circle. So you can easily see if it is a false alarm.

Its called Anchor! drag alarm. Fot less than $5 its a bargain.

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Old 05-03-2021, 08:11   #12
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Re: remote anchor alarm?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ohthetrees View Post
I have an app on my iPhone simply called ďanchorĒ. Great app, so-so interface. What is great is that it is reliable. Iíve been using it frequently for a couple of years. It works even in the background, even if app crashes or is force-quit, it keeps working. I believe it does this by taking advantage of operating system geo-fencing capabilities. I will say in tests it will alarm more quickly when out of area if app is open in foreground, so that is how I leave it at night.

This app has the capability you ask for. You need two phones running the app, both with internet/cell connection. You pair them, and take one phone with you, and leave other on the boat. I have never tried out this functionality, so canít comment on how well it works.
Sounds great. However I do not have an iPhone. Is there an Android equivalent???

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Old 05-03-2021, 08:16   #13
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Re: remote anchor alarm?

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Originally Posted by Tudorsailor View Post
Sounds great. However I do not have an iPhone. Is there an Android equivalent???

TS
This one looks similar and works on Android

https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...nchor&hl=en_US
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Old 05-03-2021, 08:34   #14
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Re: remote anchor alarm?

I just emailed the developers and got an impressively rapid reply


Seems that they have an Android version of Anchor
https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...canthus.anchor

If only I had an opportunity to anchor......................

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Old 05-03-2021, 19:18   #15
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Re: remote anchor alarm?

So many options! Thank you everyone, this is great. I will have a look at Anchor!... as a start
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