Look. Ma. no wires

Wireless technology (WLAN) has hit marinas. Instead of boatyard operators worrying about the integrity of each boat’s electrical system and bilge pump — whether the batteries are sustaining a charge, whether the pump’s centrifugal mechanism has been clogged with debris, whether a loss of shore power has shorted a fuse — the use of wireless monitoring systems now allows a measure of peace of mind.

Not only do marinas enjoy this tool, boat owners themselves derive this information remotely, allowing them to check, via the Internet, whether their vessel’s electrical system and bilge alarms are operating effectively. (An added benefit is to have full use of the Internet at the marina.)

Several companies are offering such a service, including Colubris Networks, which, along with installer Beacon Wi-Fi, claims to have provided wireless monitoring to 100 marinas, harboring some 50,000 boats around the country, in the past year, according to Bob Olson of Colubris. And while the water still needs to stay out of the boat, requiring all of the traditional gear to continue to operate, operators can add a new tool to their inventory, which may provide a hint when something’s awry.

By Ocean Navigator