The new company Boatsense Solutions has applied a rigorous keep-it-simple, -rugged, and -economical approach to its single eponymous product. It does not offer GPS tracking or a display screen, it does not include a call center or user Web site, and it doesn’t even send alarms by voice calls or e-mail. What the little black box does do, very well in fact, is text message your cellphone if your bilge fills or battery goes dead or anything else happens aboard that you can sensor and send to its three auxiliary inputs. Potted in epoxy is a cellular data modem, antenna included, that’s set up to communicate with any available GSM network, which means nearly global coastal coverage. You send it text messages to "program" it to call your number—and a couple others if you wish—and to name the optional alarms, which can include usually off sensors like a fire alarm or usually on sensors like a magnetic switch ("Intruder!"). Boatsense Solutions is $499 for the basic hardware and $180 a year for up to 20 messages a month.
This article originally appeared in the November 2007 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.