Are You Protected? Page 2

Are You Protected?

Part 2: Digital video tracking is often used these days instead of deck sensors.

By Diane M. Byrne — March 2003


Illustration: Charlie Hill
 More of this Feature

• Part 1: Are You Protected?
• Part 2: Are You Protected?

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• AffAirAction
• Maritron
• Palmer Johnson

Here's how it works. Using technology that Maritron says was developed by the military, digital video tracking enables CCTV cameras to track and graphically record motion. The key word here is motion--the system is programmed to record only when movement is detected, and only the type of movement you select. Pullens says this means it can be set to distinguish between, say, people walking by along the docks and a true intruder trying to gain access to your boat. Once a person enters a camera's field of view, a recorded announcement, which can be a computer-generated voice or a human one, tells him or her to stay put until you or a crew member comes outside. If the person continues to move, additional cameras sense the motion and activate further announcements that are audible both inside the yacht and throughout the surrounding area.

Digital video tracking is often used these days instead of deck sensors, another type of security system that has been around for several years. As the name implies, deck sensors are feelers placed in various locations underfoot that detect movement. Like digital video tracking, deck sensors are interfaced with voice systems to warn individuals to stay put until you come outside to meet them, and the sensors will trip an alarm if the warning is ignored. However, because installation of these deck sensors requires that your yacht essentially be torn up, Pullens says that CCTVs provide the same advantages more effectively.

Speaking of doors, if you've ever misplaced your house keys or car keys, you know all too well the feeling of panic that can arise. So imagine what would happen if you--or your crew--did the same with the keys to your yacht. Beyond that, while no one likes to think about it, the fact remains that if you have a crew, one day you or your captain may have to fire someone, and what happens if that person holds onto or even duplicates a key? To address this, Maritron can install a keyless entry system that works with card readers, much like many hotels do these days. Since each card has a code, if the card is lost or stolen, the code can be deleted from the system. Depending on your needs, Maritron can set up the system to record who comes and goes through each access point throughout the day and control access to certain areas, such as the master stateroom. The company also says that since the card readers are sealed units, no parts are subject to the harshness of the marine environment.

Another security expert owners often turn to is Patrick Estebe, a former French captain and the owner of Florida-based security-consulting firm AffAirAction. In fact, Estebe was tapped by Palmer Johnson to assist with the development of a new security division within its On Call program. (Palmer Johnson On Call is a 24-hour, worldwide chandlery, fuel bunkering, and logistical support service for owners, captains, and crew.) Estebe and his team will perform a security survey in which they evaluate how easy it is to get on and off your yacht and make recommendations for installing a variety of equipment, such as the items mentioned above. But AffAirAction will also check the crew's training and review everything that's brought onboard before outlining a security plan and review all of these findings with you, your family, and your crew present.

Logic dictates that the key to a good security system is preventing an intruder from gaining access to your boat. While the crew of the 102-footer described earlier in this story got lucky, a bat isn't exactly an ideal "system." Any expert will also tell you that a good security system simultaneously avoids the disruption of normal onboard activities. At the end of the day, there's nothing more important than enjoying your investment with peace of mind.

AffAirAction Phone: (954) 765-1030.

Maritron Phone: (954) 929-6588.

Palmer Johnson On Call Phone: (866) PJ-ON-CALL.

Previous page > Are You Protected? Part 1 > Page 1, 2

This article originally appeared in the March 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.

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