Friday, 26 March 2010

My Boat Has Just Sent Me a TEXT

One of the little projects that I am currently working on, is remote control of boats by SMS.

Now, before you all starting writing to your M.P's, I'm not talking about moving the boat by SMS (that would be silly !!).

No, I'm talking about switching on items of equipment on the boat, remotely, by sending it a text.

Just Imagine - you only use your boat at the weekend !!

It's Thursday lunchtime and its going to be a nippy Easter Bank Holiday.

You plan to drive up to the boat this evening after a hard week at work.

The journey to the marina is going to take an hour or two in the traffic.

You'll arrive to a cold boat and spend the next couple of hours trying to warm it up.

BUT: you can text the boat with your mobile and tell it to turn the heating on !!!

Really ?

Well, to be precise, you can text the boat's SMS Portal and it will recognise its you and switch the diesel heater on for whatever duration you tell it.

What's more it will text you back and confirm that it's done it.

You start your drive to the marina and you've got all the food for the weekend in the boot of the car.

However, you don't have a shore line, so the fridge will be off and it's going to take a while to chill down and get the beer/wine cool.

No problem, text the boat and tell it to turn the fridge on.


You've have a great weekend, relaxing and cruising.

You finally get home on Monday night, worn out.

As you pull on to your drive, what you don't know is that you forgot to lubricate the stern gland after your trip.

Its been dripping away since you closed the boat up and drove away from the marina.

Water is slowly but surely building up in the bilge.

Its very slow, but it will be several weeks until you will return to the boat. Lets hope the bilge pump and the batteries are up to it.

Suddenly, your Bilge Alarm Monitor goes off - it's detected 5mm of water rising on your baseplate.

Nobody can hear it sounding inside the boat.

No problem - your mobile vibrates.

The boat has texted you and tells you there is a problem.

It's a long drive back to your boat when you are tired, but it's better than finding a flooded bilge in a fortnights time.


  1. But you know that when you arrive back at the boat there will be no flood and it was actually a false alarm caused by a tempremental electrical component!
    Seriously - neat idea.
    Capt A

  2. I have been thinking along these lines too.
    Which of the various SMS boxes are you using?

    NB Just Heaven

  3. I'm planning on building a small computer into my boat which, along with a 3G dongle and a usb interface to an arduino with float sensor and relays, allows sms sending and receiving and notice of taking on water and control of appliances.

    Same idea, different implementation...


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