Boat Security Options

Protecting your fishing boat from theft has never been easier

July 28, 2015

GOST NT-Evolution 2.0 SM / WATCH HD

GOST NT-Evolution 2.0 SM / WATCH HD
GOST NT-Evolution 2.0 SM / WATCH HD Courtesy GOST

The satellite-based GOST (Global Ocean Security Technologies) NT-Evolution system ($4,999) informs you of your boat’s status at all times. Its Inmarsat M2M GPS monitors your boat’s position and provides online 24/7 tracking. Set the geofence to include only your slip, or your full marina should you wish to allow staff to move the boat for maintenance, fueling or pump-outs. A voltage sensor, a bilge water-level monitor and an entrypoint sensor offer more protection. Should any of these triggers (or any of the many optional ones) be tripped, automatic email and text messages update you on the vessel’s status. An IP67 water-resistant housing protects the system.

Optional GOST Cloak, upon illegal egress, completely fills the vessel with an opaque, odorless, residue-free smoke to drive intruders out. Our test system also featured GOST Watch HD ($9,888) with two (of six max) security cameras that stream live from the vessel.

Our Experience: We assembled the components on a panel and powered them with a 12-volt jump-start battery for two to three hours. All the components were given their electronic “handshake” at the factory, so our job was just to plug them into the system and turn it on. In addition, we needed to log on to the website to designate emergency contacts, set the geofence and set preferences for alarm sensitivity.


We received notification when the system powered up, and again when the battery was depleted. We were notified when a test hatch was opened and when our tester triggered the bilge float. When our boat drove away from home port, GOST tracked it in real time, so we could communicate with law enforcement on the vessel’s whereabouts.

Eyeball cameras transmitted color video to our laptop via the website. When the FLIR M-Series camera is online, the owner can rotate the camera 360 degrees and 180 degrees up or down to inspect the vessel remotely.

All these features require a robust communication system, and that is a power gobbler. You need 12 or 24 volts, at about 6 amps, to keep the system functioning, making this best suited for long-range vessels.


Power Demands: 12 to 24 volts, requiring 6 amps

Geofence Test: It was easy to create the geofence and customize it to allow in-port operation for fueling or maintenance without deactivating it.

Service: $36 monthly, $30 monthly


Price: $4,999, $9,888

Spot Trace

Spot Trace
Spot Trace Courtesy Spot Trace

This satellite GPS receiver and communicator is the size of a Zippo lighter, so it can be hidden anywhere in the boat as long as only a layer of fiberglass or plastic comes between it and the stars. Its snap-on bracket can be glued or screwed in place. An accelerometer detects motion and notifies the owner via email or text message. Several contacts can be set. Notifications can be set at intervals of 1, 2.5, 5 or even more minutes.


When the asset stops, another message is sent. Standby battery times number into weeks; monitoring and reporting times are measured in hours and days. Hard wiring it to the battery makes more sense — if you can hide the power cable. Battery power will take over when external power is removed.

Our Experience: This was the easiest of all devices to set up and maintain, owing partly to its single-minded mission of telling you where your asset is. We put our test device in our boat, hitched up and immediately got a notification of motion. Then, our progress to the dentist, and finally, the office, was monitored and reported.

Power Demands: 12 volts or three AAA batteries

Geofence Test: Activates on motion, not geofence, but the unit often failed to notify us of the moment motion began, yet apprised us of changing locations.

Service: $99.99 to $199.98 annually

Price $99.95


GPLink Courtesy GPLink

This security system’s communications operate on cellular and satellite systems, opting for the cheaper connections when available. A concierge service helps monitor your vessel, following up on automated notifications in the most critical circumstances. The engine-monitoring system is most impressive, though we couldn’t test it directly, lacking diesel power with digital communications ports. It communicates revolutions per minute, speed, fuel flow and many other engine-monitoring variables and fault codes in near real time to the GPLink site for remote readout. Our test system monitored AC power and bilge-water levels. Entryway and motion sensors are among the many also available.

Our Experience: This was by far the easiest full security system to assemble and activate. We powered it with a paperback-size Li-ion battery starter pack for two hours as we set off cross-country with the device activated below the coffin-box hatch of our boat. It clocked our progress in real time via cellular networks, beginning when we left our geofence.

When cellular connections failed in the more remote parts of southern Central Florida, it engaged satellite service to maintain full tracking until the battery died — and it sent us voltage warnings as voltage diminished. All these notifications and our position on a chart were visible on the GPLink tracking Web page. Each notification included a location link. Bilge-water levels used an electronic, not mechanical, float switch. A customized time delay can be set to allow bilge-water problems to self-correct. The AC power sensor is simply plugged into any outlet. All censors communicate with the system wirelessly.

Power Demands: 12 to 24 volts, low draw

Geofence Test: It was easy to establish the geofence and customize it to allow in-port operation for fueling or maintenance without deactivating it.

Service: $1,500 annually, with concierge

Price: $4,200


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