As founder and CEO of Siren Marine, I’ve had the opportunity to read many letters and emails from customers sharing how Siren’s boat monitoring and tracking technology helped alert them to potentially dangerous situations aboard their boats and helped avert a wide range of disasters.
I founded the company because I was able to develop a solution to better monitor my own boat – which I then realized was a common problem for all boaters. I have benefited from my products on several occasions, and the most recent example may be the best yet.
I recently received an alert from my MTC that the shore power connection had been lost aboard Corban. I was keeping her in the water for the offseason after doing some winterizing work and having a winter cover installed. Although I had very few systems turned on, and I knew from the MTC that my batteries were fully charged, loss of shore power in itself can be a serious issue. Possible problems include dead batteries, spoiled provisions, or even worse problems in the winter when relying on a heater to prevent freezing and burst pipes. I knew I had to check on my boat immediately.
When I arrived at my boat, all appeared to be fine at first glance — she was floating in her slip, winter cover on and laying to her lines nicely. I checked my dock’s power pedestal expecting to find the circuit breaker tripped, but it was not. It was when I lifted the winter cover that I picked up the unmistakable, acrid scent of electrical fire. All was not fine, after all.
The shore power cord appeared to be connected, but at a very odd angle. I became even more concerned when I could hear the shore connector arcing with electricity. When I removed the cord from the boat-side receptacle, the sockets were visibly charred and the plastic partially melted. The plug was hot to the touch from arcing. The plug was dislodged enough to not pass shore power to the main AC panel but was arcing enough to potentially cause a fire.
It soon became clear to me what had happened. The crew installing the winter cover had accidentally stepped on the shore power cord and partially dislodged it. It wasn’t their fault. It was one of those freak accidents that happen sometimes, and they probably had no idea the plug had dislodged. It is scary to think that my boat could have sunk or burned to the waterline had I not gone down to see what was happening.
Who knows what might have happened if I hadn’t received that alert from my MTC? Nothing good, that’s for sure. If not for my MTC, I literally could have lost the boat I have owned for 22 years and sailed more than 150,000 nautical miles on to something as commonplace as a loose shore power connector. Not only did Siren Marine save my boat, it also prevented potential damage to the neighboring boats and the marina itself. Now, I can really relate to our customers!
-Dan Harper, Founder & CEO