VirCru offers boat owners a virtual crew to keep an eye on their vessels from anywhere. An App connected to equipment on the boat will relay vital information about the vessel’s systems. Gadget fan and former boat owner Jeremy Webb decided to find out more about this innovative technology.
I am a huge fan of gadgets and, in addition to this, have previously owned a small boat. I have first-hand experience of the trials and tribulations that come with being a boat owner, so I was eager to learn what the VirCru has to offer.
In simple terms, VirCru is like having a crew on board your boat 24/7, which is obviously, something that will bring extra peace of mind to an owner. The system has an up-front cost, coupled with a monthly subscription, but the amounts are relatively small when it comes to the health and security of a vessel.
VirCru is a remote control and monitoring platform that provides motor and sailboat owners with a ‘Virtual Crew’, regardless of their location. It is a system that enables the owner or guardian to keep tabs remotely on what’s happening with the vessel. If something changes on board, the owner or guardian is informed via a notification from the VirCru app on their phone, allowing them to take the required action.
The system boasts a collection of monitoring sensors connected to areas such as the bilge for water level detection, bilge pump activity and status of the battery. Owners can also set a Geofence around their boat ranging from one metre to a hundred metres. If the vessel moves outside the perimeter, the App will automatically send a notification.
The sensors also notify owners of break-ins and when doors, hatches, and portholes are opened. Items such as fridges and freezers connected to the battery can also be powered on and off remotely using the App, so the boat is ready for when people board it.
The VirCru App is also ideal for inventory management, allowing all of the boat’s documents, records, and details to be kept in one place. It’s also handy when it comes to important dates such as the next routine lifejacket, life raft, fire extinguisher checks, and for accessing boat insurance documents.
VirCru uses battery power, allowing a great deal of flexibility when it comes to mooring locations, and for added peace of mind, both the battery and the sensors are said to last for up to 10 years. Owners of the system will not be left high and dry as the hub is also guaranteed for three years.
Tristan Dargay, the founder of VirCru, owns a boat and is delighted to have a system in place to monitor its security. When buying his first boat, he discovered no affordable, low-maintenance, high-tech solutions on the market, so he designed VirCru.
He said, “As an enthusiastic boat owner, there were three things that kept me up at night: whether the isolator was off, if I’d closed the hatches, and would the fridge be cold enough. I was driven by a simple desire to ensure owners can alleviate any worries about keeping a boat without forking out a small fortune, even if living further away. I felt I could achieve all these by creating VirCru.”
I always look at boats and hope my numbers come up on the lottery to purchase a vessel. Nothing so big that it requires a crew, something around forty feet to operate it myself. The VirCru system would be on my purchase list for equipment because I would want to know my pride and joy is being looked after, if not by a person but many sensors.
VirCru – Where and How?
Prices start from £399 for the starter package, which comprises of a Hub, Sensor and Tag, which will provide a base level of monitoring – location, primary battery voltage, anchor drag, boat listing, flood, door sensor, cabin temperature and bilge alarm. The monitoring subscription is priced at £10 per month. For more information, visit vircru.com.
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