Category Archives: Blog

The Siren Marine Blog Posts Category. Boat ownership as it should be.

Siren Marine Unveils New Products and Announces $3MM Series A Funding Round at NYYC Event

On March 22, 2017, Siren Marine officially unveiled its next-generation boat monitoring and tracking system – the MTC – at a special “Launch Party” at the New York Yacht Club in Newport.

At the same event, Siren Marine announced a $3 million Series A Funding Round, which will raise money to support the company’s long-term growth plans.

Along with the senior development team and global telecommunications partner, Vodafone, Siren Marine’s Executive Team unveiled and demonstrated its new MTC boat monitoring device to a group of long-time customers, suppliers and investors.

“The ‘Launch Party’ allowed us to showcase and celebrate the tremendous effort the entire Siren Marine Team has made to bring the latest ‘Connected Boat’ technology to market,” commented Dan Harper, Siren Marine CEO and Founder. “We were excited to share this momentous occasion with our loyal supporters and investors. Bringing a new technology and product to market is a herculean effort, and I would like to thank the entire Siren Marine team for its hard work, commitment and support.”

“The future looks bright for Siren Marine. We have the right people, technology, and distribution partners in place to take the company to the next level. With over 36 million boats worldwide, the potential market opportunity is enormous. Now that we’re on track to launch our new products, the Series A Round will give us the necessary funding to fuel our growth and further strengthen our leadership position. All of our existing investors are Siren Marine customers, which is the best testimonial you can ask for,” said Harper.

If you’re interested in learning more about Siren Marine’s MTC and would like to become part of the “Connected Boat” revolution, please contact Dan Harper at daniel@sirenmarine.com or Jonathan Banks at jbanks@sirenmarine.com.

Sitting Down With Siren’s #1 Fan

Sitting Down With Siren’s #1 Fan

To hear Ethan Dow’s description of his fascination with the inner workings of boats is an experience in and of itself. Ethan is, in his own words, completely addicted to marine electronics.

“I always was an early adopter of anything that had wires or plugs in it. I don’t care what it is – that became my passion.”

With an impressive sailing career already under his belt, Ethan set his sights on a new challenge. Ethan had employed early generation plotting software while sailing, but it was his introduction to power boating, and subsequently fishing, that opened Ethan’s eyes to a whole new world of electronics. He has never looked back.

Ethan takes his electronics seriously.

“The first thing I got was a Tuna – and that was it for me, the bug was planted. So along with the transition from sailing to
fishing comes a whole new aspect of marine electronics. Now I want to know what’s under me, what’s going on around me. So now I need the best sounder on earth. And then I needed more, more MFD’s [Multi-Function Displays]. And then NMEA 2000 came along and suddenly all the electronics were speaking the same language.”

You can hear the wonderment in his voice, and see it in his eyes. This is a man who lives and breathes electronics, who understands how they work at their very core – and Siren is at the top of his list.

“I searched and searched, and I think it was Ben [Ellison] who introduced me, through Panbo, to Siren Marine. The minute that came out I had to have it. I had to protect my investment. Once I got that…it gave me the same serenity that I received when I first got GPS – the same serenity that I need knowing that my boat is protected. I know where it is, what it’s doing, how it’s feeling, if anybody is stepping aboard.”

There is no doubt in Ethan’s mind of the quality of Siren’s product, and he makes it known to everyone that will listen.

“When somebody makes a nice product, I tell them about that on the web. Everybody is always asking, so I’m always going to pump up a good product. It really is something.”

“What sets Siren apart? As we know, other systems are exorbitantly expensive. Less value, fewer inputs, they’re just…antiquated. Siren nailed it the first time, and I knew you had something good. So I told my friends and they told their friends, and onward it goes. I’m just absolutely thrilled about your new module. The other companies don’t deserve to be there. They didn’t stick their necks out, put their back into it, their investment into it…their hearts into it. No one had the thought, the technology, the foresight that Siren has. There is nothing better out there. There really isn’t. And it will be really hard to beat.”

High praise from a true connoisseur, and Ethan claims to have good reason for his commitment to Siren.

“It saved my life.”

Ethan’s boat, “Fissues”

“I was out at 3 am, headed towards the fishing grounds, and it was blowing hard. Had to have been 10 foot seas, and my boat handles it fine, does wonderfully. I heard this…this racket on the radio, and realized ‘Jesus, it’s a mayday.’ So I get his position, and the Coast Guard was closer, but I think, ‘Wow, this guy is in trouble!’ I can hear him on the radio, and I’m thinking, ‘Geez, what’s all the racket about? And then I hear his alarm going off!'”

“But then I realized that he had keyed off his radio already. I looked down, and it was my phone. My phone telling me the bilge was going off. It wasn’t his alarm, it was mine. So I go down below, and the seawater hose– it’s a two-and-a-half inch hose– was firehosing and filling the boat. And the only reason I was saved was because of Siren Marine. It saved my life, right then and there.”

“So then I put in a high water alarm,” Ethan says with a smile.

Ethan has retired from competitive sailing, and from electronics installation. He works as a residential contractor on the North Shore of Boston, working his magic on old colonial homes up and down the coast. But he lives to be on the water, and Siren Marine keeps him afloat.

If you’re ever lucky enough to run into him at Finz in Salem, maybe you can hear one of his stories for yourself.

The Power of Knowing – Part I

Is your boat secure? Is your anchor dragging? Is there water in the bilge? Has someone boarded your boat without your knowledge? These are just some questions at the back of every boater’s mind. But perhaps the most important question– the one that brings all others under its umbrella– is: are you sure your boat is okay? With a Siren Marine Connected Boat™ device, you can be. This series will explore the Power of Knowing, and the confidence, peace of mind, and overall better boating experience that Siren Marine provides. First up, one of the most common problems all boaters face: anchor drag.

A dragging anchor is something that most boaters have experienced at some point in time. The results can range from mild inconvenience to multi-boat damage, expense, and insurance claims. A dragging anchor is sometimes unavoidable and evidence of the event is often impossible to provide. The power of knowing changes that, allowing users to avoid damage and plot a picture of how events unfold. Last summer, I experienced this first hand.

During a rare break from manning my desk at Siren, I was able to sneak away to Nantucket on my Swan 42, CORBAN for a few days. Anyone who is familiar with the island knows that the harbor is jam packed throughout the summer, and dockage is near impossible to come by. This left me in the unenviable position of leaving CORBAN anchored in the channel, where the current is known to rip at 3-4 knots at max ebb and flood. My Siren Marine Sprite was reporting my position every hour, and I was confident that my anchor was holding firm.

After a couple days at anchor, I received a call from the Harbormaster that CORBAN had become entangled with another vessel. In a classic case seen in many anchorages, the circumstances of how the two boats came together were murky. Both the Harbormaster and the other boat were under the impression that my anchor might have dragged, but I was able to
provide concret evidence that my boat had, in fact, not moved and had been in the same place for a number of days. Fortunately there was no damage, but had any occurred, I could have easily cleared myself of any fault and avoided a potential costly insurance claim.

The moral of the story is that Siren Marine provides you with real security. Anyone who cruises knows the endless uncertainty of leaving your boat on an anchor. Siren erases speculation and replaces it with certainty. There are countless other examples– I spent a night aboard CORBAN during Tropical Storm Hermine, and settled in with gale-force winds battering the hull. I slept soundly through the night – knowing that my phone would alert me to any changes in my position – and awoke to find CORBAN lying exactly where she should be. Now that is what I call peace of mind.

2017 – The Year of the Connected Boat

Looking back, I can’t believe that it was more than 5 years ago that we received the first commercial-ready shipment of 500 Pixies and Sprites. That was a very special day. We stacked the boxes to the ceiling in our small office and opened a bottle of champagne to celebrate. After years of planning and testing, it was finally happening, and we were going for it. Siren Marine quickly became the de facto standard for boat monitors and the Pixie and Sprite picked up numerous industry accolades.

Fast forward five years, and we are on the cusp of the next major breakthrough in boat monitoring, tracking and security systems. As we near the completion of our brand new next-generation device and platform, which will support wireless sensors and NMEA 2000 connectivity, plus many new enhancements; there is the anticipation and excitement of something completely new, the result of a massive amount of time, effort, engineering, investment, design and planning.

In addition to our new products and technology, the company has been preparing for a season of aggressive growth. We have added additional members to our team, our wonderful Third Street office space in Newport, RI continues to expand. We have just come off of one of our most successful boat show seasons to date, including our premier appearance at the Marine Equipment Trade Show (METS) in Amsterdam, the Ft. Lauderdale International Boat Show, and the recently completed Miami International Boat Show.

Siren Marine has signed a direct agreement with one of the world’s largest cellular providers – Vodafone. This privilege is generally reserved exclusively for companies much larger than Siren. Our connectivity and services will be better and stronger than ever. We were recently awarded an Innovation Grant from the State of Rhode Island for continued development in collaboration with the New England Institute of Technology (NEIT), and we closed a $1.5M Seed-Round capital raise that helped to fund recent product development and expansion. You may have noticed our new look and branding, which we feel better reflects our innovative technology. Although we are a little nostalgic to bid farewell to our beloved mermaid, we are thrilled to usher in our exciting brand update.

It has been an incredible journey, and our very best days are just ahead, as is our very best technology and products. The dedication, support and confidence of our fantastic customer base, investors and incredible Siren Marine Team have made it all possible. Our achievements wouldn’t have happened without you all, and I’d like to express my deepest gratitude. 2017 will be the Year of the Connected Boat, the Year of Siren. Thank you.

Dan Harper

Founder & CEO

The 2G Shutoff and What it Means to You

2G cellular service is on its way out the door. Effective December 31st, AT&T shut down its 2G network, rendering all devices using its 2G SIM essentially useless. T-Mobile has committed to supporting its 2G network through 2020, but the landscape of cellular connectivity is changing rapidly. What does this mean for Siren Marine and its users?

In the short term, the good news is that the Siren Marine Pixie and Sprite both use T-Mobile’s 2G network and can expect continued cellular connection for the foreseeable future. Customers should be aware that occasional service disruptions and blackouts may occur, and there may be coverage issues in certain areas. For some of our earlier customers that purchased their own SIM card, we recommend contacting Siren Marine customer service at (401) 619-4774 or at support@sirenmarine.com to discuss options available to you.

Siren Marine has been anticipating the impending 2G shutdown and has been hard at work developing our next-generation Connected-Boat products, which will be launched in April. The new MTC Series runs on existing 3G cellular networks, and will be upgraded to 4G once the hardware and technology is available. For the best coverage and uninterrupted service, Siren recommends that existing customers upgrade to our new 3G hardware as soon as it’s available. To make the transition as smooth and painless as possible, we will be offering attractive incentives to upgrade (more details to follow shortly).

The Connected Boat: What It Is and Why It’s Changing the Game

the Connected Boat

the Connected Boat

It’s early Saturday morning, and you and your spouse have just arrived at the slip of your 36’ Sea Ray. You’ve had a rather hectic week at the office and have been looking forward to a relaxing day on the water. After loading your bags and cooler on board, you check the bilge, flip on the battery, and prepare to cast-off the lines.

You do one final check and all systems are a-go. You turn the key in the ignition, but nothing happens. The battery is dead. Again.

After you and your spouse exchange a few words, you now scramble to find a quick fix. No one is around for a jump start or to install a new battery. Your go-to-guy can’t get there for at least four hours. Your mood and day changes from sunny to salty in a matter of moments.

What if you were connected to your boat and were alerted when the battery voltage was getting low, the shore power was disconnected, or there was water in the bilge? Even better, how would you like to turn on the air conditioning before you arrived at the boat, or get an alert if the boat moved or someone boarded? What if you could literally communicate with your boat?

This is where connected boat technology comes in.

We live in an increasingly connected world where the Internet of Things is now subtly improving our lives in many ways. Simply put, the Internet of Things (IoT) is the networking of sensors and devices that monitor, collect, and exchange data via cloud-based applications using cellular, satellite, and WiFi communications. These data are then leveraged to help people improve situational awareness, access information remotely, make better decisions, and prevent damage or loss.

We experience IoT in our everyday lives whether we realize it or not. We use it in our homes through systems such as Nest that allow us to program and manage room temperature through a mobile app. We wear Fitbit activity trackers on our wrists that provide real-time information on our activity and exercise (and prompt us to get up and walk around a bit more).

It’s deployed in our cars to continually monitor the engine and predictively prompt us to schedule maintenance service. Mechanics at the repair shop tap into our car’s hub to access historical performance data to isolate problems and better determine required repairs. On the road, intelligent traffic systems continually monitor and analyze traffic data, adapting signals and lane use to the traffic flow by time of day, improving our transit time and overall driving experience.

Yet, with our boats, we react to critical events in a prescriptive manner — after the battery dies, after a boat has been breached and/or stolen, after the boat has sunk — often when it’s too late.

Unlike most homes and vehicles, boats live in a far more challenging environment and are, more often than not, left alone. Water intrusion is a constant concern, and many boats have been damaged or lost due to a slow leak that could have been easily fixed if only the boat owner knew about it. A dragging anchor is every boater’s nightmare, especially when no one is on board. The loss of shore power can quickly drain batteries or cause other onboard systems to fail.

Enter the Internet of Things and the Connected Boat revolution.

By connecting these onboard systems to one central hub, boaters can monitor, track, and control their boat’s operating systems while at home, on the road, or on the water with a simple tap on a mobile app. Connected boat technologies continually monitor a boat’s systems and send instant alerts as they happen via mobile and web apps. Boaters can predict and prevent disaster — before the battery dies, as a boat has been breached, or before it sinks.

More so, connected boat technology harnesses historical data from these systems, and helps pinpoint trends and predicts when maintenance is required on equipment and boats alike. The connected boat provides boaters with the peace of mind that all systems are in good working order in real time, and that their boat is safe and secure.

And that’s where Siren Marine comes in.

Designed by boaters, for boaters, Siren Marine’s pioneering connected boat technology was developed by experienced sailors, tested in rigorous environments, and deployed in recreational and commercial boats worldwide. At home or at sea, our connected boat technology provides boaters, marina managers, service providers, and fleet operators with the confidence that a boat’s systems are operational and accessible through real-time monitoring and controls.

Join Siren Marine at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show in November, and learn how our next generation of connected boat technology can improve your boating experience and provide you peace of mind.

January Newsletter – the BIG Android Issue

android_robot_vector_SireniaRead the January Newsletter and find out about the release of the ANDROID app, your units Internal Battery, Siren in the Coast Guard Rescue Boat 36500, a great Siren Story and much more!

A Penny For Your Thoughts – Shore Power Monitoring

Or: How to Avoid Food Poisoning Afloat!

Penny 1

Penny on Top

Ok, one of the concerns that most of us share, is the state of the food that we leave in our refrigerator when we leave the boat for a few days. One of the great joys of owning a boat that you can “live-aboard” during summer months or on weekends ‘out of the city’ is that you can pack up and head out to your pied-à-mer with minimal planning or packing. It’s your waterfront second home afloat. 

penny 1

Penny on bottom

But as a boat owner, you also know the issues of life on the mooring or at the dock. And power consumption or continuity is always a concern. Even the best marinas suffer power outages from time to time, or maybe a transient unplugged your power without thinking that your boat was plugged in for a reason, your refrigerator… If the power is out or your refer has stopped when you arrive back at your boat, well, there will likely be no doubt that the food in your fridge is spoiled. Its just a matter of clean up & restocking : (

But…  What if the power was only off for an intermittent period, and you are a weekender or were only gone a few days? Some of your food could have warmed up just enough to spoil, without really going over the edge. An old salt taught me this handy trick many years ago as a way to know if your reefer had gone out intermittently while away from the boat. Cruising in remote destinations with sketchy power made this a very clever trick to know.  Here’s the drill:

Freeze a small container of water just large enough to support a penny when the water has turned to ice. Then, place a penny on top of the ice and return it to the freezer. If your power goes out long enough for the temperature to rise above freezing, then the penny will drop below the surface as the ice melts. If upon returning to your boat and you find the penny below the surface in the container of ice that has turned into water, there isn’t much to discover; the power has gone out, your freezer/refrigerator has warmed up, and your food must be thrown out. However, if the penny is at the bottom of a container of ice, then you know that the temperature warmed up enough for the ice to melt, allowing the penny to drop to the bottom of the jar, and then refreeze once power was restored. Your food may not all have symptoms of spoiling, but, its probably not a good idea to consume it. At least not without a good inspection. If its shellfish, I wouldn’t even consider it.

The essence of the issue is that power outages and low power problems are common in boating life. Most appliances that run off of 12v or 24v DC will not operate if the voltage drops much below the level of a good solid charge.  The systems just ‘kick-out’ if the voltage drops below a certain point at which many other low-draw systems may continue to work normally. The penny in-a-jar trick is a great example of cruising ingenuity and a good test to know if your reefer has stopped working while away. So if you are concerned about power outages while your boat is untended, for the above refrigeration example or any of the other myriad reasons like bilge activity or battery charging, head out and pick up a small spice jar and a penny. Or…  Simply install a Siren Marine Pixie or Sprite and a shore power sensor ; ) You’ll know instantly if there is a power interruption regardless of where you might be or how long you’ll be away, even if power is lost for just a few moments. You can call the dockmaster or a dock buddy and save that ribeye you’ve been thinking about all week for the dock BBQ coming up!

Bon Appétit!

Capt. Dan

Boat Battery Monitor Customer Story

Energy_Hero_SMOne of our long time customers sent me an email this morning with an excerpt from a thread with his boatyard. They are plugging-in his boat from time to time to keep his batteries charged up during the winter months. There was a question about the onboard battery monitoring system:

“…I have a separate cell based “Siren” alarm that shows me the voltage. It was 13.89 yesterday and 13.95 this afternoon, which sounds right if it is charging. If I recall the nominal rate for a float charge is something like 13.0 so it is likely still in the acceptance phase. 

 I just queried it now [from my Siren Sprite] and it shows 12.79 , up from 11.9 before you plugged in the charger so my guess is the batteries are now happily in float charge mode. Thanks for your concern though.”

 “I also realize that I saved a few bucks because without the Siren I probably would have paid the yard for a couple of visits to reset the Xantrex and check the status. Each trip only takes a few minutes but at $95/hr. It adds up.”

Battery is king. You have heard me rant on about this before. You will hear it again. One of the things that I often come back to is the question of functionality, and what should our future products offer. We are always trying to improve, and 2014 will bring out a lot of exciting new features (some long overdue and long awaited…). But, as we grow and learn, and improve, I constantly come back to a central theme: at the foundation of Siren Philosophy, Bilge | Battery | Security  are the things that worry us the most, with position right up there too. But, battery still trumps them all. No matter what the other concerns are, unless you are among the most pure of Corinthian sailors (and there is a special place in my heart for all purist) and have no battery; without it charged and ready, a boat and her owner are at unnecessary risk. If only to have to go back to the car and pull the battery for a jump, a low battery will at the very minimum be an inconvenience, if not the root cause for a much bigger problem.

This customer uses our Sprite year round as a battery monitor to keep a close watch on his battery level. And as we do with many of you, we enjoy hearing your Siren Stories now & then about how our products are being used in your individual scenario. This email exchange just reminded me of how useful our little Pixie or Sprite are, winter, spring, summer or fall. You may want to read my recent post on Why the Battery is Still King. There is still plenty of time to have a Pixie or Sprite installed before your boat goes in for the summer. And, you may find that you need it long before then!  What is the level of your batteries right now?  How about the temperature of you “indoor heated storage” for which you are paying dearly. Is the temperature really about 60 or where they say it will be? If your boat is outside, or especially if it is in the water, how cold is it in the bilge?  It sure is nice to know, and with one of our devices, you can.

Product News – Siren Marine Releases a Brand New Installation Diagram

master wiring diagram

Complete System Wiring Diagram

In an effort to continually understand better our customers, how our products are being used and how we can improve Siren Marine to better meet these goals, a completely new series of wiring diagrams have been developed by Siren Marine. These diagrams are the products of dozens of conversations with you, our customers and our installers. What makes sense, what isn’t clear, how does everything get connected together…

bilge input

Each wire is described in an individual diagram so that any special functionality or wiring to the boat’s systems is crystal clear.

The new full color drawings have several improvements:

  1. There is a complete wiring diagram for each wire, input or output.
  2. Each diagram uses the color of the wire and the wire assignment to clearly illustrate the relationship between the “software” and the hardware or, another way to think about it, is the relationship between the physical connections and the digital connections.
  3. Each diagram describes specific details of that individual input or output as it relates to special functions or capabilities of that wire.
  4. The final diagram of the Installation Diagram Suite illustrates what a complete system could look like.
  5. Many of our customers only need individual parts of the capabilities of our system, and there is a diagram for most of the common setup scenarios, so it is easy to match your specific installation with a diagram identical to your specific needs.
Basic with Bilge

The Individual Diagram: Basic System with Bilge

One of the benefits of the Siren Marine system is that it is dynamic.  The same hardware can be configured with simple text commands to accomplish a wide variety of monitoring-task, position tracking, security functions and systems alerts. The system’s two control output channels also offer the boater the ability to control onboard systems with simple text commands.

These diagrams are design to make the onboard functions easier to connect and buildout the perfect Siren system for your boat. But it is also designed to make the basic installation focused on Bilge, Battery and Position simple to understand. If you perform any of the basic installation and maintenance on your own boat, armed with these new drawings and manual update, you should be able to install the basic Siren System within a few hours yourself.

But if you prefer to have the system professionally installed, just check our dealer locator page to find an installer near you. The diagrams will help you decide what accessories fit your ideal installation.

you deserve peace of mind