Smooth sailing: Cork inventor rules the waves with IoT security deal

16 Sep 2016

Inventor Kevin Hennessey has seven years’ experience helping secure luxury boats and yachts with BoatWarden

Irish inventor Kevin Hennessey landed a major deal with one of the UK’s biggest outboard engine distributors for boats to deploy a digital security system for speedboats and yachts.

Cork man Kevin Hennessey’s company BoatWarden is an internet of things business that connects owners to their boats using the latest satellite technology and mobile apps.

The system will protect, detect and track an outboard anywhere in the world, updating the owner via a mobile app. It  was recently demonstrated at the 2016 London Boat Show, which led to a waiting list for orders.

Future Human

OutboardWarden uses the latest digital, wireless and GPS technology to keep a watch over an outboard 24/7, 365 days a year, like a tireless sentinel.

Hennessey, who has seven years’ experience helping secure luxury boats and yachts with BoatWarden has noted increasing calls from police, insurance companies, marinas and boatyards confirming a rise in outboard engines being taken.

21st-century piracy scourge of the seas

Outboard engine theft is more widespread than boaters realise, with professional gangs allegedly stealing engines “to order”.

Marina security services are often helpless to react as thieves paddle quietly to the selected boat and unbolt the engines, throw them aboard and paddle away. Next morning the engines are in a different country!

“OutboardWarden is the perfect solution,” explained Hennessey, “And we look forward to helping the police capture and prosecute outboard thieves.

“Insurance companies tell us claims are getting out of hand and so they expect premiums to increase unless a tracking system is in place,” he added.

Ben Allen, general manager of Barrus Marine, confirmed that outboard theft has been on the increase in recent years.

Barrus Marine is one of the UK’s biggest outboard engine distributors, and Hennessy has secured a major deal with them to deploy a digital security system.

“As the foremost supplier of outboards in the UK, Barrus gets the first call to replace a stolen engine. We work closely with the insurance companies to get a new outboard shipped and fitted quickly. But discovering your engine has been stolen is a nightmare that we can help avoid with the new, OutboardWarden system,” said Allen.

Luxury yacht image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years