Cost and types of Hardware and how it works

Before we look at the actual cost of hardware a quick explanation on how our systems work. In orbit around the Earth are a number of satellites that make up the Global Positioning System or GPS. If you have a receiver in a vessel and it can locate at least 3 of them, it can work out where it is. This is done by a process called trilateration, put simply your receiver calculates how far it is from a satellite and draws a circle where it thinks it is. It now repeats that at least twice and where those circles overlap is its location.

So now it knows where it is it needs to tell tell our server so we can place it on the map. It does this using GPRS (Radio Data) and the internet. A data transmission unit is housed in the same box as the receiver and at set times it takes the location from the GPS receiver and transmits it to any nearby Cellular Network’s mast. This then relays it via the internet to a computer server which can be anywhere in the world.

When we first started supplying trackers in the nineties most companies hosted the server themselves, but these days you don’t have to have the hassle. Modern computer devices let you go and ‘peep’ at your data on a professional hosted server, just using an internet browser. The majority of our trackers have the aerials to do this built in as in this image, but as you will see below we also offer units with external aerials.

inside a gps tracker

AVT09 Quick Install Tracker (inbuilt aerials)
marine Quick Install Boat GPS tracker

The AVT09 it is fair to say is built to a price, but still has its place because many of our customers have asked for an affordable tracker that is easy to fit for use in vessels that operate within a few miles of shore. 

This makes it a very cheap solution suitable for Jet Skis, small Sail Boats and all small craft that stay local. Of course like all our trackers even if you do go out of radio range the unit will store the location fixes and send them as soon as they are back in range

It is designed to be attached straight to the battery in the battery locker (just slacken the terminals slip the terminals in and re-tighten) it will also fit beside most distribution boards.

Cost just £45 (All in)

AVT10 Budget Tracker (inbuilt aerials)
marine budget GPS tracker

The AVT10 is a more sophisticated version of the AVT09 with longer leads allowing it to be mounted higher up allowing you to send live updates further of shore, it also has more sophisticated programing.  

If you are on a budget and using it largely to just check your vessels location and history, or need a sensibly priced tracker to fulfil your insurance company’s requirements, then this would be the unit for you.

It can be mounted almost anywhere inside a wooden, or GRP vessel's hull, inside a GRP fly bridge, or just placed inside a RIB's GRP control / steering console, even hidden away in a locker. If you think it will get damp where it is, you should seal it in a watertight plastic bag, or container.

Cost £55 (All in)

AVT11 Standard Tracker (inbuilt aerials)
marine GPS tracker

This is our most popular professional unit and because the aerials are inside it clearly it is very easy to install, just requiring to be mounted where it can electrically see the sky i.e. Label side up (for example on the deck, inside a locker, or under a fibreglass / wooden roof). It is splash proof and also has an internal backup battery (lasts around 3 hours). 

It needs a 10-30 volts supply and if you are on our Standard monthly rate it can send a message when equipment (Power Anchor, Engines, trim etc.) are used.

Cost £65 (All in)

AVT12 Weatherproof Tracker (inbuilt aerials)
marine BoatGPS tracker

With its Waterproof housing (IP67) this is our most rugged unit and can just be mounted on your fly-bridge / cabin roof, under a Jet Ski / RIB seat (label side up), anywhere it can electrically see the sky. 

Then it is just a case of running power to it. It comes complete with internal backup battery (lasts around 4 hours), connecting cables and instructions. It needs a 10-30 volts and if you are on our Standard monthly rate it can send a message when equipment (Power Anchor, Engines, trim etc.) are used.

Cost  £75 (All in)

AVT4G Future Proof Tracker (inbuilt aerials)
World wide marine GPS tracker

There can be no doubt that the days of the existing 2G and 3G data network are numbered! In the UK however we know that because of the huge amount of infrastructure using it (Smart Meters, M2M Applications like Vending Machine Signal and many other services), it will be a long time before these networks are closed to us in this part of Europe.

Where it could be a concern is in some parts of the world not as advanced data wise, or those whose population is thinly spread across the nation! Here scraping the older networks is starting, this includes Australia and New Zealand. Therefore for our customers operating out there and in other at risk places, from 2021 we are offering a future proof version of our AVT11. This unit will work as usually using the 2G and 3G based packet data networks, but it also uses the latest 4G networks that has been (and still is being) installed across the world. In the event the unit cannot find the traditional networks it will switch to the 4G one and continue sending.

An introductory price of just £85

Other Equipment
long range GPS trackers

External Aerials The tracking units shown above have built in aerials and for most installation these are more than adequate. However for some more rugged vessels such as those with all Aluminium / Steel construction, or those that spend some time a long way off shore an external aerial mounted high up will increase range considerable. Each installation will be different, but as a good guide a tracker with external aerials sockets cost £55 and the aerials will add between £15 and £28 extra depending on size, mounting method etc.

Vessel Tracker Brackets

Mounting Brackets Most installations are achieved with a small strip of Velcro (other brands are available), or plastic wraps. However for 'High Performance Vessels' that may encounter occasional high 'G' force, we recommend using a simple metal 'U' bracket. As a number of people have said they would like to buy rather than make, we have had some manufactured in aluminium and they are available to you at what it cost us, which was £9 each Please contact us to discus this option if you feel you need any of them.

Second Mount Kits: Some customers who have purchased the AVT11 unit and who bring their vessels ashore after use, have purchased second install kits, so they can us the tracker in the car during the week. We are happy to supply second unit kits, but in fairness to other users (because of the extra data used), we will have to move you on to the standard tariff rate, if you are not already on it. The cost of a second kit is £14 plus carriage.

Theft Deterrent: Let us be clear there is not a device made be it ours, or any other companies, that can stop someone stealing your boat and any salesman who tries to tell you different is a liar! That said a well hidden installation and some common sense can help a lot. Your first line of defence is if it is stolen and you are checking regularly, will be that you will know about it well before you turn up at the Marina with the family for a day out.

If you are on our standard rate and have an anti-theft device already installed, you can run a feed from the siren to our unit and it will send you a message when it goes off. A micro, or magnetic switch on a cabin door, even a simple inexpensive under-carpet pressure pad can do the same thing. A relay in your shore power feed will activate it when power is disconnected. The simple act of geo-fencing your mooring will allow you to be emailed if it leaves the area and there are many more options, just talk to us to find out what others have done.

About our hardware: As you can see our units are not expensive, but you will sometimes find other devices (usually on line shopping sites) that are cheaper. They just like us use the American GPS system set up during the eighties, as a result these largely Asian imports will work OK here. However, our systems also uses the European GALILEO and Russian GLONASS GPS systems making our systems considerable more accurate as well as giving better coverage in difficult locations. Some of those system do not have 'memory backup' to store fixes that have not been sent, ours can store days of information to send later. Many tracking systems don’t react to your change of direction, ours will send a fix if you 'tack' more than a few degrees. Just a few of the many things we do to make tracking systems with all types of mariners in mind.

About Ordering: All of our tracking devices and accessories can simply and quickly be ordered by email, or by phone 03333 447644. All goods are normally dispatched within 24 hrs of payment being received, but if you need it the same day call us and we will see what we can do. If you find the above selection bewildering and are not sure which one would be best for your needs, please phone us and let our experts guide you. You will not be greeted by a high pressure Sales-person, just a fellow Sails-person

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