It is midnight at the marina where your boat is moored, and water is slowly rising in its bilge. The float switch turns on your automatic bilge pump, but it can't stay ahead of the leak and the water level creeps upward. By the time you return to the slip, your boat will be hanging by its mooring lines - if you're lucky!

Wouldn't it be great if your boat could call your phone and tell you it needed your help? Well, now it can. GOST (Global Ocean Security Technologies - formerly Paradox Marine) offers its new GOST Phantom monitoring system with the ability to notify a boat owner within seconds if there is high water in the bilge, low battery voltage, loss of shore power, smoke onboard or an attempted break-in. Temperature sensors can even keep track of onboard refrigerators and freezers and prompt the system to let you know if they lose their cool. The system will contact up to eight phone numbers with a voice and/or text message giving your boat's status and reporting which alarm event occurred.

Communication between you and this system is two-way. You don't have to wait for your GOST system to contact you. If you get "one of those feelings," you can call the system from any phone to check boat status, arm or disarm the security system, turn up to eight AC or DC accessories on or off, leave voicemail messages for friends, family or crew, and even have two-way conversations with those on board through the unit's built-in, hands-free speaker phone. When you are on the dock, you can arm or disarm the system and turn boarding lights or other accessories on or off with a key fob remote control.

A Phantom unit can support up to 64 wireless sensors for security and monitoring. Don't miss that word "wireless" because it used to cost about as much as a system's purchase price to have a quality security system and all its wiring installed. Security can be provided with marinized deck pressure sensors, door and hatch sensors, infrared motion sensors and pull sensors. Relays can be programmed to activate a siren and flashing lights when a sensor is triggered in addition to placing the emergency calls. Larger boats with enclosed cabins can be equipped with active defenses like GOST Acoustics, a patented sound barrier of noise in an unbearable frequency pattern at an intensity that humans cannot tolerate (supposedly, not even teenagers). Another device, the GOST Cloak, generates a dense cloud of harmless smoke that limits visibility to 30 centimeters.

Stepping up to a GOST INSIGHT HD system or adding a GOST WATCH HD surveillance system adds cameras for visual monitoring. Any standard analog camera with a BNC connector works with these systems, and the company offers an assortment of compact, water-resistant models small enough to blend in and hide in plain sight. Some of the GOST models are slightly larger than a golf ball and smart enough to switch from color in daylight to monochrome at night. Cameras can even be mounted on an adjacent piling or mooring-slip roof support for a full, dockside view of the boat.

GOST INSIGHT HD offers local and remote access to cameras on the boat using a smart phone or any computer with an internet connection. Cameras can record snapshots and video clips to the secure website in the event of motion detection or the activation of any other designated sensor and send text messages or emails with the snapshots or clips included to system owners. You can also log onto a secure GOST website and watch live streaming video from any camera on your boat.

GOST Watch features looped recording of up to six cameras for up to 90 days on an IVR (Internet Video Recorder - similar to a traditional DVR but with access both locally and over the internet). You can dial in from a computer or smart phone and see live or recorded views from the cameras.

GOST also offers a line of NAV-TRACKER GPS satellite tracking systems with Inmarsat communication. One of the line's neatest models is the self-contained EZ-Tracker. Think of it as a LoJack unit for boats. It requires no external power source, and its internal lithium-ion battery will let it "wake up" and call in a report giving the boat's name, latitude, longitude, speed and heading once every six hours for up to six months. Other NAV-TRACKER systems are powered by the boat's electrical system and can deliver tracking information in real time. GOST reports its NAV-TRACKER systems have been directly responsible for the recovery of stolen, high-profile boats, some in less than one hour. The company also says that some insurance companies offer policy discounts on boats equipped with tracking systems.

To get the whole story, including testimonials from system owners, visit