A guide on the latest maritime security equipment

With thanks to Flir Systems, Securewest InternationalMarine Armor Systems and Scope Maritime Solutions

In recent years a great deal of effort has been invested in securing superyacht assets and most importantly the personal safety of those on board. Maritime security companies have made great strides in developing security equipment; from robot drones to turning the superyacht itself into a solid self-containing safe house.

Protection Shutter on Superyacht

Superyacht security technologies

Maritime security is a global issue that manifests itself through the IMO’s, SOLAS, ISPS, and STCW requirements and security is just as important now as it ever was. 

Yacht citadel room

Just like a safe room in a home, a citadel is equipped with several days' worth of food, outfitted with ballistic walls and doors and can send alarms to law enforcement. 

However Marine Armor Systems, a Spanish-based firm has taken this one step further. They offer a turnkey security solution that converts the superyacht itself into a solid, almost impenetrable bunker where crew and valuable items would be protected in just 10 seconds.

The cost of fitting a turnkey security system like the above varies hugely depending on the size of the superyacht and whether it’s a new build or not.

Robot security drones/marine drones

State-of-the-art security drones that are suitable at sea and can integrate with existing systems are now being used on board luxury yachts.  These drones have security equipment installed such as thermal, telescopic and FLIR imaging and high definition radar, all of which are capable of plotting high-speed targets.

Leon De Swardt from Scope Maritime Solutions, which supplies superyachts with marine drones commented, “The marinized drone is integrated with a yacht’s existing AIS, the system will enable the identification of a threat at a safe distance through the use of the drone’s imaging capabilities.  The imaging is passed directly to the vessel and becomes a detailed video recording of the event.  The drone can be programmed to circle the threat, which will be at least disconcerting to attackers and then sound an alarm that has the capability to distract and/or disorientate the attackers.  At anchor, the system can maintain a pro-active safety and security zone around the vessel.”

A robot security drone/marine drone can cost anywhere from £8,500 for a basic model to £40,000 for a full-spec model. 

Thermal Imager showing Boat

Superyacht thermal imager

The main advantages of thermal imaging on a yacht is the increased visibility at night without the need of lighting. This makes thermal cameras perfect for surveillance and anti-piracy.

Fiona Pankhurst from Flir Systems commented, “An impending “blip” on a superyacht’s radar screen may mean a pirate threat. Thermal imaging allows you to see vessels on the horizon and provides you with the time to make a potentially lifesaving decision.” 

A high-resolution thermal imager can cost anything from £8,000 to £20,000.

Biometric fingerprint access

One of the major concerns of superyacht captains and their yacht security officers is unlawful access to the interior of the ship. In order to provide total security throughout the yacht, marine security specialists are looking to the one key that cannot be lost, stolen, forged, transferred or hacked, the human fingerprint.

Registering and de-registering individuals takes seconds and can be done on entry to the yacht usually at the passerelle, it is at this point access permissions can be given to those boarding. Key individuals, for example the owner, captain, chief engineer and any security officer will need fast, easy access to all areas. Guests will require the same ease of access to appropriate areas but not navigation or technical areas.

If an individual is not authorised to enter a door or area the system will refuse entry. A record of refused entries is logged together with the identity of the individual. The system is also configured to flash an alert at repeated refused access attempts.

A custom reader can cost from £500 to £1,300.

Yacht Long Range Acoustic Devices

Yacht LRAD: Long-range-acoustic-hailing-devices

Long-range-acoustic-hailing-devices, more commonly known as LRAD, enable vessels to hail, notify and warn approaching vessels at significant ranges with clear voice or pre-recorded messages in any language. 

LRAD is a powerful deterrent and helps prevent pirate attacks. The devices generate focused acoustic energy to ensure voice commands are unmistakably heard and understood by ships that don't respond to your radio calls and help create large standoff zones around a superyacht

Long-range-acoustic-hailing Devices will cost between £14,000 and £27,000.

Yacht security may be a bigger issue than you think

Securewest International went on to tell Yachting Pages, "The new season in the Mediterranean looks to be unpredictable with the ongoing migrant crisis presenting challenges to superyachts cruising in the region. Early indications suggest growing numbers of migrants will again attempt to cross into Europe.

"Superyachts need to stay vigilant and it's essential they plan accordingly, developing and rehearsing operational procedures and actions to be taken if they encounter migrants. To assist in this, Securewest has already conducted a number of planning workshops with clients. If the correct precautions are taken, superyachts can be confident they are well prepared for a trouble-free journey."

Want to read more about marine cybersecurity? Check out our guide on the rise of cybersecurity on board superyachts.

Maritime Security Articles
March 12, 2021
Tried & Tested: Best Yacht Crew Polo Shirts
Tried & Tested: Best Yacht Crew Polo Shirts

In this Tried & Tested, yacht bedding specialist Sea Design conducts a review into the best duvets, quilts and pillows on the market. It tests a series of leading products to work out the best yacht bedding money can buy.

By Nathan Bees
January 21, 2021
Tried & Tested: Best Yacht Cleaning Products
Tried & Tested: Best Yacht Cleaning Products

In this Tried & Tested, yacht cleaning expert Marine 16 Ltd and cleaning expert Judith Shaw rate and review some of the best cleaning products available to buy. Find out which product was crowned the best following rigorous testing.

By Yachting Pages
January 13, 2021
Tried & Tested: Best Water Toys
Tried & Tested: Best Water Toys

In our brand new Tried & Tested, yacht water toy specialist EAMS and a group of experienced superyacht captains and crew rate and review the very best luxury water toys on the market. Find out which brand and product was crowned the best...

By Nathan Bees
Successful attendance at 2021 YARE networking event in Viareggio

The 11th edition of YARE, an international business event organised in Viareggio by NAVIGO, hosted 250 participants, 70 ...

By Annabelle Fox
October 27, 2021
Successful attendance at 2021 YARE networking event in Viareggio
2021 International Superyacht Summit to be held aboard QE2

The joint organisers of the International Superyacht Summit (ISS), Dubai-based P&O Marinas and Fabulous Yachts, have con...

By Hannah Rankine
October 26, 2021
2021 International Superyacht Summit to be held aboard QE2

Finished reading? Now find your perfect supplier.

Search our industry-leading directory for over 20,000 superyacht suppliers, providers and marinas.

Search now