Whilst anchored our GPS is configured to alarm if Flirtie moves outside a set radius - great whilst were aboard but ideally we wanted something to warn us whilst ashore.
There are a number of proprietary solutions on the market but all pretty expensive - we wanted something much simpler & cheaper.
Following a little internet research we believe we have found the answer.
A trip to the local "Jumbo" (supermarket) and we walked away with the cheapest Smartphone we could get running android 4.2.2, Jellybean with inbuilt GPS and an 8Gb micro SD card. The phone, a Vodafone Smart 4 mini and card set us back about €70 but I think you can get it for around £50 in the UK on the high street or from Amazon: Vodafone Smart 4 mini
A little bit more research and we identified a company (unlocksolution.com
) who could unlock the phone for €3.85 - a straightforward process once you provide your phone IMEI and provider (Vodafone in our case). The company provide an unlock code which you input when you swap your sim card. We already had a GeoSim card in our emergency phone so we used that.
A quick look at Google's "Play Store" listed a number of anchor drag apps so we chose one that had good reviews (5*) and happened to be free...."Anchor watch / SMS / Alarm by WebMajstr"
The app is really easy to configure - you can set various alarms but the most important point is to provide the phone number where SMS alerts should be sent in the event that the boat drifts. After that it's really only a matter of switching the app on and setting the radius.
We haven't tried using it in earnest yet but we walked it around the marina simulating a dragging anchor and it appears to work a treat.
One thing we did discover and have now rectified is that the GPS hits the phone battery pretty hard so another quick trip to Jumbo and we walked away with a USB car charger for €5 so we can keep the phone on charge whilst using this app.
That's it... we'll keep you posted on its effectiveness as we continue with our cruise.