Reviewed by CAPT. MIKE SCHOONVELD
I trailer my boat every time I go to the lake. While things like jackets, fish towels, empty coolers and other items which could blow out as I travel are stowed in the tow vehicle, most of my gear stays in the boat. That leaves a whole bunch of stuff that stays in the boat – and about 200 other things, if I took an inventory.
Some of the cargo rides in built in storage areas, quite a bit, like rods, reels, tackle boxes, planer boards are just positioned on the floor where they won’t bounce out along the highway. The only lockable storage on the boat is the glove compartment at the helm. If a thief were to climb in the boat, the crook could clean it out in a minute and help himself to most of the electronics in a few minutes more. It would take a bit more time to unbolt the downriggers and rod holders, but with the right tools, who knows?
That’s why 95 percent of the time when I’m away from home either myself or someone else is physically with the boat and when I’m at home, it’s locked securely in my pole barn. The five percent occurs only when I am traveling and stopped for fuel, lunch or rest stops or when at the destination and parked at a hotel or VRBO (few of which include secure boat and trailer parking spaces.)
In those situations, I used to remove all the rods, boxes and other gear when the boat was left unattended. No more – I have an Arachnet Security System.
It’s a simple two part system – three if you include the key fob thing that activates it or turns it off. Part one is a stretchy-cord cargo net large enough to cover my boat from the helm to the stern. It hooks in place solidly using large plastic S-hooks. While on the road, it works as any cargo net would and will keep items from bouncing out and will catch a sweatshirt or lifejacket I forgot to stow or remove to the tow vehicle.
The cargo net takes about a minute to deploy and hook across the boat securely and less time to remove and stuff in it’s carrying bag. If that’s all you want, cargo nets can be purchased lots of places.
Part two of the system is large plastic spider which clips securely onto the net. Why a spider? The net is reminiscent of a spider web stretched over the back of the boat, the toy-looking spider looks cute and clever sitting there, perhaps just daring a thief to sneak on board.
The electronics inside the spider is what is really clever. Once the trailer is parked, the net installed and the spider locked onto the net, turn it on with a click of the key fob. Now, the spider is a sensitive motion detector. It just sits there looking cute until the thief shows up but when the spider or it’s web is jiggled or moved, it electronically screams out a high pitched, 120 decibel alarm – loud enough you’ll hear it from inside the restaurant or inside your motel room. By the time you get outside to turn it off, the thief will be gone.
There are certainly higher priced security alarms, some of which connect up with cell phones to alert you or the police of security breaches. Those may be what you need in some locations. I only need some kind of security system five percent of the time and the Arachnet handles that five percent need about 95 percent of the time.
It will work on open pick-up truck beds, campers, motorcycles or just leave the spider laying on the driver’s seat of your car and turn it on when you park in an insecure area. Check them out at http://www.arachnet.net.