The camera system hangs beneath

Submerged surveillance, meaning dropping the hook overnight, takes on a new dimension.

Simple and yet so effective, you wonder why no one came up with this idea before.  VisionAnchor, the prototype of which was awarded first place from among 300 competitors in the European GNSS Agency (GSA) competition last year, is something many skippers will feel the need to stash on board. It is the first smart anchoring system with underwater video surveillance, and with an anchor drag alarm. What makes this different from your chartplotter-based anchor alarm is that your location can be geofenced right down to 3 metres. This is because your exact coordinates are based on the buoy rather than the vessel, as a Galileo-enabled GPS receiver is located inside. A self-adjusting power spring system keeps the buoy directly above the anchor. This enables the user to ‘fine-tune’ this system down to 3 metres, or, if they feel the need, extend it to 20 metres. The underwater camera located above the anchor hangs below the buoy, making it possible to watch the anchor underwater in real time. There is, of course, an alarm, which sounds on your app-enabled mobile device, be it phone or tablet, so at night you can have it close to you.  

The exact height of the buoy above the anchor adjusts automatically.

Probably the biggest reassurance VisionAnchor gives is the unique ability to actually see the anchor set in the seabed. This has the extra advantage of also being able to see what it is set into. If you are conscious of not dropping your hook into seabed growth or coral, then you can avoid it. If you want to be sure you have got a good set into a mud bottom, you can – which is especially important if you bear in mind that what shows on your charts as lying beneath your keel is not always the case. If you anticipate a windy night on the hook, you can use the camera to check out the seabed before setting a secure anchor. The HD camera appears to be able to show decent submerged images, and for night-time use it has the crucial feature of infrared illumination, and an image intensification lens that can detect objects illuminated by infrared light. All features of VisionAnchor are controlled via the mobile app.

Based in Ljubljana in Croatia, manufacturers SEA Vision are a new company who first launched this product at the METS trade show last November. However, they already have this system available for order. The first 100 VisionAnchors are designed for sailing and motorboats between 10m and 40m in length, with the ability to anchor in up to a 20m depth. The early-bird price of VisionAnchor at the moment is discounted by 33% to 1,762.29 euros (ex. VAT), with delivery set for September 2022. 

Further video details can be found atc

Camera imagery appears to be very good.

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