About us – an interview with the management team
About us – an interview with the management team
For the most part of my professional carrier, I was the manager of the Marina Punat Group, which was founded by my father, Dragutin Zic, way back in 1964. During my almost 20 years of managing one of the largest marinas in Croatia, with over 1.500 boats, safety of the boats has always been my top priority.
As, I am sure, most uf us know, during the long periods when the boats are wintering in the marina, they are exposed to adverse weather conditions, corrosion, galvanic currents, and sometimes sinister human activities which endanger their safety. Boat owners are of course, aware of all this, and are understandably worried about their boats while they are away. This is exactly why they entrust their valuable boats to the marinas; to be safe.
As a marina manager, I have encountered many incidents, where water ingress occurred and resulted in significant water damage or even sinking of the boat. I have also experienced boats catching fire and many occasions of theft, but the most common problems boat owners face are problems with their batteries. Very often things are left under charge and over time depleted the battery to the point where it is no longer functional or where it becomes dangerous when being recharged; when it overheats and becomes a fire hazard.
Because of al this, I have spent my carrier working on increasing the safety of boats in my marina, and being a telematics engineer by trade, I looked to technology to help lower these risks.
During the last few years a new technology, Internet of Things (IoT) emerged, which enabled smart sensors, which can measure various parameters, to effectively communicate with online systems. I realised that most of the incidents I witnessed in the marina, and which boaters are worried about, can be prevented by implementing this technology. So I gathered a team of top experts to help me develop a product, using the latest technology, which will be simple enough for everyone to implement, which does not cost to much so that makes sense even on the smallest of boats, and which makes sure that boats are safe and always have a way to call automatically someone who can respond in time and prevent any damage.
Two years ago, Gorjan Agačević, one of the most successful people on the Croatian IoT and Insurtech scene, joined our team, and helped us bring our product to a new level.
Head of business development
After more than 10 years in the IoT industry applied to the automotive and the insurance markets, I joined Krešimir in 2020, to help bring an already proven product to a larger audience.
Being a sailor, like Krešimir, I have already seen different boat monitoring products on the market, and wasn’t happy with how complicated they are to install or how pricey they are. Sense4Boat on the other hand, is something quite different. The simplicity of it, the ease of installation compared to other more traditional solutions out there, Kresimir’s technical knowledge and enthusiasm is what won me over.
The sensors we use are battery powered and do not connect to the boat’s infrastructure, which means they are extremely safe and you can install them on your own, without the help of a professional electrician.
They connect to the Internet using a specialised IoT network called Sigfox, so they do not require a SIM card or WIFI signal. Waters surrounding entire Europe are already well covered with this signal, so excluding a few rare exceptions, our sensors work everywhere. They consume extremely little power so their batteries last over 7 years.
Our sensors detect water ingress in the boat’s bilge, extreme temperatures or smoke as indication of possible fire, they monitor the location of the boat or boat’s equipment (outboard engine, dinghy, etc.) and also keep tabs on the status of the boat’s batteries.
The owner of the boat can use a convenient smartphone app to monitor all sensors, and get access to additional information like weather, marina video feeds, and news. In case of an incident the boat owner is automatically notified with an automated phone call, SMS, email and push notification, but most importantly, so is the marina where the boat is moored. This enables the marina staff to react on time and prevent damage to the boat while the boat owner is away.
Several thousand sensors are already deployed on boats throughout Europe. Some of them have already proven their worth and saved boats from fire, sinking, depleted batteries or theft.
I am proud to say that we already cooperate with multiple marinas who wish to provide the highest standard of safety and security to their clients, as well as insurers who understand how our platform reduces certain risks boats are exposed to and are thus offering personalised insurance to our clients.
I believe that our platform will soon become standard, and maybe even mandatory in most of the marinas.