NEWPORT, R.I. — Marine industry leader Jonathan Banks has been named chief operating officer of Siren Marine, a Newport, Rhode Island-based company that has pioneered cellular-based monitoring systems for the boating market. Siren Marine’s products allow boat owners to remotely monitor, track and control their vessels, giving them peace of mind and the ability to avoid incidents that could potentially result in costly damage to their vessels. Banks joins the company to prepare Siren Marine for future growth at a time when the market for mobile-connected devices is on a steep rise.
Banks brings a life-long passion for sailing, an in-depth knowledge of the marine industry, and a background in mobile communications to the company. His early career was spent at England’s leading telecommunications companies British Telecom and Cable & Wireless; he subsequently skippered a 57-foot Swan sailboat on a four-year circumnavigation of the world before settling in Rhode Island where he held senior-level positions with New England Ropes and Thule. He then joined the non-profit sector as executive director of Sail America and, most recently, as producer of the Providence Boat Show.
“After running Sail America for six years, I was keen to join an early-stage company that has the potential to grow and will benefit from my extensive boating experience and in-depth knowledge of the marine industry,” says Banks. “Siren Marine is a perfect fit and is ideally positioned to capitalize on the enormous market potential for remote boat monitoring with its industry-leading technology. As we move toward a more connected world—with smart cars, automated homes, and billions of connected devices—Siren Marine will be at the forefront of the evolution of the connected boat.”
A Siren Marine system monitors a boat around the clock, sending alerts to up to four mobile devices if critical conditions occur—such as water in the bilge, low battery voltage, loss of shore power, or unauthorized entry or theft. Boat owners can also remotely control onboard devices such as air conditioning, lights, bilge pumps, and the boat’s DC system. The built-in GPS tracks the position of the vessel and creates a geo-fence around the boat, alerting the boat owner if the boat leaves a pre-defined area.
Siren Marine currently has hundreds of active units on a wide range of vessels—from 25-foot center console powerboats to 350-foot commercial fishing vessels—that are often left unattended on moorings and at marinas. Banks predicts this will grow into thousands of units in the next two to three years as boat owners, boat builders, fleet operators and service yards adopt this emerging technology. Leading boat builders such as Hinckley, Hunt Yachts, Contender, Ribcraft, Carolina Classics, and Yellowfin have installed Siren Marine systems on their new boats. Siren Marine’s products start at $499 plus a small monthly subscription fee.
Siren Marine was founded in 2011 by Captain Dan Harper, who spent over 20 years sailing the globe and learning from experience that small problems on boats become big problems when no one is around. In 2012, Siren Marine won the Rhode Island Business Plan Competition in both the Overall and Technology categories, and relocated to the Ocean State in the same year.
“When I started Siren Marine, I thought long and hard about where to locate the company,” says Harper. “After an extensive search, I picked Rhode Island due to its marine-friendly business culture and to be in the center of an active marine-industry hub. Winning the Rhode Island Business Plan competition sealed the deal, and we haven’t looked back since! With the addition of Jonathan Banks to our executive team, together with the development of new products and new offices in the heart of the ‘sailing capital,’ we are poised for growth.”
“One of Jonathan’s key priorities is to grow the company’s network of dealers in North and South America, Europe and Australia into a robust global network,” says Harper. “Jonathan will also bring his extensive boating and marketing experience to launch new products, including mobile apps, new accessories, and management tools for operators of commercial and recreational fleets, such as charter companies and boat clubs. These new products and services will generate a better boating experience for boat owners and will enable fleet operators and boat builders to save money and provide an unprecedented level of customer service.”
For more information about Siren Marine and its products, please visit sirenmarine.com or call (401) 619-4774.