You have probably heard of marine survival gear online, but in this day and age, isn’t it too much of a risk to live without marine electronics? Marine electronics are no longer conveniences or luxuries, but are actually changing the way we travel. What are some of the most popular marine electronics on the market today?Chances are most electronics will do well if you wrap them properly and leave them with your boat, but if you are not sure it never hurts to remove items. Check manufacturer’s guidelines to see if electronic components are sensitive to extremely cold temperatures. If you bring your boat in off the water, it’s also a good idea to remove the battery.Marine radios can be fixed mount or portable and may incorporate other electronics such as the ability to connect to a microphone and serve as an intercom or a hailer. Note that you might need additional marine electronics, such as a hailer horn, to make this work. Modern marine radios come equipped with Bluetooth and the ability to connect to a keypad for electronic data entry or a voice scrambler for security.
What about those marine electronics that let the computer steer and move the ship? Some of the best new autopilots can even control your boat or yacht if there are high winds or powerful waves striking. These devices can actually adjust for the changes and comfortably bring you home with a little help from a GPS system.How your marine radar will actually help you on the water occurs through its antenna and scanner and its radar display. As your boat moves through the water, waves will be transmitted through the radar antenna, and the radars internal computer will measure echoes received and the approximate distance from your boat to a suspected land mass or fish school. The results from the antenna reception will then be displayed on your radar screen.
One important feature of a multifunction unit is the ability to combine radar inputs of potential obstacles with maps and visuals provided by chart plotters and marine GPS electronics. This will allow you to navigate with precision even in fog and poor visibility conditions. Radar and GPS signals are not impeded by fog or darkness, nor are they limited by the range of human vision. Combining radar signals with precise GPS technology gives you a powerful navigation aid in any kind of weather.If your marine electronics mountings are complex or wired together in a way that would be hard to remember, it might be best to leave them installed. In this case, check any loose wires, ensure all connectors are properly inserted and clean any traces of salt or debris from exposed surfaces.
Other electronics you can use for marine communications include mobile phones and cell phones. These are especially good if you need to have a lengthy conversation, but coverage at sea is not assured, so don’t depend on a cell phone alone.A depth sounder may be one of the most sound investments you make as well, and will be very handy in the event of inclement weather. Fish finders and depth sounders are a great tool to use with your GPS if you need to get back to shore quickly and safely when the waters turn rough.
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