So you have finally found the boat of your dreams and you are ready to outfit it with marine electronics, fish finders, GPS, and so much more, but you aren’t sure where to start. This is not an uncommon thing for new boat owners, and if you have already started doing your research and found yourself a little confused or overwhelmed, this article will help you out. If you are trying to sort out what you do need and want in your boat but aren’t sure what you don’t need, we will help you figure out the differences between the fish finders and the GPS and all of the different marine electronics that are out there. It’s true, there are some things you WILL want to make sure you have, while others you can do without. Let’s narrow that down for you.
1. While the fish finders are fun, the first thing in marine electronics you definitely want to look into is the AIS, the automatic identification system. This is a gadget used to identify boats and find them, and will be the most critical piece of boating devices you own. This will allow you to exchange information with other boats in the event of an emergency, and likewise if someone else is in trouble. This is useful if you become lost for example, as this will connect with Vessel Traffic Services who will be able to help you out.
2. A GPS plotter is one thing you also want to be sure you have. You will find when you are looking at marine electronics that a lot of the GPS and fish finders are combined into multifunction devices to make your boating experience easier and more fun. Many of these devices will have screens big enough for you to see everything all at once, and are very convenient.
3. 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.
4. Displays on your marine electronics need to be very large. If you are purchasing gadgets or fish finders you need to remember that the larger the screen is, the easier it will be to see it. This will not be so important on the beautiful days out you will have with your boat, but in inclement weather this will be very important. You don’t want to choose anything with a screen smaller than 8″, and even at least a 10″ display is the most ideal.
Everything from the Cadillac of fishfinders to deluxe satellite systems to on-board laptops is possible if you want to make your boat a technologically friendly place to be. Depending on how ritzy you want to go, your gadget tastes and preference in marine electronics is only going to be limited by your budget.