Sometimes we think of boat gadgets as nice-to-haves that we might want, but don’t really need. While some of this list certainly fall into that category, others provide great safety features that can give us real peace of mind out on the water.
Battery monitoring system
Loss of power feed to your boat while you’re on shore can be a huge pain in the neck, and sometimes it happens purely by accident because someone’s flicked the wrong switch. Not only do you return to a boat that’s low on charge, you also risk losing any perishables in your fridge and/or freezer. A battery monitoring system can monitor the power coming in and send you an SMS as soon as your systems go down thanks to a power input issue. You can then call the yacht club, find out what’s happening or alert them to the issue.
Running into sandbars can put a real dent in your outing on the water – literally. There are sandbars galore around the Gold Coast, and the best way to avoid them is with a depth sounder that monitors just how far away the bottom is in front of your boat.
Navigating in familiar waters is a simple task during the day when the sun is shining, but at night or when the weather’s rainy or foggy, things can get more difficult. A marine GPS can tell you your exact position no matter what the weather might be. You can find models that include an app for your mobile devices to make navigating even easier. We recommend that you use one with an SD card so that it can receive updates on local changes to water levels and channels.
VHF (very high frequency) 2 way radio
If an emergency occurs – whether it’s a person lost overboard or an engine malfunction – a two-way radio suddenly becomes a must-have item. You might lose mobile phone reception out on the water, but a VHF radio can operate in a range of conditions. Once you have it, ensure that you know exactly how to use it, too.
Collision avoidance system
These systems use radar and autopilot to detect objects in the water and steer around them, although it’s important to know that they can’t detect objects underneath the water. They’re certainly not an essential for the broadwater – there should always be someone at watch on the helm regardless – but they can be good backup options just in case of user error. When cruising at night or for long distances, they can be invaluable. You can configure the minimum size of object that will trigger the collision avoidance.
This is an absolute essential if you want the aforementioned collision avoidance system – although you can have an autopilot without a CAS, you’re best off having either both or neither. Autopilot systems can be great when conditions aren’t clear – you can just input your destination and ensure that you miss all the sandbars along the way. You can set waypoints or, if desired, just set it to go in a straight line and make regular manual course adjustments. Keep in mind, though, that you still need to maintain a watch – especially in busy waters where sandbars are far from being the only hazard.
Docking station for phone
Keeping your mobile phone charged while out on the water is a good idea anyway, but add the capacity to control a sound system and you have a clear winner. Using a docking station can be a cost-effective entertainment solution while ensuring that you have a full phone battery to make use of when you dock.
Contact Jon, our Spare Parts Manager, for any enquiries related to parts and accessories for your power boat on 07 5580 1883 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.