Choosing the right electronics for your boat



When equipping your boat with electronics, it’s important to consider several factors in your electronics choices. Choosing the right electronics will make your boating experience more enjoyable and give you much needed safety on the water. So before you buy, take in account some important factors when choosing which electronics are right for you and for your boat. And remember, Sunrise Marine can help you with any of your electronics questions (and we are just a phone call away)!

1. The boat electronics you should choose should be an automatic identification system, or AIS. It is used by boats and by the Vessel Traffic Services to find and identify boats. Your AIS gear is the most important electronic device you’ll buy. It allows vessels to exchange electronic data including position, identification, and course. The AIS transponder will cause your vessel to show up on computer screens at Vessel Traffic Services stations. If you have an emergency or should become lost this is critical.

2. A GPS system is another important piece of boat electronics your boat should have. One of the more popular choices is for a multifunction display that puts several different instruments onto one screen. Such multifunction machines can even allow you to run radar and fishfinder data through one display. They are also relatively easy to expand for other functions and displays.

3. If you have a choice of displays, remember that the larger it is, the easier it will be to see. And keep in mind that on a boat, viewing conditions can be far from optimal due to sun glare, storms, and swells. If you can afford a 10 to 12 inch display, that’s best, but you should definitely choose at least a 7 inch display for your boating electronics.

4. If you are interested in on-board entertainment, you can coordinate your display for several peripheral boat electronics. Other devises like satellite receivers, computers, DVD players and music systems can be connected. All of these are great extras to have, however, don’t get them in lue of choosing quality safety gear. And make sure that all your navigation equipment is mounted where it access is easy.

5. Another good investment in the safety of your boat is a depth sounder or fishfinder. If the weather turns bad, a depth sounder combined with your GPS plotter can help get you safely back to shore.

6. There is an ever changing selection of marine electronics products made available for the boating industry. There are now laptop computers designed specifically for use in boats. These computers perform like standard laptops do, but they can also be equipped with special software like RayTech RNS 6.1, which allows multi-format charting, hsb2 electronics integration, and worldwide tides and currents among its many functions.

In summary, your AIS device, GPS plotter, and depth sounder are the most critical pieces of boat electronics for your vessel because they pertain to your safety and the safety of your passengers. Have these pieces in place first, and if it’s in your budget, there are plenty of extras you can add in the way of entertainment equipment and fish finding devices that you can have fun with. If you have questions about what electronics are right for you, give Sunrise Marine a call at 850-243-0414 and we will be happy to help you!

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