Whether you are out on the water for leisure, sport or industry, marine safety should be a top concern. We are fortunate to live in an age in which technology has made boating safer than ever, but boat electronics are only useful to those who understand their importance and applications. For new and seasoned boaters alike, owning and knowing how to use a GPS, sonar and VHF marine antenna is essential.
A global positioning system (GPS) is something most people nowadays have used when driving a car, but it can be just as useful for navigating on the water. A marine GPS will show your real-time location, including your latitude and longitude, where you are on a map, and how to navigate to a specific point if desired. Marine GPS units range from simple handheld devices to sophisticated touch-screen systems installed directly into your boat.
Having a VHF radio onboard is just as important as a navigation system, as it allows you to communicate with other boaters, receive weather updates and contact the U.S. Coast Guard in an emergency situation. It’s essential to note that a VHF radio is only as good as the marine antenna you buy to work with it, so don’t overlook this piece of equipment.
Sonar units are another handy type of equipment that has many uses. Put simply, a sonar device provides information about what’s underneath your boat by bouncing sound waves off of the terrain and collecting the results. A more sophisticated application of this technology is to locate fish or objects of interest at the bottom of the water, but the most common use is to find out how deep the water is. Using your sonar unit can help you avoid getting stuck or damaging your boat in shallow water.
Every day there are more marine gadgets to choose from, but sonar units, VHF marine antennas, and GPS devices are three boat electronics you don’t want to go without. While boating can be a fun and relaxing pastime, it’s important to remember that safety is key and should be taken seriously.