Boating means different things to different people. For some, it is way to relax and enjoy the water, sunshine and the great outdoors. Others see it as an opportunity to be adventurous and explore new places. While every boater’s "gotta-have-gear" and wish lists are different, there are a few items just about any boater will find useful…
The Global Positioning System (GPS) uses satellite technology to provide precise location and time information for use in navigation. It works worldwide, in any weather condition and is available 24 hours a day. GPS units can be found in cars, and mobile phones (via apps that use GPS). Standalone GPS devices are also available. Of particular interest to boaters are marine GPS devices designed for boating navigation. These waterproof units feature detailed marine cartography, including information on tides and currents, reefs, and much more. Advanced units may also include chart plotter and radar technology. Marine GPS is invaluable when boating, enabling navigation to be plotted both efficiently and safely. It is advisable to always have a backup GPS when boating in case the main unit fails, and to have a compass and paper charts to work from as well.
Many boaters love to fish, but are often disappointed when they fail to catch anything during an outing on the water. One way to avoid such disappointment is to install a fish finder. These remarkable pieces of technology use sound waves to detect objects underneath and around a boat at any particular time. They emit a sound wave signal that bounce back to a receiver when it hits an object; data from this signal is shown on a digital display. By reading this data, folks on board can determine if there are any fish nearby, and if not they can move to a different location to try their luck. Using a fish finder can eliminate some of the unpredictability of fishing, and greatly increases the chances of successfully catching fish.
Waterproof binoculars serve many purposes for boaters while boating. First, they are effective safety devices that enable boaters to check far ahead for obstacles, such as items in the water or other boats. They can also be used to check the horizon for any signs of changes in the weather or choppy water— knowledge that could save vital time in returning to dry land. In addition, many models have night vision capabilities, and thus are effective at spotting danger both day and night. Waterproof binoculars need not be used solely for safety, however, and can also be used for leisure activities. For example, boating provides a fantastic opportunity to watch marine wildlife. Depending on the area, birds, fish, and even whales and dolphins can be seen in great detail through binoculars, because they allow users to watch wildlife without scaring it off by approaching too closely. These are just a few examples of equipment that is useful, and even vital, to have aboard a boat. Being out on the water is extremely enjoyable, but safety must come first. All boaters must ensure that they are well prepared before they set out on a voyage. With all of the necessary equipment in place they will be able to relax and enjoy their boating experience.
About the Author: Jane Warren enjoys boating and spending time on the water swimming, scuba diving, boating, tubing, and just about anything else related to outdoor water sports. She manages a website called Towable Tubes Direct. Her blog also gives tips and guidelines for safety in watersport activities.