Here are just a few of the accessories boaters tend to forget to invest in, as compiled by Boating Magazine. Keep these in mind when shopping for your favorite boater this holiday season!
Electronic Charts for Your Chart Plotter/MFD
Pre-loaded “base charts” are just that – basic. When your purchase a chart plotter or MFD, explore all your options regarding cartography. Some manufacturers now offer a choice of C-MAP, Navionics, or both. Garmin plotters may come with embedded base charts with the ability to upgrade to a higher detail option from Garmin. Buy the electronic charts that best suit your boating lifestyle (fishing, cruising, etc.).
Not all marine electronics come with sun covers meant to protect them from the elements. These are an important investment in the long-term health of your electronics, preventing damage and scratching from dirt, salt, moisture, heat and UV light. Always keep them covered when not in use.
When purchasing electronics for your boat, don’t forget about safety. A floating ditch bag is a must for abandon-ship situations, and can save your life with electronics like a floating handheld VHF radio, Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB), personal strobe lights, and more. Prepare for emergencies, and you’ll be much more likely to survive one.