Whether you’re a nautical fanatic, on the sea at every opportunity, or a casual boating hobbyist who only goes out a few times a year, the boating equipment you use is extremely important. From waterproof GPS devices to boat-specific ice cream makers, there’s an unlimited number of fun and helpful gadgets available that are designed to keep you safe and comfortable as you go out on the water. But which ones do you really need for your boating adventures? Here’s a list of the top five best boating gadgets:
- Safety Line – This is especially helpful for solo boaters to stay safe on the water when boating by themselves. It’s a simple strap that clips to your life jacket on one end and the boat’s kill switch on the other. That way, if you fall overboard, the boat will automatically stop and allow you to pull yourself back on board without it speeding away.
- EPIRB – No one ever plans for anything to go wrong, but in case your boat runs out of gas, there’s a medical emergency, or you just end up stranded, it’s essential that a rescue team be able to find you as quickly as possible. That’s why you need either an Emergency Position Indicating Radiobeacon (EPIRB) installed on your boat, or a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) carried by the individual person. The most accurate models come with GPS, though there are other methods of broadcasting your position as well. Whatever type you get, it’s something no boat should be without.
- Hand-Crank Radio – When listing the top five best boating gadgets, a radio is perhaps the most essential. Cell phone service is unreliable, especially in the middle of the ocean. A marine VHF radio ensures you’ll always be able to reach someone when you need help or information, at least until the radio loses power. That’s why a hand-crank radio is the best option. The crank generates power whenever you need it, so you never have to worry about dead batteries. Many models also come with a built-in flashlight and even a cell phone charging port.
- Weather Station – When you’re out on the water, it’s critical to know what weather you’ll be dealing with. A computerized weather station can show you the latest forecasts, current temperature, wind speed and direction, barometric readings, and more at just a glance.
- DVOM – A Digital Volt-Ohm Meter, also called a multimeter, can help you locate electrical problems on your boat and make sure everything’s running smoothly. It can also help spot corrosion by testing the integrity of bonding circuits. A unit with an audible alert is best, since you may be testing in tight, hard-to-reach places where the display is difficult to see.
These top five best boating gadgets are just the tip of the iceberg. There are thousands of gadgets out there for every situation and every boater. No matter what kind of boater you are, the right tools are essential, so take the time to find the right boating gadgets for you.
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