If you remember the premise (or at least the theme song) of the old TV sitcom, “Gilligan’s Island,” you’ll remember that a group of vacationers ended up marooned on an island after getting lost at sea. While that was a fictional series set in the 1960s, the need for safety when boating is as important now as it was back then. Here’s how marine electronics can spare you from your own version of Gilligan’s Island.
Knowing Where To Go
One of the primary benefits of marine electronic equipment comes with navigation. A working marine GPS unit provides your exact location at any time during a trip out on the water. Not only do you know where you are, but you can see where you are. Using a marine GPS unit with a compass, radar, and binoculars helps to prevent you from becoming lost, putting you and other travelers in danger.
The ability to communicate is also critical whenever you’re out on the water. Whether you’re talking to other boaters or people back on land, the safest approach requires the use of antennas, single-sideband (SSB) radios, and other satellite-based comms devices to stay in touch with others. You can alert others if your boat trip takes a turn for the worse. Keep in mind that a mobile connection may be difficult to establish or maintain in the middle of the water.
Bringing the Essentials
Besides marine electronics, your watercraft should include essential safety equipment such as life vests, rafts, lifeboats, and flashlights. These non-electronic devices help keep you and other passengers safe in inclement weather or other rapidly worsening situations. Before your next boat trip, make sure you’re suitably equipped and knowledgeable about where these items are located and how to use them.
A “three-hour tour” out on the water sounds like a fun affair, but without marine electronics and proper safety equipment, a bad situation can become worse. Don’t take chances when it comes to your safety and that of others. Make sure you and others know how to use electronic and safety devices in advance.