5 best boating gadgets this month
Boating tech updates about as fast as a fuel hydroplane boat. So how do you separate the useful from the next boating fad? We’ve made life easier by taking time out to list our top 5 boating tech innovations from the past year.
Love them or loathe them, you certainly do need them. There have been leaps and bounds in the design of inflatable life jackets. Although most must be manually inflated, others can be triggered by rain or water spray too. Pretty. Cool.
Our favourite is the West Marine Deepwater Automatic Inflatable PFD Model T1F. It’s relatively affordable, and able to withstand tough waters. This model is also very comfortable, which is so important when you’re moving around on-deck.
We’ve spoken about GPS systems before, but this time, we’re honing on our all-time favourite. In this case we’re backing Garmin EcoMap Chirp 43 DV. Garmin are a well-known player in the GPS tech game, and have been innovating for many years now.
This particular GPS includes a ‘rewind’ function, which recalls screens and captures waypoints relevant to sonar points. It also grabs screen shots and you can upgrade it using a MicroSD card. Plus, it features a 16-channel built-in GPS antenna.
Okay, it won’t save your life like, but it will make your boating experience far more enjoyable. A good cooler is a must, especially if you’re interested in having a (responsible) cold beer, or simply want to store your catch for later.
Boatingmag.com put a bunch of cooler bags to the test. They measured ice retention, leakage, and the level of clean up required on each brand. At 3.5 days, the Engel Soft-Sided Backpack stayed cool the longest. But it is pricey.
This is why we like the Igloo Marine Ultra Square 36 best, as it stays cool for 2.5 days, and is reasonably priced.
Fishing and boating are partners in crime, so it makes sense to include a good old-fashioned filleting knife in the list. These can be expensive, which means it pays to do your research before making a purchase.
Our favourite is the Cuda 7-inch WideFillet, which retails for $22.99 (USD). It’s made from German stainless steel, and features a wide blade that is high in titanium, making it highly resistant to corrosion. Slip resistance is also top-notch, and resharpening is a breeze.
It’s not actually the salt that causes corrosion, but the reaction or oxygen and iron, which results in iron oxide. Salt causes irreversible damage to a boat’s paint, metal and gelcoat, so a good sea spray is a worthwhile investment.
We are big fans of West Marine Pure Oceans Salt-off, which is extremely effective. Application is easy and it’s relatively affordable. It also has a low environmental footprint, as it is made using a biodegradable formula.
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