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Boat Electronics & Navigation

Electronics for boating encompass a wide range of devices that help you with accurate and precise navigation. These systems make use of real-time information so that you can track the weather, possible obstacles in the water, and proximity to other boats. These electronics are designed with software and hardware that are specific for use in a marine environment.

Where do you mount boat electronics?
  • On the bridge: For yachts and other large vessels, the electronics should be mounted on the bridge so that the captain of the boat can receive the information and view it while having access to the radio and other communications systems.
  • Near the steering wheel: On sailboats and other vessels that do not have a specific bridge, the electronic radar and other electrical components should be located close to the boat's steering wheel.
  • In the cabin: When boating, it is also important to have access to the radar and other information even when you are not on deck or in the bridge. Having access to the radar from the cabin could also help if an emergency arises while you are sleeping or eating.
How do you wire marine electronics for navigating?

Wiring a boat's electronics and navigational system is not the same as putting a radio into your car or wiring a new lighting fixture in your home. Marine electronics and wiring require different materials and techniques that are safe for the marine environment. To wire the electronics for your boat, locate the battery. Marine global position satellite-based navigation systems should be located at least 12 inches from the battery. Be sure to use a switch that has on, off, and short circuit protection. Use sheathed wire to connect the GPS to the battery, making use of a fuse box to disconnect the GPS from the power source in case of a short circuit. Use red wiring for the positive connection and black wiring for the negative connection. Select wiring that is rated for marine use. Use wire terminals at all connection points, and crimp and solder the wiring between the GPS and the battery.

What are some essential boat electronics?

Ultimately, it will depend on your specific needs, but there are a few electronic devices that just about every serious boater will need at some time or another. If you're serious about fishing, you'll want to invest in a quality depth finder and fish finder. If you love to explore, you'll need a quality compass, a GPS navigational system, and radar and communications devices.

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