Top 10 Marine Electronics Accessories Boaters Forget To Buy

Top 10 Marine Electronics Accessories Boaters Forget To Buy
While repeated trips to the neighborhood marine store are something all DIY boaters are familiar with, prior planning can cut down on wasted time and get you on the water faster. As a leading national retailer of marine electronics via the Internet, mail order and its Ocean Isle Beach, NC storefront, The GPS Store, Inc. is well versed in helping customers avoid such delays. Boating Magazine asked Sales Manager Scott Heffernan for his Top 10 items boaters forget when purchasing marine electronics.
Top 10 Marine Electronics Accessories Boaters Forget To Buy
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.).
Top 10 Marine Electronics Accessories Boaters Forget To Buy
Flush Mount Kit or Gimbal Mount
If you plan to flush or gimbal mount your new electronics, don't assume that mounting kit is included. Make sure you have what you'll need to do a flush mount or, if better for your boat's layout, a gimbal mount installation.
Top 10 Marine Electronics Accessories Boaters Forget To Buy
NMEA 2000 or Proprietary Network Cables
Today's marine electronics are designed for networking, and it's likely you'll be connecting your new purchase with other units from the same and/or different manufacturers. It's important to make sure you order all the cabling needed to do this, whether it's NMEA 2000 cables/connectors/terminators or another proprietary networking platform used by a given manufacturer. Some manufacturers include these, while others do not.
Top 10 Marine Electronics Accessories Boaters Forget To Buy
Cable Outlets and Clam Shells
A clean installation requires cable outlets or stainless steel clamshells for routing cables in/out of the console, helm or other spaces. They not only look neat, they help keep dirt and moisture out.
Top 10 Marine Electronics Accessories Boaters Forget To Buy
Electrical Wiring for Installation
Don't forget to purchase all the electrical wiring you'll need to rig new electronics, and to account for complete cabling runs, which often includes routing through bends, turns, drops and rises. These add to the overall length required, and the last thing you want to do is run short.
Top 10 Marine Electronics Accessories Boaters Forget To Buy
Sun Covers
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 'em covered when not in use.
Top 10 Marine Electronics Accessories Boaters Forget To Buy
Safety Products
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.
Top 10 Marine Electronics Accessories Boaters Forget To Buy
Mounts for VHF/GPS Antennas
A simple, yet often forgotten accessory needed to complete installation of VHF and GPS antennas. Figure out the best mounting location (rail, T-top, hard top, etc) and get a sturdy mount made for that purpose.
Top 10 Marine Electronics Accessories Boaters Forget To Buy
Switch or Switch Panel
Depending on the status of your boat's existing switch panel(s), you may want to upgrade to a larger panel or install a dedicated On/Off switch for the new piece of electronics. It's always a good idea to have direct On/Off power control for individual units/systems.
Top 10 Marine Electronics Accessories Boaters Forget To Buy
Transducer Upgrade for New Sounder
Don't assume that your boat's old transducer will plug right into your new fishfinder. Even if it does, you could be short-changing yourself when it comes to performance. Transducers have evolved rapidly in recent years, delivering wider coverage, more detail and better separation between fish targets and the bottom. More choices today (transom, thru-hull, in-hull, tilted element) means boaters can find an ideal match for their vessels and fishing styles. For more “forget me not” ideas, contact The GPS Store at (800) 477-2611 or visit www.TheGPSStore.com. Suggested Reading: Avoiding Poor Electronics Installations