Touchscreen displays make marine electronics easier and faster to use than ever. Once you use a touchscreen, you’ll never want to go back to the old-fashioned push-button mode of operation. Think in terms of today’s touchscreen smartphones — would you ever want to go back to a flip phone?
Today’s marine units are built tough for life aboard a boat. Yet some simple steps will ensure that your displays — be they touchscreen or not — stay clear and last as long as possible.
If your electronics displays are bracket-mounted, remove and stow them indoors between trips. This will minimize weather exposure and thwart would-be thieves. Transport your equipment securely between the boat and storage location. Keep displays where they won’t fall off a shelf or get kicked around.
You can’t easily remove flush- or surface-mounted displays to stow them off the boat, but you can use a sun cover on them. The company that makes your display will offer a sun cover in the appropriate size for each model. These covers protect installations from UV light, moisture, dust and damage between trips. They easily snap on and snap off when it’s time to go boating.
Virtually all marine electronics displays are built to an industry water-ingress standard such as IPX6 or IPX7. Yet it is still a good idea to protect both the back and front of the display from spray whenever possible. Many new boats today have full tempered-glass, polycarbonate or acrylic windshields, or clear vinyl enclosures that shield the helm area. If your boat does not have such a full, wraparound windshield, think about adding one. On a small boat, consider installing the unit in a housing such as a PowerPod from Ocean Equipment, which is sealed to protect the back of the unit.