64 | BoatU.S. Magazine FEBRUARY | MARCH 2014
If you’re on a sailboat, you’ll
want the complete set – wind,
boat speed, depth, water
temperature, and more – all
networked to your GPS
Networked MFD: Why have a mere chartplotter? A networked
MFD can display all nav info from your different units.
Entertainment Center: Upgrade that radio to Sirius/XM satellite for
music anytime, anyplace. A flatscreen will let you watch videos from
your computer or stream them with the addition of a wireless router.
FAMILY DAY BOATS &
Similar navigation & communications as
cruisers, plus gear to help find more fish
VHF: A cell phone is great, but a handheld VHF can put you in
touch with the authorities even when coverage is bad.
GPS: A simple handheld unit should be enough to get you back
to the bat ramp.
Fishfinder: A basic unit with transom-mount, 200-kHz
transducer can be all you need.
Fixed-Mount VHF: Maybe not a “must have,”
but a good idea if you boat in more remote areas.
Chartplotter: Depends upon where you boat. But
using waypoints and a track will help you hone in
on those hot spots, no matter where you fish.
Fishfinder: In relatively shallow water (200
feet or less), modern 455/800-kHz units are the
rage, marketed as “imagers” or “scanners.”
THE TOTALLY GEEKED-OUT
Sat Phone: Call, send and receive email, or download weather
anywhere, anytime. If you want to surf the Internet from the boat,
add broadband satellite services.
SSB Radio: Like a VHF, but with an ocean-sized range. Some
come with DSC capability.
AIS A: Lets you keep tabs on other boats, and lets them “see” you.
Infrared Camera (Fixed-Mount with Remote Control):
Thermal imaging at the helm, piped to your MFD screen or on a
dedicated LCD. Upscale models have stabilization, magnification,
and multi-sensor imaging.
OFFSHORE ANGLERS venture
out of sight of land, making safety and
navigation a huge concern, as well
as finding fish
Charged cell phone & VHF, plus chart of area.
Emergency Signaling Device: You need a way to call for help in
an emergency. A satellite messenger or PLB is a good start if you’ll
be in VHF range; a GPS-enabled EPIRB is a better option.
DSC-Equipped VHF Radio & Handheld Backup: Beyond cell
range, these are must-haves.
Chartplotter & Handheld Backup: Important if you plan on getting back to the inlet at the end of the day.
Fishfinder (Basic): You’ll want a unit that can reach down several
hundred feet; a 200-kHz unit with 500 or more watts is minimum.
Satellite Weather: Plenty of advanced warning when thunderstorms head your way.
Radar: Fog? What fog?
Autopilot: To get out to the fishing grounds
rested and ready.
Infrared Camera (Handheld Scope): For
pre-dawn departures for far-off fishing grounds.
Networked MFD: Minimum 12 inches to
gaze at the fishfinder and chartplotter together
as you troll.
Bathymetrics: Upgrade your chip or download the latest high-res cartography. Either way,
you’ll know what the seabed looks like, and
where it’s going to attract those fish.
Fishfinder (Mid-Level): If that puny little pinger isn’t good
enough for you, go for 1,000 watts, and get a transducer upgrade.
aren’t stabilized, look for
a rating of 7
x 50. Seven
times magnification is
can use aboard
B&G Zeus TouchSailSteer MFD