These new gizmos will improve your days on the water.
Technology doesn’t just creep along — it zooms down a highway that has no speed limit. To boaters, this is most evident in our electronics systems, where a slew of new electronic gadgets can add some zing to your trailerboat. Here are five top picks.
Pint-Sized Power Packs
Remember those heavy and clunky jump-start packs we used to lug around? Thanks to today’s advances in battery technology, you can accomplish the same thing with an item about the size of a cellphone. Two new jump packs have hit the market from Weego and Cyntur. Weego says its smallest unit will jump engines up to 4.6 liters, and Cyntur says a V-8 is no problem for its JumperPack Mini. I’ve used both to turn a 90-hp outboard, and I can attest to the fact that it provided little challenge to either jump-starter. These things hold a charge for up to a year, so you can put one in the glovebox and forget about it until your boat’s battery goes dead.
$99 | www.myweego.com | www.cyntur.com
Peak has a nifty new backup camera for those of us who own tow vehicles that didn’t come with one already installed. The twist here is that unlike most aftermarket backup cameras, this one comes with a 3.5-inch LCD that fits on top of your tow vehicle’s rearview mirror. The water-resistant camera attaches to your license plate and beams the view via a 2.4-gigahertz wireless signal. If this add-on doesn’t help you back the ball hitch up to the trailer perfectly on the first try, nothing will.
$100 | www.peakauto.com
Who says you have to be a Navy Seal to get the benefit of infrared night-vision gear? If you plan on being out on the water past dark, FLIR’s new Ocean Scout will be of interest. This handheld monocular lets you see a person in the water in complete darkness at more than 1,000 feet. It’s also IP-67 submersible, has an internal rechargeable lithium-ion battery, and warms up in just 1.5 seconds.
$2,000 | www.flir.com
Many trailerable boats are too small or too exposed to house a stereo system, but you can bring one aboard with the Nyne Aqua. This dual-speaker system is completely waterproof to IPX7 standards, floats, and comes with a tether so you can leave it bobbing around behind the swim platform if you so desire. The tunes come from your iPhone via Bluetooth (with a 33-foot range, good for 10 hours per charge), and if your phone rings while you’re jamming tunes, it cuts the music and pipes in the call.
$129 | www.nyne.com
Many boaters enjoy capturing the action with compact point-of-view video cameras. But Garmin has a cool new POV that may change the way you look at shooting video aboard small boats. The VIRB XE is a palm-sized video cam that can shoot at professional-level definition (1440p30 or 1080p60) and has a built-in one-inch LCD display. What’s really different about it, however, is that it’s waterproof down to a whopping 50 meters without a dive case. On top of that, it has built-in GPS and can track and display your movements. And the VIRB XE has a microphone that works underwater and can take wireless audio from Bluetooth-enabled devices. That’s quite a spectacular list of features.
$399 | www.Garmin.com