Looking for some last-minute holiday gift ideas for the boater in your life (or you)? We’ve got suggestions that range from truly in expensive to once-a-year-purchase. One or two you should consider for more than just your boat.
The Boater’s Gift Guide for 2015
- Weego Jump Starters – If you operate anything run by battery, you should have one of these in your bag or in a locker on the boat. It’ll jump-start or re-charge anything up to a moderately sized diesel engine, all the way down to your Bluetooth headset. The Weego units distinguish themselves from other chargers on the market by their premium build quality, connectors and compact size. They also don’t lose their charge while sitting in a bag or locker. You can put one near the helm or in your car’s glove compartment and come back a year later and be able to jump-start that engine. The unit we’ve linked to here is about $120 and still available for delivery before Christmas. The bundle in the image above is available directly from Weego here.
- Pettit Protect® with Mica Shield Technology – If you’re looking to tackle a barrier-coat challenge for your boat, consider Petit’s new product. Introduced this summer, it features slate mica in the epoxy resin, compared to the granular mica found in most barrier coats. Think of it as a series of sheets of mica overlapping in the resin; a great structure to resist moisture intrusion. It’s a traditional two-part epoxy coating, with a 3-to-1 mix ratio, and a typical 18-foot powerboat would likely require less than two gallons (at 3 coats) for full coverage. We don’t have a specific price estimate so check the link for local dealers and give them a call. I don’t expect it to be more expensive than other high-solids barrier coatings, which means it could run about $115-$120 per gallon.
- GOST Nav-Tracker 3.0 SM – Have you already jumped on the GOST boat security bandwagon? You should. It’s like a Lo-Jack™ for your boat. And if you’ve already got some security sensors on the boat — webcam, horn, motion detection — this latest package from GOST will allow you to use an included hardware interface to integrate those into the total security effort. The complete GOST Nav-Tracker 3.0 SM Package includes: the GOST Nav-Tracker 3.0 control unit with tamperproof backup battery, the hardwired interface unit, a 5 foot I/O cable to connect the HWIU to the control unit, an IP67-rated momentary Arm/Disarm Button, a Door/Hatch Contact, High Water Sensor, GA-Mini Siren (with all the required cables), the GOST Nav-Tracker antenna, a 10-meter antenna cable, a 2-meter power cable and a GNT-L bracket to mount the antenna. Check out the GOST Global link for a supplier near you.
- Simrad® GO5 XSE Chartplotter and Fishfinder – How about a cutting-edge, compact chartplotter and fishfinder that can cover all the bases and do it for the price of perhaps two tanks of gas on a typical center console fishing boat? The GO5 XSE features a super-bright multi-touch display, internal 10 Hz GPS receiver, StructureScan® HD and CHIRP Sonar, autopilot integration/control, engine data monitoring, full audio entertainment integration with SonicHub®2, integrated wireless connectivity and the powerful, new Simrad TripIntel™ trip computer. Seriously, what else do need? Ranging in retail price from $449 to $599, depending on the transducer included with the display, the Simrad GO5 XSE is scheduled for March 2016 availability from authorized distributors throughout the U.S. and Canada.
- Vesper Marine XB-6000 Class B AIS Transponder – If you do any kind of big-water cruising, whether it’s coastal or Great Lake or large rivers, you should consider installing an AIS transponder on your boat. It uses VHF radio frequencies to tell other boats and shore stations who you are, what you are doing and where you are going. This data can be displayed on almost every chatplotter and navigation monitor out there nowadays and while AIS transponders aren’t yet required on all recreational boats, they should be, and you should be the first on your fairway to install it. This Vesper unit is reasonably priced, yet has what might be the most advanced AIS technology there is, with a built-in GPS receiver and NMEA gateway. We found it on Amazon for $555. Check the link to see that source.
- IMTRA Largo Tri-Color LED Light – That annoying white dome light you have in the middle of your helm deck overhead can now be both useful and pleasant to deal with. IMTRA’s new Tri-Color LED light offers white, blue and red light and simple, momentary-push operation. Since it’s LED, it uses very little power – 4.7 watts in this case for a 30-watt halogen-equivalent. You can pick either a warm or cool white light as part of your unit, while both the blue and red lights preserve the crew’s night vision. How often will you have to change it? It’s designed for 50,000 hours of life. Are you?
- FUSION Signature Series Speakers – Got tunes aboard? How about sending those signals out through the best speakers you can put on your boat. FUSION has 230-watt and 280-watt configurations of its new Signature Series line that will give you both the sound and look you want. Choose from Classic White, Sports White or Sports Grey/Chrome styles. The new speakers are offered in a 6.5-inch 230 Watt or 7.7-inch 280 Watt configuration. A dual-color diffused LED lighting option that illuminates in either striking blue or sparkling white based on the polarity of the wiring, adds to the aesthetics There is also a new sub-woofer for the series — a 10-inch unit that delivers premium bass reproduction. Comprised of a high tensile fiberglass-paper composite cone driver that produces a massive 450-Watts maximum output, this unit will bring the bass to the party. Check out the link to see the FUSION Signature Series on Amazon, where some units are still available for pre-Christmas delivery.
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